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His song

His song THE ART OF MEDICINE Brian T. Maurer, PA-C You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble Back in the laboratory, I insert the swab into a small vial and surround me with songs of deliverance—Psalm 32 of reagent and set the timer. “This kid needs an albuterol neb,” I tell the nurse. his kid’s mom is worried that the cold settled I transfer the reagent to the test strip and reset the timer into his chest,” the nurse tells me. “He looks for 15 minutes. From down the hall I can hear the cries of “Tas happy as a clam, but he does sound kind the baby above the low hum of the nebulizer. He’s not of junky.” She hands me the chart and points me to Exam liking the treatment one bit. I pause to jot down a few Room 3. notes in the chart, check the progress of the test, then head An 8-month-old infant sits in his mother’s lap. He returns back down the hallway to Room 3. my greeting with a big smile, always a reassuring sign in The nurse has adjusted the ventilation mask on the infant’s a sick infant. I offer the mother my hand. “When did he face. Mist leaks from the mask as the baby reclines contently get sick?” I ask. in the mother’s lap. Soft music plays from her smart phone “Two days ago,” she says. “It started out as a runny next to the child’s ear. “Mom says he always calms right nose, then turned into a cough. I think he’s got some phlegm down with this tune,” the nurse says. “A few minutes more in his chest: he can’t get it up.” and we’ll be done.” “How’s he been eating?” I ask, reaching for the stetho- I return to the laboratory to check the test. With 5 min- scope at my neck. utes remaining on the timer, it’s already positive. “Not as well, but he eats.” “It looks like he’s got RSV,” I tell the mother, lifting the I pop the buds into my ears and rest the diaphragm mask off the baby’s face. “Let’s have another listen to his against the child’s chest. A series of coarse wheezes sound chest.” His heart is pounding away, but the wheezing has in my ears. I note the clear nasal discharge. His tympanic decreased considerably. membranes glisten pearly gray. “He’s had a nice response to the treatment,” I tell the “He does sound a bit wheezy,” I say. “Has he ever mother. “Good thing you had that piece of music on your wheezed before?” smartphone. I didn’t catch the tune.” The mother shakes her head no. “Harlem River Drive. It always calms him down when “Sometimes babies wheeze with colds,” I say. “There is I play it,” she says. “It’s from my mother’s memorial ser- one virus in particular that’s known to cause wheezing in vice.” infants: RSV. We’ve got a simple test that I can do here in Her words bring me up short. “Your mother passed the offi ce. It will tell us if he’s got RSV or not. In the mean- away?” time, I’ll have one of the nurses give him a breathing treat- “Back in June. You remember hearing about that early ment. We’ll see how he responds to some medicated mist.” morning accident where a school bus got hit by two I dash out of the examination room and return shortly tractor-trailers? She was driving the bus. It caught on fi re. with a sterile nasal swab. “He won’t like this, but he’ll Thankfully, she hadn’t picked up any kids before she got calm down momentarily.” I instruct her how to hold his hit.” head and quickly insert the applicator into one of his “I’m sorry for your loss,” I say. nostrils. The boy lets out a hoarse cry. “Time to cuddle,” Later, I fi nd an empty desk in the back offi ce and do an I say. “The nurse will be in directly.” internet search on the laptop. A few key words bring up a news clip of the accident. Briefl y, I watch the school bus engulfed in fl ames. I close the window, push back in the chair, and stare up at the ceiling. A minute passes. I lean Brian T. Maurer has practiced general pediatrics for forward, open a new window, and type the words into a more than 40 years. He is the author of Patients Are a Virtue and blogs at http://briantmaurer.wordpress. new search bar: “Bobbi Humphrey Harlem River Drive.” com. The author has disclosed no potential confl icts I click on the link, sit back, and listen. The instrumental of interest, fi nancial or otherwise. score transports me to another realm, a place of peace. I Tanya Gregory, PhD, department editor let the song play through to the end. It lasts 8 minutes: DOI:10.1097/01.JAA.0000791500.82012.4c time enough to cover a breathing treatment, time enough Copyright © 2021 American Academy of PAs to settle a soul. JAAPA 58 www.JAAPA.com Volume 34 • Number 10 • October 2021 Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Physician Assistants http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants Wolters Kluwer Health

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Publisher
Wolters Kluwer Health
Copyright
Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Physician Assistants
ISSN
1547-1896
eISSN
0893-7400
DOI
10.1097/01.jaa.0000791500.82012.4c
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Abstract

THE ART OF MEDICINE Brian T. Maurer, PA-C You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble Back in the laboratory, I insert the swab into a small vial and surround me with songs of deliverance—Psalm 32 of reagent and set the timer. “This kid needs an albuterol neb,” I tell the nurse. his kid’s mom is worried that the cold settled I transfer the reagent to the test strip and reset the timer into his chest,” the nurse tells me. “He looks for 15 minutes. From down the hall I can hear the cries of “Tas happy as a clam, but he does sound kind the baby above the low hum of the nebulizer. He’s not of junky.” She hands me the chart and points me to Exam liking the treatment one bit. I pause to jot down a few Room 3. notes in the chart, check the progress of the test, then head An 8-month-old infant sits in his mother’s lap. He returns back down the hallway to Room 3. my greeting with a big smile, always a reassuring sign in The nurse has adjusted the ventilation mask on the infant’s a sick infant. I offer the mother my hand. “When did he face. Mist leaks from the mask as the baby reclines contently get sick?” I ask. in the mother’s lap. Soft music plays from her smart phone “Two days ago,” she says. “It started out as a runny next to the child’s ear. “Mom says he always calms right nose, then turned into a cough. I think he’s got some phlegm down with this tune,” the nurse says. “A few minutes more in his chest: he can’t get it up.” and we’ll be done.” “How’s he been eating?” I ask, reaching for the stetho- I return to the laboratory to check the test. With 5 min- scope at my neck. utes remaining on the timer, it’s already positive. “Not as well, but he eats.” “It looks like he’s got RSV,” I tell the mother, lifting the I pop the buds into my ears and rest the diaphragm mask off the baby’s face. “Let’s have another listen to his against the child’s chest. A series of coarse wheezes sound chest.” His heart is pounding away, but the wheezing has in my ears. I note the clear nasal discharge. His tympanic decreased considerably. membranes glisten pearly gray. “He’s had a nice response to the treatment,” I tell the “He does sound a bit wheezy,” I say. “Has he ever mother. “Good thing you had that piece of music on your wheezed before?” smartphone. I didn’t catch the tune.” The mother shakes her head no. “Harlem River Drive. It always calms him down when “Sometimes babies wheeze with colds,” I say. “There is I play it,” she says. “It’s from my mother’s memorial ser- one virus in particular that’s known to cause wheezing in vice.” infants: RSV. We’ve got a simple test that I can do here in Her words bring me up short. “Your mother passed the offi ce. It will tell us if he’s got RSV or not. In the mean- away?” time, I’ll have one of the nurses give him a breathing treat- “Back in June. You remember hearing about that early ment. We’ll see how he responds to some medicated mist.” morning accident where a school bus got hit by two I dash out of the examination room and return shortly tractor-trailers? She was driving the bus. It caught on fi re. with a sterile nasal swab. “He won’t like this, but he’ll Thankfully, she hadn’t picked up any kids before she got calm down momentarily.” I instruct her how to hold his hit.” head and quickly insert the applicator into one of his “I’m sorry for your loss,” I say. nostrils. The boy lets out a hoarse cry. “Time to cuddle,” Later, I fi nd an empty desk in the back offi ce and do an I say. “The nurse will be in directly.” internet search on the laptop. A few key words bring up a news clip of the accident. Briefl y, I watch the school bus engulfed in fl ames. I close the window, push back in the chair, and stare up at the ceiling. A minute passes. I lean Brian T. Maurer has practiced general pediatrics for forward, open a new window, and type the words into a more than 40 years. He is the author of Patients Are a Virtue and blogs at http://briantmaurer.wordpress. new search bar: “Bobbi Humphrey Harlem River Drive.” com. The author has disclosed no potential confl icts I click on the link, sit back, and listen. The instrumental of interest, fi nancial or otherwise. score transports me to another realm, a place of peace. I Tanya Gregory, PhD, department editor let the song play through to the end. It lasts 8 minutes: DOI:10.1097/01.JAA.0000791500.82012.4c time enough to cover a breathing treatment, time enough Copyright © 2021 American Academy of PAs to settle a soul. JAAPA 58 www.JAAPA.com Volume 34 • Number 10 • October 2021 Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Physician Assistants

Journal

Journal of the American Academy of Physician AssistantsWolters Kluwer Health

Published: Oct 1, 2021

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