The purpose of this manual is to help you get acquainted with some of the special surgical problems in infants and children. They are different from adults!
The primary goal of this service is to provide excellent surgical care for children in this region. In general, there is very little that we as a service cannot manage. The answer to any call should be “We will be happy to see the patient and I will be there as soon as possible”. If you are unsure as to what we can provide please ask the fellow or attending on call. Never turn anyone anyway or refer to another service without the express instruction by the fellow or attending.
Parents are worried and anxious so communication is critical. It will help to be understanding and polite despite the late hour and often-hurried workload. Care plans should be discussed with the attending or fellow before discussion with families to avoid confusion. As a general rule: DO NOT ARGUE WITH PARENTS. Having a sick child in the hospital is a very stressful situation for most parents and probably is at an increased level compared to that which you have experienced on most adult services.
Despite your medical knowledge, parents probably know their child better than you do, especially those children with chronic health problems when there has been frequent contact with the health care system. Problems that occur with parents regarding patient management, questions, etc, should be brought to the attention of the fellows and attending. If a disagreement does occur, a safe response is to say “I don’t know. I will ask your surgeon”. In the long run this will instill parent’s confidence in you and make for a smoother hospital stay.
We are conducting a number of clinical research studies at any given time and you will be given information regarding them. Your participation in these studies is greatly appreciated. If you have suggestions for this manual, please share them with us. They may be incorporated into a future printing of this manual.