“Aiyoyo…why like that?”

September 7, 2008

Past few working days were pretty screwed-up.

I’ve decided on a different manner of expressing/ranting/venting about this particular issue. I believe this would reflect how I felt more accurately at that point in time.

Thursday. 0700 hours.

Dragged my bum to work. Boh kau kun. I was wearily checking up all of my patient’s blood results on the hospital’s system when I realised one of the units was without an intern for the day.

Aiyo, cham liao lah. Tia tiok kio wa lang ki cover eh.

My unit has two interns; me and another colleague of mine who’s currently expecting her first child. The unit which one of us would have to cover consisted of over 20+ patients. Kia see lang.

Thursday. 0730 hours.

I’ve discussed this with my fellow colleague. We thought okie, we’ll go ahead with our own unit’s ward rounds and later BOTH of us would accompany the other unit’s registrar for his ward rounds. That way at least there’s 2 newbies whom would jointly cover as opposed to just one poor newbie. Sounds pretty okie.

0815 hours. Finished our ward rounds. Just realised that our unit has racked up an impressive list of to-do stuffs before the day ends. I told my pregnant colleague beh yau kin, wa zhe ge lang ki cover the other unit la.” The other unit has a heck a lot more patients, and it’d probably be a better idea if I’m the one covering (considering it’s only either one of us going over).

0820 hours. Met with the other registrar, informed him I’m the covering intern. Okie off we go for the rounds.

1000 hours. Wah kanasai. Chin chin si kanasai. So many patients with so many problems. This unit’s patient’s are all entirely new to me, and today the unit decided to discharge a third of their patients. This would mean approxmately 6-7 discharge summaries requiring submission.

Each of the discharge summaries require the poor newbie to fill in stuffs from A-Z about the patient. It isn’t usually that complex but in this case it is complicated by the circumstances that I’m only the stand-in for the day and I’ve no bloody clue what’s up with them (except for the fact that they’re going home).

1000-1100 hours. After the rounds, I had to retrace my steps with all the patients as I head to each of their wards to write the progress notes retrospectively. There isn’t usually much time for the intern to document the review etc as the registrar rattles off stuffs at bullet speed; most of the time I’d just scribble down on the handover sheet and we move on. I tried writing as fast as the registrar could speak and my writing siang ka sai ane kuan. I gave up, and told myself I’d make a mini rounds by myself thereafter to document stuffs in the file.

1100-1430 hours. Spent the entire time doing the discharge summaries. Quite jia lat because I had to sieve through their thick files in order to fill in the relevant information. By the time I’ve done half of them, my head was swimming with random information from the previous entires – ranging from where is their pain to whether they’re able to pangsai or not. Sometimes I get a bit mixed up between the patients whom came in with lau sai and those who really tat sai.

1500 hours. I remember this. Out of the blue I got a call from some angry nurse.

Nurse: Why haven’t you been answering your pager?!?

Me: Huh? But I haven’t been paged…*Aiya, CB, jiang wa chor simi*

Nurse: I have been paging you for the last 2 HOURS!

Me: Well I haven’t received any. What number did you page?

Nurse: 258.

Me: See, that ISN’T my pager. *HAH ki chiak sai la lu*

Nurse: WELL, whether it is your pager or not that’s another story. We have a clinic full of patients waiting for you.

Me: Whaaaaat?? You mean pre-admission clinic for this unit?? No one informed me about it! Oh crap!

Nurse: YEaaaahh well your patients are all waiting for you.

Me: WHat time does it meant to start? *KaNASAI! boh lang ka wa kong this unit’s clinic is today!*

Nurse: It started at 1pm *Niama , OH NOES!!*

Me: OMG I’m sorry. No one informed me they have a clinic today. I’ll be there RIGHT NOW.

I hung up, and hauled my sorry ass to the clinic which was situated across the road.

1530-1700 hours. I had managed to see all the patients within 1+ hours. Some were obviously boh song that their doc took such a long time to attend to them. I remembered literally bowing and apologising of the great delay due to some miscommunication. Thank goodness they’re alright after I’ve explained myself.

1700-1730 hours. Ran back into the hospital. My colleague (from my own unit) was waiting for me for a quick handover and it’s her day off tomorrow. She has been managing the unit by herself earlier today due to me being away elsewhere; we thought it would be beneficial for me to get a quick update as I’m the one alone in my unit tomorrow.

We were both rostered on till just 4pm but due to the circumstances everything was significantly delayed. Thankfully, the day is over.

Friday 0700 hours.

LIN LAO HIAH I was informed that the previous intern I was covering the day before is calling in sick today, and we’d have to cover again. It’s even worse today as there’s only 2 interns on today (usually we have 5) to cover across 3 units. This would mean we’d have about 30+ patients each. It certainly didn’t help that for some reason my home unit has increased its patient load by four-fold. Alamak.

0900 hours. Received a call from the admin. Apparently they’re trying to find some doc to replace the missing intern(s) and we were asked to cover till then.

Truth is, we are aware that they’re not gonna find anyone sometime soon. Due to budget saving attempts, it is highly unlikely for the admin to utilise a 3rd party pool of medical officers as they’re more expensive. If they can’t get someone internally to replace the interns, the the rest of us would be stretched to cover. Like yesterday. Tulan.

1200 hours. Por tor eiao. Boh chiak langsung. Mad rush sorting stuffs out across 3 units. For some reason the families decided to visit and requested to see the doctor. Trouble is I’m not their usual attending doctor and I am, yet again, clueless.

Patient’s family: Hi doc. How is my mum doing? *Aiyak, who’s your mum again ah?*

Me: Oh, she’s doing alright. Slowly getting there. *flicks through the handover sheet* Her blood results are normalising, so that is a good sign.

Patient’s family: What is the plan from here onwards?

Me: Good question. I’ll have to look through her file. I wish I’d be able to tell you off my head except that I’m not her usual attending doctor. *sigh*

Patient’s family: Oh I see. How’s the endoscopy results? She had a gastroscope done yesterday.

Me: Ah if I am not mistaken that turned out to be normal. *Flips the pages furiously searching for the scope report* Ah here it is….yes, it’s all normal (phew!).

Patient’s family: Oh…then what is the cause of the bleeding then?

Me: At the moment we’re not too sure. We were suspecting a gastro tract bleed except this was proven otherwise by the scope. She’s currently stable and we’re still investigating. Her bloods, like I mentioned, were normalising so this is certainly good news.

Patient’s family: Oh thank you doc. Thanks for your time.

Not every family meeting happened like the above. Some required me to haul 2-3 thick files belonging to the patient to read it out to the family. This, of course, is very time-consuming.

1530 hours. Admin called me up, requesting if I could do overtime till 7pm. I thought since I’m gonna be stuck here anyway sorting out stuffs so why not. Might as well get paid for it, hah.

1830 hours. What started as a usual medical review turned out to be a full-blown chaos as the patient was discovered to be having a heart attack. Suddenly we’ve the ICU and the cardio docs involved. Aiseh man, almost pangsai-kor.

2100 hours. Me and the other intern wearily stepped out of the hospital. Stuck at work for 14 hours with an empty stomach. I was too tired to drive myself home and thankfully, my fellow intern was kind enough to give me a lift home.

We thought of grabbing a quick bite to eat, so we drove up to the nearest McDonald’s drive-thru. Believe it or not, in our half-awake minds we paid for our food and proceeded to drive straight PAST the collection point without taking our food. It wasn’t till a few minutes later that we realised we just drove off without the food. PFFT.

Of course, we turned around. Spent a good while laughing our butts off over it.

Thankfully I’m not rostered on for this weekend. Otherwise I’m gonna be super sien.