Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nothing Routine About It

Ok, so I worked tirelessly in my I.Med rotation & it still wasn't enough to finish off all my blood work in time. If I wasn't sending the samples, I was busy procuring bulbs, tubes, bottles & media to send them in! The dreaded "Trolley System" is enough to strike a fear into any intern's heart. For those who don't know, the labs send faceless, nameless & humorless drones with elaborate trolleys neatly marked, into wards at set times during the day to whisk away samples. Time & the trolley men wait for no one! I've had quite a few productive runs tracing the trolley men up and down elevators before they disappeared into their secret passageways.

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While I couldn't really blame my professors and senior residents for demanding a lot of investigations in I.Med, I can't say the same about surgeons. Ever heard the old adage, "Physicians know everything and do nothing, Surgeons know nothing and do everything"? There're so few things a physician can do, that I think they keep ordering crap for interns to get done because they feel an HRCT for a cold could reveal bronchiectasis! Surgeons on the other hand shouldn't need that many investigations, at least that's what my logic told me. So, last month, either my logic failed or my luck did. The unit where I was posted decided it would be great if they could conjure up not one, but two "All-routine" days every week. These were days of joy, laughter & melancholy where I would have to send each & every damn patient's CBC, renal & liver function tests, FBS & PLBS! Ah, what fun! It didn't matter if the patient was a comatose case of polytrauma, or if he just had an abscess drained. The non-discriminatory intern would swoop to their hematological rescue. 

Over time, I grew quite tired of the entire "All Routine" routine, more so with the explanations I had to give patients. They were obviously not willing to give blood for no good reason so often & half my time went in counselling them. Some I could have a good laugh with, others I had to be a tad serious around. There was this one particular chap, who was quite paranoid. Every time he would come up with a new excuse like giddiness, pain in the arms, feeling just about ok & sometimes he wouldn't even grace me with an excuse. On my last day, all I could muster was, "You know what? This hospital pays me crap. How am I supposed to make money on the side if I don't sell blood?" 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, this happened a lot in my unit in surg. too. Monday was All-routine day for some weird reason and there was this irritable post-op. patient who kept asking me what I did with the blood I collected from him every day. I was so frustrated that morning that I couldn't resist giving him a forced smile and saying, "Pee jaati hoon!" He got so freaked he actually told his relatives he was asking for a discharge. I know it was really evil but somehow it felt really good to see the back of him after two weeks.