After completing my call shift this morning, I’m officially finished with obstetric anesthesiology as a resident. I might never do a lumbar labor epidural ever again. 😯
The experience of providing targeted neuraxial analgesia and safe, surgical anesthetics for laboring parturients has been incredibly fulfilling and given me many opportunities for instant gratification. There’s nothing like having a first-time, tearful mother in indescribable labor pain at 2 AM get some much needed rest after the placement of a well functioning epidural. Less pain = less stress hormones = happy mom = even happier baby. =D
In residency, I’ve completed five months of obstetric anesthesia, performed countless anesthetics, and supervised even more. I hope I’ve taught the junior trainees practical tips about neuraxial anesthetic placement (epidurals, spinals, combined spinal-epidurals) and imparted more of the “human” aspect of caring for these women at such a special time in their lives.
I was also incredibly lucky to work with labor and delivery nurses who helped nudge me along arduous call shifts, ob/gyn residents who showed an incredible level of dedication to their trade, and support staff who were the glue to our daily operations. I’m indebted to my attendings for making each day fun, educational, and productive, but for also giving me the autonomy to call the shots at this point in my training. 🙂