This blog series transforms a series of medical specialties into different planets. This blog focuses on working with premature babies in hospital. Read on to find out more about Neonaturn!
When a visitor is first born (via a process that you should really know by now) they can go to one of several planets. The majority, who are healthy and ready from get-go, either leave for home immediately or spend a short time in Postnaturn (again, before going home).
Unfortunately, as may have been given away by the title not being “Medic’s Log: Postnaturn”, this log is about the rare few who aren’t ready to go – those whose lungs aren’t ready to breath, whose eyes aren’t ready to see, whose skin isn’t ready to… be skin. Anyway you get the point: babies born too early aren’t able to head home just yet, and so need to spend (often a lot of) time on planet Neonaturn.
Neonaturn is distinct from all other ward-based planets, in that visitors do not rest in the bog-standard hospital bed (featuring their signature squishy-but-not-comfy mattresses and sheets with the texture of newspaper), but instead each have their own little box, to preserve moisture, warmth and sterile atmosphere, as if they were exhibits in some alien reptile house.
EXTREME NOTE: Never comment on an individual’s appearance in a way that could even remotely be considered an insult – Neonaturn always has a large parent population, and without doubt one will hear and, given the stress of their situation, will understandably react aggressively. Keep to phrases like “he’s so tiny” or “she looks so delicate” if you feel you must communicate your feelings about a baby’s appearance.
Do you remember when your mum took you to shops where there were fragile things at arm level, and told you to keep your hands behind your back the whole time? Y’know, just in case you decided to do an on the spot (and rather expensive) impression of a helicopter/hurricane/whirling dervish (as you are wont to do, being 5)? No? Just me? Well I must have done a better hurricane impression than you, but regardless, that is what it is like for crew on Neonaturn’s surface – look with your eyes, not your hands.
Visitors brought to Neonaturn are extremely young, extremely fragile and extremely susceptible to infection, so you can imagine why the natives get somewhat jumpy should a crew member wander in and start touching things (and woe betide those who do this without washing their hands). If crew want hands-on training this isn’t the planet, but there are a number of afflictions that are practically unique to the planet, so now is the only chance to learn about them in the field.
Discussion with natives is the best option for learning on Neonaturn, and you’ll find that (given the high number of natives per visitor) most are happy to explain in great detail exactly what they are doing and the care that visitors need. Just don’t be too loud – you’ll wake the baby…
Words and illustration: Eric Richardson
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