Previously in “white-coated ramblings”:
“Let’s just state the fact that crying kids are my least favorite creatures. Sick-screaming kids, on the other hand, are my personal imagination of an alien master plot to dominate earth.”
Okay, now it turns out sick kids are the sweetest creatures ever existed, because when it comes to women in labor, well… that’s what I believe is the core of all villainy!
You think I’m exaggerating? No sir! Try having a 12-hour shift at a room with a minimum of 6 women, each one screams her guts out, each one begs and pleads “I can’t!”, “Stop it!”, “Oh God!” or “I need an analgesic!”, and each one is being yelled at to shut the hell up! I have no idea how they manage to synchronize their screams! And you’re supposed, amid all this chaos, to think and function. You have to measure their blood pressure, pulse, and temperature every hour (by the time you’re done, the next hour has already begun), you have to obtain blood samples, insert cannulae in these demons, and you have to watch how every uterine contraction is transmitted into a complex facial expression of severe agony!
And then comes the “PUSH” phase. Oh, did I mention how giving birth is painfully disgusting??
It’s been a month, and I’ve taken shifts almost everyday. My circadian rhythm is doomed for good, and my caffeine dependence has turned into addiction. So can’t we just accept that women in white gowns are devils in disguise?!
Source: Google images.
Breaking news: I got my first ever salary today!
But do you know how much an Egyptian fresh-graduate doctor makes monthly?
257 Egyptian pounds; that makes 36.11 dollars! Yes, I’m a doctor, but our maid makes triple my salary!
But it was never about the money, was it? *Sighs*
That’s for 2 months!
Oh how I hate this place!
You can be an ***hole, and you can be an Ob/Gyn resident, but I repeat myself!
Well, everybody hates Ob/Gyn rounds. It’s not just the heavy work and floods of patients, it’s also just about everything else you can imagine. I’ve been only 2 weeks through and I’ve never been so miserable!
For starters, you have like 20 twelve-hour shifts per month. Although ERs are closed until further notice (nobody knows why, probably for political reasons), the lack of patients’ flow doesn’t exempt you from being there. You just have to show up everyday to do some lame tasks and bear with all the crap and nonsense your residents come up with. You’re not allowed to leave until the last minute of your shift, why? Because residents say so! You have to put up with their vulgarity and rudeness, because there is no other way.
The only achievement I can count is crossing “scrub in” off my bucket list. Yet, surprisingly, I haven’t found any thrill in surgeries; it’s too boring! I have to say I haven’t learnt a thing so far, and I dread the moment I go home because it means tomorrow’s coming and I’ll have to go back again. Yes, I’m that miserable!
Source: Google images.
Source: Google images.
First off, let’s just state the fact that crying kids are my least favorite creatures. Sick-screaming kids, on the other hand, are my personal imagination of an alien master plot to dominate earth.
So basically, my 12 hours at pediatric ER were witnessing vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonias, and the non-ceasing chorus of screeches mingled with the beeping of monitors. Such scenario would be somehow tolerable if it wasn’t in a governmental third-world hospital. Remember when I said it’s kind of like Grey’s Anatomy, except that it’s nothing like it?
Well, for starters, we deal with the lowest possible socioeconomic classes. Most of the patients are impecunious and ignorant (if not even illiterate), that never annoyed me; it’s not their fault and they deserve treatment. The disaster is that we, doctors, have to function with the least infection control measures (if not without any). The floor is dirty, and there are stray cats and cockroaches! I have seen a doctor collecting a blood sample without wearing gloves, the baby’s blood trickling all over her fingers, and when she was done and saw the shock on my face, she told me “don’t do what I just did!” There is a box of gloves sitting on the nurses desk, but few doctors care enough to use any. That sickens me!
Another emotionally devastating thing was how the bed sheets were blood-drenched, urine-stained, and needle-studded! I have been to governmental hospitals in UAE and seen how the sheets were disposable and consistently replaced. What I saw yesterday was just so wrong!
Back to kids, in such an overwhelmingly stressful situation, I tried not to get involved. How could I manage patients I have no sympathy for? The kids seemed like noisy things who needed to shut up! The only kid I sympathized with was 4-year-old who needed calcium gloconate injections to treat his hypocalcimic condition. He looked so harmless and terrified, he persistently begged to go home and I found myself trying so hard to sooth and lull him to stop him from moving his hand and displacing his cannula. I have no idea how that boy managed to break my heart!
And there I survived my first night shift ever! I’m not looking forward to my next one!
So today was my first day as an intern doctor. Let me tell you something about hospital internships in Egypt, you know, it’s kind of like Grey’s Anatomy, except that it’s nothing like Grey’s Anatomy! I’ll be thoroughly talking about this, but not today. Stay posted!
What happened today was a cycle of pleading and begging. Why? Because Egyptian “public servants” are heartless and always bad-tempered. Originally, I was listed in one of the ministry’s hospitals, but I filed a request to be moved to my med school’s educational hospital (not today’s story), let’s just focus on the fact that I DID hand the request to the woman in the corresponding office.
Consequently, I should’ve found my name automatically listed in the hospital’s schedules, which hasn’t happened! You don’t want to know the details, because it’s so boring, but to cut the story short, they lost my request, and I had to spin around and get shooed from one office to another to file a new one, begging the employees to just answer my Goddamned questions!
On the plus side, I finally have been listed in pediatrics with cool friends. But we have a night shift tomorrow! Yep, my first ER shift ever is tomorrow! Stay tuned!
I’ve been planning this post for months, but as I sit at my desk to type in, words seem to have fled. My last exam ended yesterday, closing the last chapter of my medical school years. I’ve technically graduated!
The journey was tough, the path was filled with traps and hitches, and there were times when it seemed I’d never cease to suffer.. But somewhere among all this chaos, somehow, good memories shone. Funny moments and amazing friends. For some reason, all the crap I went through no longer matters! 🙂
P.S. Until results are out, I need everyone who stumbles by this post to pray that my friends and I would pass our latest excruciating Ob/Gyn exam. None of us is by any means ready to study again for 6 more months!
Confessions of a house officer!
It never gets any easier; the whole med-school-spinning dilemma. Though it feels pretty satisfying to be the eldest in your college, the bulk you’re supposed to study isn’t pleasing whatsoever!
I’ve always knew “Obs & Gynae” is disgusting, but it has also been proved to be extremely boring; I’m not glad to say it, but when it comes to medicine, women suck! Regarding General Surgery, well, it seems much less boring, but as for a student who ultimately wishes to specialize in ophthalmo-surgery, eye is the only organ that really appeals me..
And here I am, whirling for one last year, holding on my hopes to get out with enough sanity!
Boom! School’s coming back! Well, ten days from now I’ll be doing it all over again; getting up early, following schedules, spinning everywhere and the whole dilemma of med-school!
The only good news is, this year is my 6th and FINAL year, oh yeah, 12 unceasing tough more months to survive before I rock as a doctor! 😀
Well, I realized my latest post about college might have reflected “some” negativity, so I thought it’d be fair enough to mention the bright side of the story..
- We’re on the ship together:
Being in the same class with the same people for 7 years raises that spirit of familiarity; there’s that common sense of humour and everybody offers their best to help.. It’s one for all and all for one.. 🙂
- Unleashing your inner doc!
You might think it’s silly, but it feels so good to understand what doctors say, especially on TV! I feel super when I catch up with diagnosis in House or Grey’s Anatomy! 😛
- The bliss of being normal!
Exploring pain and misery everyday has its benefits; it leaves you thankful for being granted the bliss of health.. And learning how perfectly coordinated your body is can turn your perspectives up side down, it’s amazing!
- What doesn’t break you leaves you stronger!
I was a 16 year-old naïve teenager when I first stepped into med-school, how cute! And if I think back and rewind the past five years, every tough moment I went through have left a print in my character. I become a lot stronger and much more independent every year.. It’s not easy to learn, but it’s also pretty awesome! 🙂
Doesn’t matter where or what you specialize, ’cause in one way or another, you’re going to help someone get better or save their life, which is the core reason why we all want to be doctors! 🙂