Mobile CAC in prison

An ad-hoc CAC mobile team was deployed to assess the well-being of prisoners diagnosed with Covid19. The team comprised of 6 medical officers with another 10 supporting members of medical assistants and nurses. The team was already gathered by 0830am. All ready to go by 0900 but was met with unforeseen circumstances. One is the limit of mobile phones to be brought inside the cell despite providing the clearance letter. We use mobile phones very heavily during CAC for consultations with specialists and entering data. Hence, the hard work only started at 1000am.

I was curious to know what each coloured uniform of the prisoners means. There were white, red, green, blue and purple. Interestingly, during each interaction, they appeared well-mannered and non-hostile. Perhaps it was because we were on the other side of the barrier. Lols. Most of the prisoners were well and at Covid Category 1. A few needed an admission at the Covid hospital. Transferring them is not an easy feat as they needed prison officers to guard each of these convicts.

I don’t really know how much these correctional officers earn. But I hope they are paid handsomely for the responsibilities they are shouldering. It’s like menjadi bapa yang penyayang tapi tegas. Tough love.

We wrapped things up by 1830. Everyone was exhausted, sweating and wrinkled from dehydration. No food, no water and no toilet break. That’s about 9 hours in PPE under the warm, tropical weather. I could only hope that in the near future, there would be better communication between both agencies. And that we have a commander on site who could help foresee the flow of things and keep the ball rolling. On top of making sure that the well-being of the team is well-taken care of. Although we were told that there was a musolla on-site, being a visitor there, it does feel a bit awkward to just doff out of our PPE and berkeliaran at the prison’s complex. It would help to have some sort of floor manager saying things like, “ok, table 2, doffing, gi makan, solat. come back in 20 mins”. Takdelah rasa bersalah sgt doffing while your friends are hard at work.

All in all, it was a great experience to do our jobs in a different environment. I wonder what other adhoc things we would be expecting in the future.

Vaccine Mobile Team

I have been absorbed into the vaccine mobile team at my current workplace. Somehow, my superior is convinced that I could contribute well as a vaccinator considering my previous participation as one in my past clinic. At the moment, the vaccine mobile team plays a role in going to the potential vaccinees who are having difficulties to go to the vaccination centre themselves. These group of people are usually part of the marginalized community. So far, the government mobile teams have been going to old folks home at nearby areas. This correlates with the objectives of PICK’s 2nd phase of vaccinating the elderly population and those with medical comorbidities. Soon, this service will be extended to those living in the very rural areas of the country, prisons and others.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is also working closely with medical NGOs like IMARET and MERCY Malaysia to materialize these efforts. Once these NGOs can work independently, these outreach activities will be delegated to them so as the MOH team could concentrate on their respective vaccination centres.

Last week I shadowed my senior counterpart in learning the ways on how to manage these sessions. Starting from making the line-listing on Excel, ordering the vaccines and checking on the team for the day. The vaccine mobile team will consist of one medical officer, an assistant medical officer and two nurses. I have to learn everything as fast as I can on that day cause I will be on my own next week for 3 days in a row. I hope I don’t screw up. Allah, help…

I had the opportunity to meet up with the MERCY volunteers as well. Bless their soul for participating in the programme in their free time. They have a heart of gold. PICK is scheduled to go on till next year. Like it or not, the world needs to accept the new normal.

Laminating the numbers

Only take criticism from people who you’d ask advice from..

Here I am on a public holiday doing my revision, preparing for tomorrow’s vaccination drive and minding the two kids in the comfort of my own home. Thankfully, the husband is buying pizza for Iftar today which means I don’t have to cook. I just need to prepare drinks and plan simple meals for Sahur tomorrow. I am thinking of fried rice.

My mental noise is interrupting me every now and then with thoughts of how people will perceive this when they see this tomorrow. Harsh critics as we know is poison to one’s success. Maybe a supplement to some. There seems to be a trend that when you decide to do something good or different, there will be a few people who adopts the crabs in a bucket mentality.

Semua salah. Tak seragam. Tak ikut SOP and god knows what else.

I am hoping for a favourable response but I am kind of prepared for the crabs to come and try to pull me down.

An exhausting lunch call week

We used to enjoy doing lunch call as we get to go back home one hour early. Some are willing to take another person’s call just to get those perks. Those who’d give up theirs are those who’d prefer to take a hearty lunch or a power nap just before the 2pm session starts. Those were the good old days.

Now it is not so much fun anymore as there are added responsibilities and mental burden. Taking Covid-19 samples that walk into your clinic, having endless discussions with the specialist on who is eligible for which investigation, covering the rural clinic the week after and other miscellaneous ‘lunch call Doc’ duties.

I am getting old. Lol.

I usually end up exhausted when I reach home everyday. I couldn’t even muster enough energy to cook up a meal. Thankfully, my son has had his dinner at his grandmothers house. Yet, I am still overweight. HA HA HA. All those stress eating later at night doesn’t help. The cookies, the crackers and cups of hot choc or tea are the main culprits. I don’t even have time to finish my Takdir Yang Tertulis series because my little free time is taken up by my much needed sleep and my assignments.

My misc task this week is to prepare a talk regarding the Covid-19 vaccine to an audience of healthcare workers. Like most people, I copy pasted the slides. I had an erratic sleep habit because my daughter likes to have those short wake-up moments in the middle of the night just to ask for a hug or a blanket. Sometimes I can resume my sleep. Otherwise, I’d had to wake up, smell the coffee, switch on the laptop and keep up with my assignments. So, it can be like a really early turn in at 830pm only to wake up later at 3am. Or shutting the eyes by 11pm and waking up at my normal hours of 530 in the morning. I hate the occasional, extreme, sleep-deprived hours of sleeping at 11pm, forced to wake up at 200am, trying to get back to sleep finally at 4am, only to be waking up again at 530am. That gives me a headache. I think it happened once this week. But it got me bothered, groggy and slightly disorientated the next day. I can’t even remember where I parked my car and there were only 2 parking lots at the clinic.

I did however learnt a few things about myself this week.

  • If things have to happen, I will by hook or by crook, make it happen
  • Resilience is my middle name.
  • Patience is my forgotten middle name but have lately resurfaced as my mental health is getting better. I owe it to the brief absence of my husband few days of the week. HA HA HA. Kidding. But yeah, I am using less profanity on the road. Maybe there is not much cars anyway because school is still closed.

well, that is to name the few. I believe there will be more surprises to come for lunch call staff. I can just feel it.

Vaccinator Team in action

Being in the middle of the medical fraternity food chain, puts you in a position where you have to cover for those above you or below you. In other words, you clean the mess or be the diving midwife (bidan terjun). The national vaccine programme started on the 24th of February 2021. It was officiated by the PM, Tan Sri Datuk Muhyiddin Yassin. On the same Friday, the first few vaccinator team members had their jabs including myself. Our moments were very low-key. No banners, no speech, just sign the consent, had the vaccine, observed for 30 minutes and then we were good to go. We received the Pfizer brand where 1 vial = 6 people.

The following week, there was an officiating ceremony at my state by the Chief Minister. I was told that I need to do some briefing for the participants. I was expecting that the CM will be one of them with his entourage. Maybe bodyguards or office staff. Turns out it was a big event for all the big guns in the state. I was flabbergasted. I was not prepared for this. I mean, what kind of honourifics do they use? how best should I address them? The last thing I want is to piss off an official just because I got the name wrong. shouldn’t you have like at least a specialist to give the briefing? why have an ikan bilis like me?! Until now, I still cannot brain the logic of having a medical officer doing this very important task. ni memang nak throw me under the bus ke apa.

I still ploughed through the sessions. Thankfully, there were no mean comments. The officials were quite nice actually apart from a few who had their nose stuck in the air. After the morning session, my team had a quick lunch and zohor prayers. We had an appointment at TYT’s place. 12 people are due to be vaccinated there. Again, another briefing. I was totally exhausted from the adrenaline. There was another medical team on standby from the emergency department. They sent an emergency physician to lead the team. I felt relieved. At least, there is a specialist I can consult should shit happens.

My day ended at 6pm. That’s just the 1st dose. I wonder if I have to see them on the 2nd dose.