This semester is really bringing me back to my childhood. The current rotation that I am in is Pediatrics and the nursing care that applies to them. I can definitely say this is a topic that brings me slight anxiety after being a babysitter for x amount of years and I know the horrors that come with a sick child. I am deeply interested to figure out how children work differently than the adult population, but getting over the screaming/crying children was something I did not feel like dealing with at 7am Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Baby, oh baby!
Within this rotation my clinical group rotates to a various amount of outpatient and inpatient pediatric settings. Since it is only my first week back in the hospital I only have seen the floor that I will be on once during orientation and got to attend my first outpatient setting—daycare.
I will be completely honest with you and say I have never held a baby before in my life. They are just so fragile and tiny and I am way too clumsy to hold something that precious (plus their little heads are so soft. What if I broke it? You can't buy a new baby at Toys R Us)!
When I looked at the schedule and saw that the first interaction I would have with these children is when they're all emotionally distraught from being dropped off by their parents, I was deeply nervous. I do well with the slow-moving geriatric community, not babies that have snot coming out of their faces and just want to slam blocks off of my forehead.
All my fears were confirmed the second I stepped into the first of two infant rooms (with no shoes on). I felt pretty vulnerable when I made contact with a little nugget and she burst out into tears. OK, so I was 0/1 within 3 seconds of being there, not my best.
OK, so maybe babies aren't so bad after all
The instructors advised me that since I was a bit bigger than the babies I should get down on their level to seem less intimidating. Once I got on the ground I must have looked like the coolest jungle gym ever because I could not get those little tikes off of me. Those babies knew deep down I have a heart and they were absolutely determined to bring it out of me. Every little motion I made this one little girl would giggle beyond control and it truly did make my day.
This little human who is so innocent and ignorant to this big world made everything seem so pure and fresh. Who knew that I could learn how to just relax and appreciate the moment from a six month old? Reality set back in when I moved to the second infant room and the whole eye-contact-and-sobbing-once-Rachel-entered-the-room-thing occurred again. Maybe it was my scent, who knows, but I was really setting this place into a crying fit with my presence.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is worth it
After a day filled with drool, snot, tears, and smiles I learned that babies are a lot more self-sufficient than I thought. Every little cry and movement meant something to them and is a huge step in the bigger scheme of development.
I love this major that I'm in because I'm constantly being forced out of my comfort zone. I always try to live by the saying "I'm only comfortable when I'm out of my comfort zone" because it gets me to try new things I would never normally dare to. On the drive down I said to my classmate that I would not hold a baby if it was the last thing I did that day, and here I am standing on the other side a big mushball of love for babies and how absolutely adorable they are.
You never know what changes are capable of happening to you until you try!