Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Newborn Exam

Today, after my ENT appointment, I had my FIRST CLINICAL EXPERIENCE WITH A REAL, LIVE PATIENT. She was a whopping two days old and one of the most cooperative people I have ever met. The communication was pretty one-sided, but I think that's pretty normal. That's right - today, I learned how to do the newborn exam.

I was in a small group, and we started out by meeting the father and the patient - both of whom were equally cooperative. It was cool to see how proud he was of his daughter. The mother was still taking a break in the other room, and the exam was done in the newborn nursery of the hospital, so we didn't end up meeting her. Anyway, since she was only two days old, the patient didn't quite look like the above photo (thank you Wikipedia) of a baby. She looked more like... this:

The exam went really, really well. The attending physician first ran through it very slowly, showing us each step and repeating names of things conditions, disorders, etc., when asked. We had all come prepared having watched the below video and run through what we would need to do beforehand, but it was really good to see it in person:

Afterward, we were given the choice to go through the exam individually (start to finish), or to go through it as a group, with each of us taking turns on each step. We opted to do it as a group in order to minimize the time that our poor patient spent with us poking and prodding her, eliciting reflexes and checking her over from head to toe.

I don't know about you, but until this experience I had absolutely no clue how much the doctors and nurses check in the newborn exam! I'm sure you could do it really quickly with a lot of practice, but there's a lot that gets covered. It was a really cool experience, in part because at this point in med school it's just fun doing anything clinical in nature, but also because it's a glimpse of what is beyond all this. It's a small, teeeeeeny-tiny taste of what it will be like to be useful to someone other than another med student who also happens to be preparing for a multiple choice examination.

It was fun. Looking forward to the next clinical experience - which is tomorrow afternoon! I'll be making a home visit with a partner so we can meet our elderly patient visit! Two in TWO DAYS! Add to these experiences the Radiology exam I took online this morning, the ENT visit after that, the Pharmacology exam I take in person tomorrow morning, and my nephew's fifth birthday party tomorrow evening, these are two pretty packed days!

1 comment:

Susan said...

Very cool and exciting things now and ahead!! Keep at it!!

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