Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ochsner Hospital for Children. In celebration of Ochsner Hospital for Children ranking as #1 hospital for kids in Louisiana, we’re sharing a day in the life of Megan Lanier, a pediatric cardiologist physician’s assistant—and mom—at Ochsner Hospital for Children.
A Day in the Life of An Ochsner Pediatric Cardiologist Physician Assistant
I require at least one snooze before I start my day. I wish I was one of those mothers who wakes up extra early to have alone time with coffee and meditation, but that’s just not me. I am a productive night owl, and on days I go to the gym before work, I snooze until the very last minute and grab caffeine on the way out of the door while my family is still asleep.
I head to my favorite gym, Swoot by Jon Sloan Fitness. I love the cycle class! It’s an upbeat class that reminds me of when I was a dancer. I have struggled in the past prioritizing my physical and mental health as a working mom, but my husband and I have established an alternating weekday routine for gym time. I do still miss time with my daughter before school. So, on days when I do go to the gym and my husband has dad duty, he’ll bring her by after my workout so I can spend time with her before the workday. After my ever-glamourous gym shower, I throw on some scrubs and fix my hair in a seemingly sleek wet hair bun.
I head down the street to Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans. I work in the Pediatric CVICU I’ve called home for the past 13 years. Here we care for children with congenital heart disease and acquired cardiac conditions and perform surgeries on people from infancy to adulthood.
8AM – Noon
I begin my workday with pre-rounding on our inpatients and review overnight events,
check imaging, labs, and review their telemetry monitors. I then head to the pediatric floor with my attending physician so we can meet with residents to listen to presentations and teach them about congenital heart disease. After meeting with residents, we visit patient rooms for examinations and discuss plans with their families. One of the benefits of being a physician’s assistant is having a little extra time to sit and talk with families. Most of them have been in the hospital awhile and just need some time to discuss plans, vent or socialize. I then move onto the cardiac pediatric intensive care unit, where I help with new patient consults, intensive care rounding and transfers.
Lunch typically involves a small, quickly eaten meal from the cafeteria as I type notes from
the morning. I occasionally have my life together enough to pack a good lunch, but I am not ashamed to admit I must buy it the majority of the week. My husband also happens to work at Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans as a hospital administrator. You’d think we could drive together to work or make time for romantic lunches but we’re lucky if we accidentally bump into each other in the elevator.
12:10PM – 4:30PM
After a quick lunch, I spend my afternoon continuing with rounding, consults and documentation. While I spend most of my time in the inpatient setting, on certain days of the month, I have continuity clinic for my patients that I’ve followed for many years where I enjoy visiting and watching them thrive! I then travel to Ochsner Baptist – A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center where I round on patients in the neonatal intensive care unit and newborn nursery.
I leave work and pick up my daughter from school most days, since my husband’s day ends later than mine. Scooping her up from school is the highlight of my day. She is at the age where she’s still super excited to see me, and her yelling, “Mommy!” and the sprint for a hug melts me daily.
4:30PM – 6PM
During the summer, my daughter plays cabbage ball, so we head to her games a couple nights each week. This mostly involves watching toddlers chaotically run around a field with
an occasional eye on the ball but it’s a fun activity to watch. It’s also a nice opportunity for me to chat with my mom friends. On non-activity nights, we spend time in our backyard or walking our little old dog, Rigby, on the levee along the Mississippi River to watch the big ships pass.
Nighttime routine involves sitting down for supper as a family. No TV and no phones. We do allow music, but we skip the singable songs, otherwise my daughter will spend all of mealtime singing instead of eating. We talk about what made us happy that day and what made us sad or mad and how we can make it better. We call it our struggle/snuggle talk.
7PM – 8PM
Bath and bedtime for my daughter.
8:15PM – 11PM
The night owl awakens! I handle chores, missed work documentation, or sometimes run late night errands. On more stressful days where I feel overstimulated and need to just stare at a wall, a good TV show or movie is required. Reading is a luxury these days, as I typically start to fall asleep shortly after opening a book.
Alarm set for 5 a.m. to do it all over again and lights out!
Being a full-time working mother is such a balance; one I am not sure I will ever master, but I will continue to try every day. There are times where I’m thriving at work and feel like I’m failing at home. There are days when I take time for my family that I feel like I’m letting people down at work. Overall, I get better each day with finding the balance and working to let go of guilt and hope that I am being a good role model for my daughter in working in my dream career. At the end of the day, despite my type A tendencies in most aspects of life, I strongly believe that there is no one way to be the perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one and find comfort in knowing I am raising a happy child who feels cared for.
Learn more about Megan Lanier, PA-C, here.
More About the Author
Hi! My name is Megan Lanier and I am a very proud mother to a spark of a 3 year old daughter and wife to a loving husband. I work as a Pediatric Cardiologist Physician Assistant at Ochsner Hospital for Children and have done so for thirteen plus years. I have always had a passion for working with children and families and my job fulfills me in a way I cannot put into words. I am a local girl, born and raised in Houma, LA. I have bounced around the state for college and graduate school and have called New Orleans home for almost 14 years now. I love spending time with my family and enjoying all New Orleans has to offer. I tend to keep my social calendar pretty full and enjoy traveling, music, trying new restaurants, local sports, movies, exercising, being outdoors and reading.