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Wednesday, December 29, 2004
2nd day at TTSH
This time, it was a proper 8-hour shift.
It's a Tuesday. It started off with a standby before the shift even started actually, aka, we have to be ready even before the patient is rolled in by the ambulance. And so, the first case of the day was a lady who fell 7 storeys onto her back. Miraculously, apart from a few abrasions on her limbs, she was fine, but complaining of back pain. So she'll be admitted and kept under observation.
Throughout the day, there were hypos, 2 DKAs, 1 probable meningitis, falls, renal failure, heart failure broken wrist and clavicle, and before I left, an RTA. This guys left leg was broken in so many parts. No dorsalis pedis pulse, the patella was sticking out, tibia and fibula was bent in an awkward position. He was breathing and alert throughout this. Brave, yet tragic. I would imagine, even after many operations, and months of rehab, function would not be the same, it would be pretty limited.
Practices here is very different from UK. More abrupt, yet more efficient (most prob becoz of that, can get to see more patients in less time). A&E reserves the right to make the decision to admit, and the wards have to take the patients. In UK, there needs to be consensus with A&E and the medical/surgical teams, and of course, the ominently-important bed manager. Without them, the patients would be left stranded in the A&E. Too much talking and agreeing (or disagreement) goes on, for so many hours. Too many referrals, and too much time waiting for the referring docs to actually come down to see the patient. But here, there's so many more languages.
One thing which amazes me: the multi-lingual-ness of the docs and nurses here. And so, my number one problem: language barrier. Having grown up here for 18 years, parents and grandma having tried to teach me dialects (but it seems i'm hopeless at them, though I can understand, I can't speak), and so now here's where my problem lies. Not to mention my small brain and the effort it takes to recall stuff learnt just a couple of months ago. Bleah. I feel useless...
Went for supper with one of my primary school friends after I finished my shift. I haven't met her in close to 2 years, and yet she understands me the best. Without me saying anything or even batting an eyelid. Think we went for years without meeting in sg (coz we're both busy with our lives), but it's still the same. It's as if we just knew each other from yester years just yesterday. We were just climbing the gates of the school, or being chased out of some restricted area. Although convent girls, we supposedly were not demure, etc etc. heh. We've never changed, or if we did, we evolved at the same rate. And you know what's the strange thing? We're totally opposites. As she so aptly puts it, the blur one vs the focused one, the havoc one vs the guai one, the undisciplined vs the disciplined. The one who knows what she wants, vs the one who just floats along. Yet she's made it well for herself. =)
Last note: my toenail dropped off. Finally. Now I have a weird looking new nail trying to shine out, but failing drastically.