The teaching hospital in Ogbomosho is always a delight, working there really makes me happy but I’ve found that I’m not that much of a fan of clinical practice in itself. Starting paediatrics came with anxiety, although I’m not much of an anxious person, rumours of monstrous consultants and tiny babies with their tiny veins and big problems set me on edge. The one specialty I was sure I was not going to follow through in postgraduate studies has always been pediatrics, did this posting change that? No, but I realized it’s not as bad as people make it out to be.
We were splited into four groups on arrival, each group attached to a unit and then we would swap every other 4 days or so, since we had 3 weeks to spend in the hospital. Every morning there was morning review which started by 8:30am and last for an hour or there about from there we all moved out to our stations. They were four in total; the ward, the Children Emergency Unit (CEU), the Special Care Baby Unit (SEBU) and the clinics.
I started my posting on the ward with a group of 3 other people and it was very lightweight, we had minimal patients, about 5 in total and by the time I was rotating out they we about two left, some were discharged and some left against medical advice. It’s always sad to see patients leave like that, cause it’s never really their decision, it’s that of the parents and we would never know if that’s what the child would really have wanted. I think the biggest issue we have in Nigeria for sure is poverty.
From the ward we moved on to CEU, which was actually more stressful. We saw so many cases of cerebral malaria that I think I can actual treat cerebral malaria on my own now and guy let me just tell you if you see a child or anyone else for that matter convulse, please do not put anything in their mouth. It doesn’t help, quite frankly it could make things much worse because such things can easily get stuck in their throat and they can suffocate on that. It could kill. In CEU you meet babies that wail at the mere sight of you and others that just smile and stay still, such children are the paediatrician’s pride and joy.
I was stressed out during this posting, because there was this week when I was got home 9pm or later everyday and I just found myself depressed at some point. I don’t know why. It things like this that make me think perphaps clinical practice is really not for me.
Next was clinic, I actually enjoyed the clinics there were mostly happy kids but that’s also where we admitted a case of queried nephroblastoma, queried means we were not sure.
Nephroblastoma is the most frequent malignant renal tumor in children and is associated with an abnormal proliferation of cells that resemble the kidney cells of an embryo (metanephroma), leading to the term embryonal tumor.
He eventually died so that was sad, but to be fair he was brought in quite late and was already in a severe state, they was only so much that could be done and his parents had already given up before he passed. He was 5 and the second of a twin. The hospital is a sad place but also a happy one depending on how you want to see it.
Next, SCBU. We were there for the shortest period of time. The SEBU is a sterile environment so we weren’t allowed in with our wardcoats, bags or shoes. The commonest cases there were preterm babies and cases of neonatal jaundice. Babies are truly the most beautiful creatures in the entire universe. Looking at a baby does something to you, inside you. I’m looking forward to watching a baby being born in O&G department. But until then the kids are alright.
Moving to the teaching hospital in Osogbo after the Easter celebrations, I know it’s going to be more hectic so I’m taking my time to rest and prepare myself for work.
Happy Easter guys! Enjoy.