Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU): 20 Lessons Every House-Officer Must Realize… Numbers 2, 6 & 17 Is so true!!!

Healthy babies are beautiful outcomes of pregnancy. However, some other babies do not do so well in the whole process.

These babies would most often be observed more closely at the Special Care Baby Unit, SCBU.

It is a specialized unit designed for the proper management and observation of ‘critical’ babies, would may not survive otherwise.

An anonymous House Officer, who gave his all during his SCBU posting has complied this list of lessons for all who are newbies to SCBU…

Lessons from SCBU posting

1. Puting our age of viability @ 24weeks gestational age is grandios delusion.

2. It’s sometimes easier to cannulate some preterms than some adults. Cannulation is not as special as the chiefs make it seem.

3. To the nurses, a line is in tissue until proven otherwise. To a house officer, a line is in situ until proven otherwise. The nurses are always on the look out for lines in tissue. Their happiest moment comes when they find one that has undeniably emigrated. They quickly pick up the chart and write “Line in tissue. Doctor informed.”

4- Your conscience is your greatest barometer

5- The best gift you can present to a lady on her wedding day is a pack of Folic acid. Let’s reduce the incidence and prevalence of spinal dysraphisms.

6- There is no closing time.

7- There are more RBS, PCV, microESR and SB results than the number of glucometer strips and capillary tubes used.

8- IVF carried out today is a potential punishment for the would be SCBU HO in 28wks time. He who must embark on IVF-achieved pregnancy must be prepared for the challenges of SCBU.

9- The side lab is a divine arrangement to place your destiny in your hands.

10- A day without trouble is a good day. Always come to work with the mindset that you’re potentially on extra-shift.

11- A relatively stable patient may deteriorate and die at anytime. From paediatrics to geriatrics, the story is the same.

12- Giving ciprofloxacin with a 2ml syringe is injustice.

13- Never expect pipeline always…

14- As it is in labour ward, so it is in SCBU.

15- Your body is never willing to go to work neither is your spirit.

16- The weighing scale is as inconsistent as Arsenal Football Club. A baby that weighed 950g yesterday may weigh 800g today and then 1000g tomorrow.

17- Blood culture has never yielded any growth….

18- Every baby has hyponatremia, metabolic acidosis and thrombocytopenia.

19- Always document. If it’s not written, it was not done.

20- Posting in SCBU is a risk factor for tinitus and vitamin D deficiency.

21) HO pre-round summary, Documenting for Reg, SR, Consultant plus weekend call rounds are dreaded.

22) Its better to site 20 adult IV lines than taking sample into capillary tube.

23) Everyone outside thinks you’re avoiding them.

24) You go home everyday thinking about the next day!

Hope this helps you as you enter the world of babies.

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Dr E
The Admin is a Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Certified Medical Doctor, with profound expertise in Medical Content Creation and Medical Citizen Journalism. He is popular for being a fast-rising online voice in Nigeria, with a flair for animated writing. He is a professional health content writer. He loves to swim, read and play board games. He sees himself as one who is destined to play a role in the way health services are rendered to the human race.