23 May 2008

Despite the fact that we were not assigned in any ward in Fabella Hospital, that still didn't help me sleep early last Sunday night. Aris and I promised that we'd sleep around 9:30 (the latest) so we have enough energy for the duty the following day. We hit the sack at around 10 (so much for promises. LOL!) but the last time I checked my watch, it was 10:45 and I still couldn't sleep. I probably dozed off after an hour or so.

So anyway, we got there an hour early, had breakfast at Ministop and headed inside the hospital 10 minutes before 6. My groupmates and I were waiting for our CI (clinical instructor) and we were all hoping for one thing. We were hoping that our CI would be nice and approachable. Thank god, she was. She even told us to go out and get some breakfast and be back after an hour. Whew!

At 7:00, we went back and was asked to change to our scrub suits. We were assigned at the CDR (Cord Dressing Room). For my non-med friends, the baby is brought from the DR (Deliver Room) to the CDR where we make the final cut on the baby's umbilical cord, give the baby his/her first bath and optic antibiotic and finally get the baby's measurements.

We were told to work in pairs, one for doing the cord dressing and the other for jotting down the baby's measurements. Aris and I volunteered to be the first pair (naks! bibong-bibo! LOL) as there was already a baby waiting to be bathed. Our CI demonstrated how it's done so we'd know what to do. I was just shocked when our CI was scrubbing the baby's body so hard and combing the baby's hair like she was trying to pull them out. But I soon realized that if they didn't do it, then the blood and other "stuff" on the baby's body would attract ants and the ants might get in the baby's ears. And I thought she was just being plain brutal. Hehehe!

After an hour and a half, all five of us in the group had 1 case each. We were getting excited everytime we would see another pregnant woman being rolled in the DR (this is where we hung out while waiting for newborns) because it meant a new case for our group. FYI, PRC requires that we each should have 5 cord dressing cases. I had 2 from my previous duty so I still have 3 to go.

There were 3 highlights of our duty and this is one of them: We were particularly thrilled when we found out that one of the mommies was having twins! It's a shame I wasn't able to handle them. I just have a thing for twins. :-) Unfortunately, one of the twins was having a hard time breathing. They had to put his head in this dome so they can give oxygen.

Second highlight of the duty was when there was a stillborn case. It was a premature birth and the baby died while still in the womb. I almost cried when I saw the lifeless baby on the table. It was a good thing our CI asked me to log our cases so I wasn't the one to do the cord dressing of the dead baby. Otherwise, if it were me doing it, I might cry and it would really be embarrassing.

I was so psyched to see the first few newborns that I totally forgot the possibility that there could also be deaths. I may not be a mother (yet) but I do feel for those moms whose babies have died. Yesterday alone, in our shift, there were I think 5 abortions (unintentional) already. Imagine carrying your baby in your womb only to find out that it's dead already and the doctors and midwives need to take it out. And what's even worse is that after that process, the doctors would have to perform D&C AKA "raspa" to make sure that there aren't any remnants of the baby or the placenta left in the uterus that may cause the mom to bleed.

Third and final highlight of our duty was to be able to witness a normal birth with the aid of the forceps. Our CI told us that we could watch it because we might not get another chance. All five of us went to the DR table and was the patient being prepped for the forceps delivery. I cannot begin to explain my shock how this was done. All I can describe is the head of the baby after being pulled from the mom's "canal". The baby's head literally looked like a conehead. The back of the head was obviously elongated. A small price the baby has to pay for a safe delivery.

So there.... you could just imagine how our day was. We all smelled like sweat, a hint of blood and a dash of lochia(click to see definition). All five of us had two cases each. We wanted to stay longer to complete the required number of cases but our time was up. I really hope we could go back and next time we do, I hope we get to be assigned in the DR. :-)