Don’t drop the baby

I can’t believe I am already almost done with my second rotation of my clinical year! It’s crazy! My R1 was at a community medicine clinic in Portland and now I am in my women’s health rotation in Astoria. I have already assisted with several cesarean deliveries and this week I inserted my first IUDs! It seems incredibly surreal.

During my second week here, I was waiting with my preceptor for a patient to be prepped for a cesarean section when he casually says to me, “Oh, and by the way, you will be my assist in this case.” And then after that he adds, “Just don’t drop the baby when I hand it to you.” That was it! No other pointers on what he expected from me and what I had to do as his assistant. Just, “Don’t drop the baby.” To put things into perspective, I had only been in an OR one day in my life, and that had been the previous week. Needless to say, I was more than a little nervous. A few minutes later a nurse hands me some knee high shoe covers and says, “You will need these. There is a lot more blood on the side of the patient you will be standing.” What?!!! As I walk into the OR all I can think is that I am going to be a bloody mess and will drop the baby on its head, or just pass out altogether. I don’t know how, but I somehow muddle my way through the surgery and walk the baby safely to the warmer. It helps that my preceptor is incredibly patient and knows that I have to start somewhere. Since then, I have been his assist with three other cesareans and a hysterectomy. I keep on pinching myself each day to make sure this is real.

Next up is my emergency medicine rotation in Prineville. I am definitely looking forward to it, but wish I had more time here in Astoria. I am learning so much and really enjoying myself, but I know I will probably feel the same about many of my other rotations. At least now I know I won’t pass out at the sight of blood spilling from a person’s abdomen and can be trusted to carry a newborn.