Saturday, August 2, 2008

internship, 4

so it's over!
and it feels like it's barely begun. i've loved my student internship to bits, although somedays i remember feeling like i need to cry from the sheer amount of work.

but i've loved it all. from talking to patients, to rounds, to morning team breakfasts, to talking with the nurses, accompanying patients down for scans, doing calls and being sleep deprived etc. i feel like i'm more prepared for internship in 9 months time although i'm sure i still have lots to learn.

maybe i'll even do medicine in the future, it's not too bad although i'm still far too impatient for my own good, and i hate that i can't DO anything to make them better. i hate waiting for them to get well, i hate sitting by helplessly. my tutors have said i'm surgeon material through and through, but i don't really know. but this posting has shown me that medicine does help, just in different ways :)

it was my last day yesterday, and by right, i should have been out of the hospital by noon since i was post-call. but being an appreciative, sentimental lot, our team residents brought the 3 of us out to a 2 hour long lunch where we had such fun! i love my neuro team :) after that, it was a whirlwind of running around the hospital looking for doctors to give chocolate to and answering pages from the nurses about my overflow patients before i finally was free at 430 pm.

so i decided to go have a look at one of patients i admitted on call the night before, a grouchy nursing home resident with cellulitis. he was still grumbling about wanting to eat a certain type of food, so i hoofed it down to the canteen to see if i could help. he was so absolutely delighted when i carted up the food for him! that made staying back so late post-call absolutely worth it. sometimes, going out of your way for a patient isn't for them, it's for you.

i have to admit my resolve for making him happy was strengthened by a code blue that i saw whilst waiting for the lift. as my friends and seniors came running with the crash cart, i saw the relatives crumple up outside the ward and start crying. it wasn't just any cry, it was a bone-chilling wail of total and absolute sadness. i wanted to reach over and tell them something, but i didn't know what. i didn't have anything at all that would ease their pain slightly, and words of comfort seemed so trite.

i saw one of my seniors (usually the jovial, flirty type), kneel down next to the relative and say something. which turned the cries even louder. thankfully, the lift came and i escaped, biting back my own tears.

this scene cuts only too close to my heart, when my gram died some years ago. it's hard to be on the other side of the fence. i feel nothing much for the dead person, but once the relatives start crying, i find it hard to keep from crying as well. i've been there, and there's nothing much that can be said or done. sorrow is for you to deal with alone.

that said, after being sad all of yesterday, 14 hours of sleep made me feel better and i'm now resolving to be nicer to my patients while i can. after all, it's no point being nice to them when they're dead. (forgive my bluntness)

so bring on paediatrics! 8 more months to the start of finals!


Ms-Ellisa said...

I loved your post :-)

It was very great of you to go back and bring the food to the patient and all.

If I were a patient I would have appreciated your move more than anything.

Calavera said...

Aww, that's heart-breaking, it really is... I hate it when I see people cry, because it starts to tug on my own heartstrings... :(

I'm in my fifth year, and I still haven't seen death first-hand yet... I consider myself lucky...

It's great that you gelled so well with the team and you had such an awesome send-off!

Xavier Emmanuelle said...

It was nice of you to go that extra mile for the patient :)

Thanks for the postcard by the way, I got it yesterday!! Very nice of you :D