My Life as a Locum Tenens: Bay City, TX

City Home Page:
Population: 17,694 (Wikepedia 2019)
Locum Assignment: Level 1 Nursery/Pediatric Hospitalist, ER Consultant (December 2020 and February 2021)
Food Recommendation: The Fat Grass, Venezia Garden, Blue Ocean Seafood, Yamato Hibachi and Sushi, K-2 Steakhouse, A&A BBQ
Local Attractions: Matagorda Bay

This post was started months ago and forgotten. I served a fairly short but busy time in this small town so I don’t have a ton to write unfortunately, as is the case for some of my shorter busier assignments; but, I did get to try some of the food and see some of the things! My mind can not get over the fact that for some reason I never heard the song “Texas Kind of Way” by Cody Johnson until 2021 AND when I did, I recognized the name Matagorda Bay! I would have NEVER ventured to this place or ever heard of it had it not been for locum tenens in Bay City, TX.

A LEARNING Opportunity

– This was super intriguing to me. We didn’t have capabilities to do CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) at the time, so I brainstormed with my experienced RT to put together something a little different that was going to work the same way; I had so much fun thinking outside the box on this one!

– The baby warmer in the delivery room was much older than i’d ever used so it was an experience troubleshooting a tough resuscitation if we had one (luckily we did not in the operating room)

– I got sterile and caught my first baby from the OBGYN! In training, this was always done by the nurses. It has prepared me better moving forward to be like one of the Neonatologists I trained with that I really look up to named Dr. Crocker. I will NEVER forget when we went to a crash delivery and she stepped up and caught the bay when we didn’t have a nurse to, it was awesome and something I alway remember. Now I can do it too!

Drug Use – A tough topic to openly talk about, that is NOT specific to this town. The more I travel the more I see this as a problem in small towns. Sometimes it is more obvious or less hidden than others. I will say that this was a fairly prevalent issue I found in this small town south of Houston that I didn’t see as evidently, commonly or obviously in training. I hate to bring attention to a negative thing like this, but it’s a public health issue that needs to be addressed and given support, NOT ignored. I tried to approach anyone I came across with these circumstances as non-judgmentally and supportively as I could. I’ll never forget the family member that I had a long talk with about life and their new baby that was valiantly telling me how they were going to turn their life around and I reinforced my support for their choices. It wasn’t something I get to talk a lot about, but it was one of the few times in a while that I felt a new surge of motivation and hopefulness. I will openly discuss as a Physician that I am seeing this as a crisis in more and more small towns, it’s not a secret.

The Town – It was actually kinda cute, but I’m easily enamored by most small towns. One thing that keeps me ALIVE in small towns is that there was a little Coffee Shop and the square looked gorgeous at night. There’s also a candy shop and a Sushi restaurant, what more do you need. But appreciation for small towns like this only exists when you pay attention to the small things, or if you look for them. It’s so easy to pass them by.

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