My adventures as a pre-med college student volunteering in the ER and trying to hold my own as an EMT student.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

E.D. stands for Emergency Daycare

I think every parent in the county brought their kid into the ER tonight. Seriously, at least fifteen kids came in over the four hours I was there. This is pretty unusual, seeing as I've probably noticed two kids in there prior to tonight. I was kind of excited by this, as my main interest is in pediatrics. That, and my two favorite doctors were working tonight.

One little girl came in after falling off a yoga ball, and fracturing her humorous. She was a sweetie, nine years old. Her entire family was there: mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, brother, sister. I got to watch as a paramedic splinted her arm, and I got to hold her arm steady as he did it. I could tell she was in pain, but tried to be brave. Turns out, she needed surgery and since our hospital doesn't have a pediatric orthopedist, she was transferred to a large children's hospital in a nearby city.

A little boy came in, he had just turned one at the beginning of the month. He had a small laceration to the forehead that required three small stitches. According to mom, he had just started walking and took a tumble into the corner of a table. No biggie, she was really calm and we talked for awhile about her little boy. He was super cute and only cried for a minute after the doctor stuck him with numbing medication.

One mom, however, was not so calm. Her little baby had a slight fever and a cough. The nurse listened to the lungs, everything sounded clear, and his stats came back normal except for the fever. While something minor was probably going on, the baby was in no immediate danger. When the nurse tried to explain this to the mom, you would've thought she had just told her the baby needed immediate open heart surgery or something else of that scale. This mom was FREAKING out, nurses were trying to calm her down and reassure her that kids get coughs and that he was going to be okay, but this lady wasn't having it. She was completely convinced her baby was having a seizure. Um...okay? He wasn't showing any signs of that, he was actually sleeping pretty soundly in spite of the commotion around him. I can understand a new mom overreacting, but where the heck did she get the random seizure idea from?

Last interesting case of the night, Dr. C came up to me with a piece of paper. The words "Pseudotumor Cerebri" were written on it. He told me to look it up and report back to him with questions. Neato! I found that it's a condition effecting the pressure in the brain. It causes terrible headaches and blurred vision. The pressure presses on the eyes and can eventually cause blindness without surgery. Doctor's are still trying to figure out the exact cause of it. Sometimes it can be caused from medications, obesity, or pregnancy. Sometimes it can appear to be caused from nothing in particular. I reported back with my findings. I guess a twelve year old boy came in who had been diagnosed with this condition. I was curious as to how they decipher this from just the run of the mill migraine. The doctor explained that there are many tests done. This little boy was diagnosed after a lumbar puncture and a series of eye tests. 

On a personal note, I have registered for EMT classes next semester. I'm still going to school full time to eventually become a PA (physician assistant), but I'll be doing a three month EMT program at night and on Saturdays in order to gain some more experience in the health field. I'll continue volunteering for the time-being, but this blog may go from adventures in the ER to adventures in the ambulance by summertime. Wish me luck and keep reading!

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