Every time I talk about being in my pediatrics rotation, the conversation always somehow shifts to how sad it must be. And of course, over the course of this rotation I’ve encountered a lot of sad situations. The thing is though, at least for me, when you actually meet these kids, often the last thing you think about is how sad it all is that they’re sick.
In my very, very limited experience, think one of the worst mistakes you can make when working in pediatrics is assuming the patient is sad because they are in the clinic, or in the hospital, or because of the situation. Actually, that maybe applies to all medicine, but maybe especially with kids. A lot of the kids I’ve worked with are happy, normal kids. Nurse, doctors, hospitals, medicine, for some of them that’s the only life they’ve known, and sure you may think that’s sad because you think they are missing out on some part of life that you got to experience, but just because that’s how you see their life, doesn’t mean that’s how they see their life.
I’m not denying that any illness, regardless of severity, can be associated with sadness, depression, anxiety, stress. When bad things happen to kids, it’s especially sad, but that’s why it feels all the more special when you get a chance to be a part of their joy, to maybe let them feel “normal,” or to help them get better.