Sometimes, with the drug seekers, the drama queens, and the legal requirement of pulling elderly people trying to mercifully go in peace from the sweet arms of death, I get in a completely shitty mood and forget why I do this job. I had actually just dealt with the latter in my trauma room- a 78 year old Alzheimer's patient in respiratory distress that the family (over the phone, of course) insisted be intubated- when I got orders back for a little boy who was being seen for knee pain.
I should probably mention that pediatric patients scare the hell out of me- especially when they need IVs. In this case, our tech had already stuck him- but whoops, didn't draw all of the labs the doctor ordered, nor did she start a line. Balls. So, we have to go back in there and put an IV in this little three year old who's already hurting. As we're prepping him, I chat with him about his spider man shirt and ask him if he wants to be a superhero when he grows up. He says no, that he wants to be a policeman. He gets really excited and tells me that he saw one at the store earlier that day. We stick him, and I bring him a popsickle, and he's pretty happy, but I get the idea that I can do more.
It was pretty slow, so I ran up to triage and grabbed the cops posted up there. I explain to them that I have a little boy who idolizes the police and ask if they would go talk to him for a little while. Both of them gathered some stuff up and came back to talk to the little boy- they brought him a little police badge and a bear, and told him that they had heard he was a brave kid, and that they needed his help to be a deputy. They gave him two stuffed animals as a reward for being their helper. He was so excited. I have never seen a kid's eyes light up like that before- I know that they completely made his day. I had tears in my eyes watching how great they were with him, and how happy he was- and I had this moment like, oh, yeah. This is the reason that I do this job. I remember now.
We actually ended up transferring him to the children's hospital- the doctor started to suspect he had septic arthritis- but I felt so good that he would actually have one happy memory from a pretty traumatic day.