The OB Intern

childbirth_by_bahus

She opens the door to the delivery room, takes a deep breath and says a prayer to start her day.

Then she hangs her smock gown and reveals her blue scrub suit— her lucky scrub suit which she hopes will not bring a mass of patients that will render her “toxic”. She is very superstitious.

There are 2 patients when she entered the labor room, and there are 2 more walking back and forth the hallway to hasten labor. A thought crosses her mind: the look on a woman’s face in labor is also reminiscent of someone in orgasm, how ironic that both pain and pleasure can paint the same look on their faces.

She gets the doppler machine, some gloves and lubricating jelly.

She does the routine internal exam for all patients — checking cervical dilatation, cervical effacement and station of the fetal head. Then she checks all the fetal heartbeats using the doppler.

She sits at the table and works on her operative technique just in case they will have a  patient requiring Cesarean Section (CS); most probably they will have 2 or 3.

Then she hears a commotion, followed by someone hollering: “Doc, DDR!”

Which simply means Direct to Delivery Room. A patient who comes to the ER in full cervical dilation is wheeled in directly to the delivery room.

She walks briskly to the delivery room (DR),  puts on sterile gloves, applies the drapes and positions herself in front of the patient.

With the help of the nurses an the midwives at the DR, who she knows are better than her in telling  the patient how to push the baby out, the intern puts her hand on the mother’s gravid abdomen and instructs her to push when it becomes stony hard.

She takes the bandage forceps as the head crowns the opening and does a mediolateral episiotomy*.

Then she guides the baby out, cuts the cord and hands the baby to the nurses for the routine newborn care.

She puts a little traction on the cord and delivers the placenta.

Then she does a lavage of the uterus to check for possible placental retention and to evacuate blood clots.

Then she proceeds to her favorite part: repairing the episiotomy by suturing the mucosa and the skin back together.

When it’s done, she leaves the delivery room, writes her post-partum orders and waits for the next delivery.

Then she gets a call from her resident. The patient for Cesarean section (CS) is being wheeled in at the OR. She takes her pre-written Operative Technique, the main OR logbook, dons her smock gown and heads to the OR to scrub-in as first-assistant to the surgeon.

After scrubbing out, she writes the post-op orders, copies the operative findings of her resident, makes another copy, fills in the histopathology request and writes a prescription.

For her tour of duty she delivers an average of 7 normal childbirths on her own.

Scrubs in on 3-6 operations.

Zero sleep.

By the end of  24 hours she is dead tired with fatigue.

Such is the life of an OB intern on-duty.

*Episiotomy is a procedure where the skin between the vagina and the anus (the perineum) is cut. It is done occasionally to enlarge the vaginal opening so that a baby can be more easily delivered.

(MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia)

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