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Pediatrics Rotations as a PA Student

By Erika,

Really channeling my inner child on this rotation! Working with Peds patients is such a special art! They come in sick, scared of shots, and drug in against their will😅 nobody likes that! I have been working every shift to find new ways to connect and interact well with kids and their parents!

On our Peds rotation, we see kids as young as 2-3 days old and as old as 18. With every age group, you have to adapt to meet their level of understanding! Here are some things I have learned on my Peds rotation so far, *Save* this for when it’s your turn to take care of the kiddos!

🧸If they are really young start by introducing yourself to the parent and showing them that mom/dad is comfortable with you!

🧸 Save the more invasive exams for last. Ears, mouth, abdomen, genitalia are all probably going to make them cry/uncomfortable so save it for the end!

🧸Let them look at your stethoscope or otoscope before you use it! Show them what it does and that it won’t hurt! If they have an older sibling sometimes evaluating the older sibling first can help them be less scared!

🧸 Perform as much of the exam as you can with them sitting in mom/dad's lap. You can usually listen to lungs and heart at a minimum which is great since they are likely not crying yet!

🧸 Obesity is very prevalent in Peds and counseling on nutritious eating and exercise should be a priority! I always emphasize that it’s not a “diet” to lose weight it’s changing out junk food for some nutritious food to help make our bodies healthier!

🧸If a baby has a fever in the first 3 months they go straight to the ED!

🧸 Babies should not start drinking milk until 1 and it should be Whole milk (it can Constipate them or they may be lactose intolerant, so keep an eye out for that!)

🧸 Get to know the things kids are into! Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Minecraft, Animal Crossing, Pokémon, etc. kids love when you can connect about this!

🧸 You won’t always recognize abnormal findings right off the bat! I was able to recognize wheezing and a heart murmur but I missed an umbilical hernia (thought it was a giant outie belly button 😂)! We are STUDENTS, just keep learning! 🐠

A version of this blog post first appeared on Erika's Instagram. To view the original version, click here.

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