This past weekend, I had my first clinicals in the newborn nursery for my obstetrics rotation.  I spent the entire two days with the hours-old infants and assessed them, rocked them, changed them, took them to their moms to be fed, charted their vital signs and LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!  We also were fortunate enough to be present when a NEW newborn was brought up to the nursery and we were able to give him his vitamin K shot, eurythromycin, and first bath!  Then he was chillin’ at the spa under the heat lamp for awhile while his proud daddy watched through the window.  SO CUTE! 

I also observed a couple baby boys being circumcised, and let me tell you…if I never see that again it will be too soon.  This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t circumcise my own son, if I ever have one, because I probably will.  The risk for infection is greatly decreased, and I would absolutely HATE to have to do this to a toddler or worse, an older child.  At least infants won’t remember it…

The experience was such a shocking one (I’m not sure what I expected, I mean, I knew the foreskin was cut off.  It wasn’t likely that magical fairies would come to tap the little penis with their wands and the foreskin would desintegrate into a shimmer of fairy dust), and because I am a nursing student, and in the event that other nursing students stumble across this blog…I want them to see just what it’s all about.

The baby is strapped down so that he is safe from flailing/getting cut anywhere other than the penis/trying to escape:


The nurses prepare the sterile field for the doctor as well as tylenol and sugar water for the baby (this helps to prevent infection and for them to stay calm through the procedure).  About an hour prior to the procedure, the baby’s penis is covered in lidocaine to numb the area.


Now this is where it gets crazy.  I wish I had a picture of this because it was out of control.  The doctor snips the tip of the foreskin like this:


Then PULLS the foreskin to assess how much will be cut.  Now when I say “pull”, I don’t mean just a little tug, like, “yeah, my pants are a little too short, let me just pull at ’em a bit to make them look longer”…no.  This was more like, “Dude, I’m stretching some taffy right now, do you think you can grab the end here and walk on over to the other side of the room?  K, thanks.”

I don’t even know what the word “exaggerate” means.

Next, the foreskin is slid down so that the underneath is exposed, and a clamp is attached to isolate the foreskin so that only the skin to be removed is cut:




Once the foreskin is isolated, the doctor takes a blade that sort of resembles a box cutter and slices around the clamp.  This reminded me of taking a knife and cutting the dough around the outside of a cookie cutter.  I don’t know why I think these things.  I was probably hungry.

And then the baby’s penis looks like this and is very sensitive.  Every time we did a diaper change on a newly circumcised boy and just wanted to hug him a few seconds longer. 


Thank you, internet for providing me with these photos…and Dan Heller, whoever you are.  His website is posted on each photo and I’m totally giving credit where credit is due, so copyright infringement does not occur here.  Playing by the rules, my friends.  That’s what I’m all about…(shut up, Tony)

This weekend, I am in the nursery again, and then Sunday I am observing in the NICU!