Reality In An Envelope

September 25, 2007

Longest hiatus in between posts ever (so far!)

The last few weeks had been a whirlwind. There were so many stuffs on my list that I had to tackle/negotiate/settle/ponder/get constipated/crack jokes over and time just flew past me. Before I knew it, 4 weeks had gone by.

A huge portion of my work stemmed from all those preparations needed for the following year. Suddenly I realised I would be heading out to the working world much sooner than I thought. The huge white envelope which was sitting on my desk 1-2 weeks before really drove the message home; I’m soon an intern and this is just the beginning.

Out slid the contents.

I can’t remember when was the last time I actually had to fill out that many forms in one sitting.

Form 1 : The “I Accept The Job Offer” Form.

This form consists of a lengthy explanation on what would be expected of me as an intern, complete with my randomly allocated rotations for my first year out. I’ve been rostered for surgery twice throughout the entire year; one of which would be 10 weeks of full-on night surgery.

I haven’t had much exposure to surgery before (since I only start my surgical rotation next week) so of course I wonder how it would be like. At the moment I don’t have any intention of pursuing surgical training in the future, but then again in all fairness I haven’t really experience being in a surgical rotation so I feel this is a bit too premature at the moment.

I think night shift goes from 10pm-8am. Time to get new batteries for the GameBoy.

Form 2 : The “Let’s See Your Signature” Form

Not surprised, seeing that I would be a drug-prescribing newbie. The purpose of this form is so that the employing hospital would have a record of your signature to compare in the event of any discrepancy.

I admit, that before I signed this one…I ‘aesthetically’ decorated the back of my patient’s list with a multitude of various signatures. Some looks very similar to each other, some just looks plain weird. After maybe 20 creative scribblings or so, I’ve settled with one – which happened to be the one I started off with anyway.

Form 3 : The “I agree to join the Intern Society” Form

This form is filled with a subtle promise of all those fun-filled activities us interns would get to participate in as part of the society. I can almost guarantee I’ll end up as a sleeping member given such a lazy bum that I am.

Form 4 : The “I agree not to disclose confidential details” Form

A staple form in the employment procedure, particularly so when it comes to healthcare. Failure to adhere to privacy and confidentiality regulations could result in any healthcare staff being sued for all their pants are worth. After all, how awkward would it be when your neighbours know more about your hernia than you do? Or suddenly your kid’s Maths teacher sends you some homemade prune juice out of concern for your 2-week constipation?

It’s a small world out there.

Form 5 : The ‘I Allow You To Take A Chunk of My Income Whether I like It Or Not’ Form

Hah, the taxation form. Everything appeared rosy till this form came up. Suddenly you’re not earning as much as you think you would be. Reality sets in more than ever as we all reluctantly sign away for our income tax.

This feeling of apprehension and “what the…?!?” accompanied me as I read through the taxation policy. A light ‘hmmph’ emanated from me as I filled it in. Never mind. It all goes back to the community and social welfare etc etc.

We all have to take one for the world.

Form 6 : The ‘I Consent For My Particulars To Be Known To The Union’ Form

Not entirely sure what a union does, but I sure hope they do look out for you. I thought about being stuck in a dim and quiet ward while doing an overnight shift…and suddenly the word ‘union’ appealed to me like never before. The idea of having this bunch of people backing you up when it floods really does appear pretty encouraging.

All for one, and one for all! I think.

Form 7 : The ‘I Consent To Reveal Everything But The Colour Of My Underpants’ Form

Okie not really. But this is the form where I’d have to submit a variety of photocopied proofs of identity so the state police could trace up any previous misdemeanours/jail term served or owing/litigation and lawsuits/illegal stethescope trafficking/inappropriate use of purified adrenaline for substitution of your morning coffee/illicit sale of anti-depressants as Tic-Tacs/and what-nots.

Thankfully, neither of it involves traffic offences. I believe I’m a fairly decent driver except for the occasional ‘nobody’s looking’ notion that resulted in a few illegal U-turns and infrequent (I say!) speeding that occurs when I had my music on a little bit too loud.

There should be another bunch of forms later during the year prior to the new term. One of it would have to be for the new identity card/tag that each of us must display when at work.

For all my past ID tags that I’ve obtained, I think I came across looking either very surprised or very chipmunk-ish in my photo. Surprised, because those security folks never do tell you when they’re gonna snap your picture…and chipmunk-like due to me trying to portray the look of an “approachable and affable” doctor so it could be immortalised on my ID tag. Needless to say, half the time I turned out looking like something from the squirrel family as I subconsciously associate “approachable” as having a toothy grin plastered over the lower half of my face.

Being realistic, I now tell myself don’t attempt anything during photo-taking for the IDs. The goal here is not to look possessed…or squirrelly for that matter. How hard can that be?