Hanging up the Scrubs

Maybe for good.

scrubs

Let me just spin this song I like to listen to whenever I feel melancholic and not appreciated. hah gitew.. syahdu right..

I have mixed feelings about this. I remember this particular whirlwind emotion. It has an emoji of its own. The Minci Emoji. It’s the exact feeling I had many years ago when I was also faced with a difficult, life changing decision. It’s a mix between ‘arghhh tak suka tak suka tapi terpaksa’ with ‘i can do this’ with ‘i am going to be sad forever and ever but still smiling’ with ‘come on Minci, they can throw you to the wolves and you’ll come back leading the pack’. Get  it?

Back then, I chose whats RIGHT over how I FELT. Kononnya BRAIN over HATI DAN PERASAAN.

I chose a situation that could lead me to JALAN YANG LURUS instead of FUN and COMFORTABLE.

Indeed, that decision paid off. It was the RIGHTFUL decision I made. Do I still think about it? Of what would have happen if I chose to walk the other road? Of course I did – who wouldn’t if it was accompanied with a bucket of tears. Just like the one I’m experiencing at the moment. Another RIGHTFUL decision.

But it is the BEST decision for now. It’s like what Oprah said

YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL. JUST NOT ALL AT ONCE

I loved what I was doing – I think it was the adrenaline rush. And of course the type of people I met along the way. If you love the nature of your job, you don’t really give a damn about the birocracy that happened within the institution you know. You just concentrate on making your sick patients well again. And you do it in a team with My Person [read : Greys Anatomy ]

BUT – it was a job that did not get me anywhere when it comes to progressing in your career. I did not make through the screening process for the Masters Programme – TWICE. Yes, I had additional responsibilities seen fit for my pay grade but it was just that. I was still going to be just a medical officer. but more senior, so called more experienced .. yet I still have to commute 27km daily to and fro, do oncalls and night shifts. Which can be taxing and dangerous sometimes when I have to go home from a shift at 12 midnight passing through the dark areas. At the end of the day, I  am the Medical Officer that could be quoted upon . Like you know how some people like to say, ” Kak Minci yang ajar buat camni” when they’re caught doing something wrong. HAHAHA.

Since this particular situation was seen through the perspective of people who mattered to me most (family), the argument is.. you can still serve the ill as a medical officer in a clinic setting. It’ll be InsyaAllah closer to home, office hours – well there might be programmes on the weekend but at least my nights are free. So I could tuck the kids to bed and check their homework and rise early the next morning to prepare their Bento. Kids tend to remember the times when you were not there for them at times when they need you most. Regardless of how many mornings you’re home to make Dorayaki for breakfast.

So yup – It was great to meet you Anaesthesia and Emergency Medicine. I hope to bump into you one day. but errr.. not as a patient though. I wish for a better beginning – my friends are convincing me that I would have a better quality of life. Thanks ladies. Then maybe I could arrange Me Time better – the spa, the journaling sessions, more blogging stuff. YEAY.

I did realize ONE GLARING thing though. That when it comes to WORK or as a work colleague – you are replaceable. Petik jari, somebody is already in line to be trained as good as you. And after a few sad emoji’s, goodluck wishes and such on Whatsapp and friendly exchanges of ‘why the transfer’ and what not – in just an instance Minci is already a distant memory. New BFF circles are formed. It is normal. Take home note – do not love your job excessively. It does not love you back just as much.

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Communication Skills

Yesterday I received a direct call from my specialist. In a very warm and friendly tone. She asked if I was working that day, I told her that I will be coming in for my PM Syift. She said it was alright and asked that I call her back once I come in for work.

Of course her being a specialist, I thought I’d just go see her directly for I fear I may not be able to comprehend properly the anticipated discussion. Furthermore, I feel its better to have a face to face conversation so I could interpret her facial expression and body language better.

The main point is  – no patient died. But she highlighted a few loopholes regarding the management of the patient from my side in casualty and from her side in the wards. Nothing adverse happened to the patient but she felt a few improvements can be done in the future for better patient care. That 5 minute private talk with her was one of the most valuable lessons on communication skills I have ever learnt especially when it involves a superior with her team members.

When I first came to see her,  she made sure only the relevant people were in the room – for patients confidentiality purposes and also for my own privacy I suppose.

She asked me how I was –  my pregnancy and if I was well. If I was tired and congratulated me as she only knew recently. It was a good mukaddimah to make me feel at ease.

Then she laid out the background of the case so we could agree that it was the same case and we both know which patients we were talking about.

She mentioned my good points in the management of the patient, adding on her own points and experience which supported my decision at that point in time. Only after, did she suggested a few things on how we could BOTH handle the case better. Mind you, she is a specialist already but here she is, discussing with me a mere (so called senior medical officer) on how we could BOTH move forward and rectify these loopholes we come across our cases.

Obviously, anyone in my position would want to give my full cooperation and improve on the knowledge that I have. KAn??? I was happy to share my experience of the case with my colleagues and everyone was on board and took note of how things can be better.

There was no need for name-shaming in the Watsapp Group. No need for sarcasm or name calling. Or sabotaging. And the message still gets across. To the right person, to be disseminated to the relevant team members and such.

Wonderful teacher. Excellent communication skills. Could not ask for more.

Gajah berjuang bersama gajah, pelanduk mati di tengah2

It was nice to end the day with a humorous pantun. And dinner for 2 adults (with a sleeping kindie). After all the drama!

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Today I am reminded of a comic picture I once came across on Facebook. Of how 1 person saw the number 6 and the one opposite him saw a 9. Theoretically they are both right if we were to look at it from where they are standing. But wouldn’t it be nicer if they could show the person opposite them what they are seeing by bringing him to where they are standing. So they could both see the number 6 and 9. Coming from that same figure. 

While it is interesting to have a patient with a list of differential diagnosis to work out – at the end of the day, when something needs to be done quickly – we want these opposing parties to agree on a common ground which will benefit the patient. But who are we to make suggestions. So its like how a friend puts it – let the big guns decide. We will be the little elves helping magic to happen.

You don’t agree with me? You become a specialist first, and then you come back and argue with me …

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… tapi sekarang…most people seems to think that they know better.

A patient for an elective operation drank before his scheduled time. It was not a large amount but fluids in an elective op is still fluids. I had a choice to just cancel the case or reschedule his time, after a discussion with the operating surgeon of course.

The agreed time to call the patient was 11AM, after other cases are done – to allow enough NBM hours. In a way, I was taking full responsibility of any inevitable things that would happen – if any. After all, as part of the anaesthesia team – we have taken every single measure the best that we could to minimise risk. Advice, preop assessment consultation and all sorts.

Frustratingly, my 11am instructions to call the patient was over ruled. BY SOMEONE WHO THINKS HE/SHE KNOWS BETTER. There are reasons why I called for 11AM. kalau tak faham, jgn buat2 pandai. Kalau patient ada morbidity bila induce awal, yang jawab aku tau!! 

I felt like saying,” hah.. dah panggil tuh induce lah sendiri “

But of course – since patients outcome and best interest gains the upper hand – Minci did whats best.

  • kept her mouth shut
  • did not vent on facebook
  • controlled her emotions because innocent personnel should not suffer and we don’t want to give the wrong medications, right?
  • shifted my focus elsewhere

Alhamdulilah, the op went fine.