Surviving Community Paediatrics
1) Hello my name is…On your first day, do a tour of the children’s centre and make friends with EVERYBODY!!! This should include but not exclusive too- physiotherapists, OT, speech and language, portage, dieticians plus who ever else you can find! It’s a big big team out there…
2) Get super organised! If you don’t own one already buy a diary. You’re often expected to organise your own schedule on community and it’s advisable not to double or triple book yourself. You’ll also need to jot down all your new friends contact details…
3) Think outside of clinic- Clinic is not the be all and end all. It’s important but this is also your opportunity to get out there and experience other aspects of paediatrics. You could try hydrotherapy, spend a day in a special school or experience the world of health visiting…The world is your oyster.
4) Follow your patient’s journey- Choose a patient and follow their journey during your rotation as they rotate through various aspects of community paediatric care. It’s nice to see them progress and makes you very proud of our fabulous national health service.
5) Get stuck into child protection- Child protection is here to stay. Make sure you use this time to experience this multifaceted subject. You’ll be grateful when you’re the consultant (which ever specialty) having to deal with it.
6) Learn about child development properly, once and for all, beyond what you needed for the clinical exam. Learn it once, learn it well, use it forever.
7) Keep on top of the paperwork- There can be fair bit in a community job and clinic letters do tend to be a tad longer. If you have free time after doing your letters use it to finish that quality improvement project, or write up that case report you’ve been meaning to get around to.
8) Experience education- Schools are wonderful positive places and a vital cog in ensuring child well being and development. Make sure you have a full understanding of the statement system and spend some time with an educational psychologist. It’s important healthcare and education understand each other.
9) Take pride in your appearance- This is your rare opportunity to wear nice clothes and shoes. You’re less likely to be vomited on and won’t be expected to run to A+E.
10) Have lunch in a park- Enjoy the different pace in community and take the occasional opportunity to have a lie in or work from home. Eat your lunch outside or go shopping in your lunch break like a regular person!
If you enjoyed this, then you may also like our guide to surviving neonates!