12 hours ago
Yesterday I had the unique privilege of watching two young hearts stop, then start beating again. ❤️ ❤️
Throughout the day, I learned a bit about caring for children with congenital heart defects but more about how to be a good doctor. I learned that often times, being a pediatric specialist means not only taking care of your patients, but also their families. This can mean bringing a dad who has been up all night in the hospital with his son a cup of coffee during morning rounds. (I swear, I’ve never seen a man go from completely miserable to happy so quickly!). This means spending extra time answering every little question two young parents have about their baby’s upcoming operation, even if they later mention that they’ve been consulting physicians at other hospitals as well. Importantly, this also means setting realistic expectations for moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
While families don’t necessarily understand all of the details of an operation or how severe a condition may be, what they do understand is time. They know that the longer the procedure, generally the more complicated things are. And although the act of sewing a patch onto a hole in the heart, for instance, may take only an hour, what they really care about is how long it takes for their child to leave their protection for pre-op prep and be returned to them again (which is likely more on the order of 3-4 hours). And while you may like to promise them less time, provide reassurance that everything will be okay, you cannot know with 100% certainty that this will be true. The human body is so complicated, after all. But what you can promise them is that while that child is in your care, under your watchful eye, you will do your very best to assure that no harm comes to them. 💕