NCGP Senior Project
Children With Leukemia By: Emani Boyd
Know more about a Pediatric Hematologist
A Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist is a doctor who works with children primarily, that have diseases such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia, iron deffiency anemia, and others anemia's. On October 18, 2013 i went to job shadow a Pediatric Hematologist as a piece to my product. During the session, i really learned a lot. Being that i had previously considered making Hematology my career interest, it really was a great experience for me. The Hematologist let me experience a lot including patient visits, a bone marrow biopsy, and a trip to the children's hospital at The Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, NC. Although i could only take pictures of some patients, he allowed me to take pictures of special equipment that was used during the biopsy, and also different things around the hospital.
During the job shadow experience, he informed me about the conditions of the patients that we saw. Overall, i visited 4 people with the hematologist.
The Job Shadowing Experience
Patient #1: The first patient that we saw had a condition known as Hereditary Persistence of Fetal Hemoglobin. Basically, a baby receives hemoglobin as a fetus through the mom, however, after birth the baby should begin to lose that hemoblogin and create its own. With this patient she did not lose her fetal hemoglobin and could never produce regular adult Hemoglobin. For this disease, she must take medicine every day, at least once a day.
Patient #2: Another patient that we saw over came Leukemia, but he had to have a bone marrow transplant. He now wears glasses. and can now only see out of one of his eyes fully because his Leukemia traveled into the brain and caused him to lose eye sight. It has been 5 years since he was first diagnosed. During our visit with this patient, we needed a translator which was very interesting to me. To hear her speak so fluently was very fascinating to me.
Patient #3: This patient is a teenager who was diagnosed with Leukemia. Like the last patient, her Leukemia traveled into the brain and caused her to lose the ability to speak and also the ability to walk. This patient had to have a sequence of Chemotherapy and other occupational therapy.
Patient #4: This patient has had to walk on crutches for over a year due to leg injuries caused by Leukemia. He was first diagnosed with leukemia about 7 years ago, and it traveled to the bone in his leg. The patient had to have certain bolts and screws placed into his leg so that his growth could correspond among both of the legs. After he finally stopped growing, he received a knee replacement and in less than 6 months, he fractured the knee replacement. Finally he had to have another one, and although he says that his pain is sometimes crucial, he manages just fine. This patient stated that he would like to become a principal when he gets older and his motto is "Just because you go through struggles in life, does not stop you from becoming whatever you want to be".
A Bone Marrow Biospy
A bone marrow biopsy is a procedure in which, bone marrow is taken from the patient as a sample to determine whether or not has a condition like Leukemia, Lymphoma, Anemia, etc.. Overall, as i looked over the procedure, it seemed very painful. Of course, the patient was on anesthesia throughout the biopsy.
Interview with Pediatric Hematologist
I learned a lot about different things that can happen to a child as a result of Leukemia. Also the job shadowing experience, helped me figure out whether or not hematology is the career field that i want to go in.
Interview with A patient with Leukemia
It was a good experience to know how a patient with the disease feels on a daily basis. Of course, having any type of disease is hard. However, when you are diagnosed as a child it can be even harder. Adolescent years are the ones that should be filled with fun and laughter. With a disease like Leukemia, how much fun could there possibly be?