Momwithastethoscope's Weblog

September 22, 2009

Loving Pediatric Medicine – the anti-rant

Filed under: Uncategorized — momwithastethoscope @ 3:02 pm
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Reason Number 22: Tricks of the trade. Let me define what I mean by tricks – skills gained by experience – not pranks or deceit. A great deal of rapport with children lies in the trust they instill in me as their doctor. So pulling a fast one on a three year old can do a lot to dismantle the sometimes fragile bridge between us. Being deliberate and truthful with all ages of patients goes a long way for me.
One of my favorite aspects of pediatrics is the first hospital visit after a baby is born. Often, relatives and friends gather in the room of the new parents. After introducing myself, I like to scoop up the newborn under the arms supporting the baby’s buttocks with my other hand and gently bounce the infant. Many times, the baby will open his or her eyes and regard the well-wishers. For some parents, this is the first opportunity to gaze into the eyes of their child. This same technique calms crying babies, too, so it is helpful on return visit when new parents feel sleep deprived and frazzled. The bounce helps me determine if a baby wants to be held – those babies quiet quickly when moved up and down – versus a hungry infant who needs to be fed. Bouncing babies also helps waken a sleepy baby as most are in the first 24 hours after delivery.
Mary Poppins sang about a spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down. I’ve found that to be true. Prednisolone syrup tastes pretty bad – no matter how sophisticated the flavoring. All have a slick, oily aftertaste that makes me gag and many children vomit. Liquid amoxicillin-clavulenate and cefpodoxime are also poor in the taste category. Chocolate syrup is my go-to spoonful of sugar, but I have the occasional patient who doesn’t like sweet tastes or chocolate. For these I usually suggest chasing the medication with a teaspoon of barbeque sauce. To be a good “chaser” for medication – the flavor needs to be dense with a thick texture. I’ve suggested honey-mustard sauce and ketchup. Ranch dressing also gets a nod of approval.
Do you have a trick of the trade to make your job in medicine easier? E-mail me @ and I’ll devote a future post to your ideas.


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