June last year.
Instead of staying and wasting my time, I took a de-tour. I applied to go to district hospital. I got a chance to talk to a certain specialist from another hospital, it’s going to be a good experience before pursuing into my special interest. From the beginning of housemanship, I’ve been feed with lotsa stories about district hospital and what’s like so of course, I was all nerve. Instead of ducking off, I choose to have a taste myself.
Again I had to fight to go to HTM instead of HKK (knowing fully well that I’ll be the scapegoat if I agreed for the latter.)
I was in charge of medical and during oncall, it’s going to be either casualty or medical/paeds. So that’s good enough for a start. Things got a lot better when I teamed up with this particular committed MO and guided by another committed specialist. Shared workload and continuous teaching made it all easier.
It’s true when people said that you can easily scrutinize peripheral’s management unless you had working experience there. Dealing with incompetent staffs (but I have to admit some are actually really good and keen) during critical time, making sure that everything’s under control while waiting for (up to 4 hours!) transport, made do with whatever facilities/medication you had at that moment and putting up with your colleagues from tertiary centre.
Suprisingly, I couldn’t recall any moment that I have regret about my decision. Even when I was struggling in the casualty during late hours or staying past 4pm on Thursday because the specialist wanted to do a quick round in the ward, I have no grumble. I wouldn’t say I was all excellent and competent (failed twice in intubation during the early days,heh!) but I made sure I learnt. I didn’t hesitate to call for help but I tried to improve along the way.
I had a taste of dengue death too. It happened so quick and you’d wish two large bore branula would appear magically by the time you arrived. Think of mortality audit as just another learning process, or else you’ll have sleepless night beforehand.
Patience would also be tested by relatives. One eventful oncall saw me facing denial son-in-law who accused me of making wrong decision by putting a tube into his father-in-law’s nose (which I’m sure he meant the ETT into the mouth and not Ryle’s tube) and gotten him worse, when the poor chap was actually gasping and ABG showed PCO2 has climbed up to 85%. I was just glad I had my mask on. I could’ve snapped back, instead I continued with my remaining task and called his wife aside to re-explain.
I learnt better about humility. Patient who’s a sole breadwinner as tin-collector and came in with bad arthritis, a lot of them cant afford to pay for hospital facility, majority of them requested for welfare during follow up-among the many. This place humbled me.
I would especially remember my fellow colleagues and staff in casualty there;)