The nursery is probably my least favorite place in the hopsital. At any given moment when I walk in there is usually a baby boy crying from the shock and trauma of a circumcision while another infant or two cries out of hunger or simply to be held. Of course there are nurses present, but sometimes they are simply too busy or seemingly immune to the crying to stop it. This morning there were perhaps ten babies in the nursey and three of them needed attention. I saw a harried nurse walk up to one crying SGA (small for gestational age) infant and tell her in a harsh tone “You need to stop now. Stop. Now”. The other nursery nurse was comforting an infant who was on the “circ board”. She attemped to soothe him with the incredibly offensive “Today is a good day! Today is the day you get more good looking!” (Because apparently the uncircumcised penis of an infant is ugly in her mind?) I do what I can; today that meant taking two crying babies in my arms and walking with them until my shift started but then I had to leave the little SGA girl behind. If we left an adult to cry in their hosptial bed it would be considered abuse. If we cut off a functional part of someone’s body without their consent it would be criminal. Yet, both happen every single day in the nursery.
I saw that one of the crying infants was due to be taken to his mother at 8:00 am for feeding. It was 7:45 and some of the nurses tend to keep to a strict schedule. The overworked nurse certainly wasn’t going to do anything about the obviously hungry (rooting, putting hands in his mouth, crying) baby so I offered to take the baby to his mother. It was agreed upon and I was able to reunite the baby with his mother who was happy I had brought him back to her a bit earlier when I noticed his hunger.
It’s the beginning of my fourth week here and I was finally “allowed” to do a consult from start to finish on my own today (under direct observation). The patient was so pleased with my work that she turned to my preceptor (who was observering) and asked if there was a form she could fill out so that my manager would know how “awesome” I was.
I am fairly certain that this job is a bad fit for me. I’ve already started looking for a new position. I’m angry. I am good at what a do and I love it (see above) but I’m pretty miserable for the most part here. That said, we need the money and I want to make progress in my career. So unless things completely go to hell (which seems distinctly possible) I am resovoking to stay until January. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.