Monday, 2 August 2010

a frank account

sumber: halwa hati

Meh nak cerita.
Jujur, saya rasa saya perlu tulis bab ini, urgently. Ramainya kawan-kawan, adik-adik yang punya pandangan tidak tepat tentang kerjaya doktor, ilusi optik yang jauh dari yang sebenar. Sebahagiannya bila membaca blog ini, semakin rancak memasang angan-angan indah about the fantastic life, the satisfaction and nobility that this career promises. Ha? I felt sick..

Bukan sedikit bilangan doktor yang menyebut ‘kenapalah dulu aku amik medic..’

Please know that I say it on a regular basis, a minimum of once a month, and on a certain week, daily. The worse thing is, I have no other to blame but myself. I was the one who tick Medicine in the UPU form as well as the Skim Pelajar Cemerlang form after SPM. Yes, I learn a lot, I gained experiences some of which I wrote in here, but I do that for those who already (accidentally) endure this path and is looking for light at the end of the dark tunnel. I do not regret, for I know it must be the best thing that Allah has decided for me, Alhamdulillah, but I am not recommending this pathway of life to anyone outside. Stay out.

Adik-adik lepasan SPM yang pernah bertanyakan saya tentang kerjaya ini tentu telah mendapat jawapan yang sama, “Jangan.”

5 years life of medical student was grand. You get to go oversea, learn other people’s culture and values, travel, have medical knowledge, your family is proud of you, which were all fantastic. My grandmother excitedly told a faraway extended family when we met in a kenduri, ‘Anak Timah ni tengah blaja nak jadi doktorr tau’. You get the ‘glory’ of being in medicine, but without the responsibility of being a doctor. Huhu. Astaghfirullah.

I still remember how petrified I was the first time I had to go oncall when I was doing my housemanship. (Note the word : Petrified. The word is not Scared. This is another level of fear). People think that doctors are always dashing to save lives. Perhaps by Allah’s will, we do, but believe me, everytime I go oncall, I make a lot of Doa, that I won’t kill anyone.

During medical student life, your source of stress is your studies, as you have to memorise the whole bookshelf to merely pass. Being a doctor, the stress comes from having the enormous responsibility, as your mistake can cause someone his/her life, your carelessness may cause someone pain, your ignorance may delay someone from getting the right treatment. InshaAllah, the more skillful you are, the less your patient will suffer, for example, inserting a cannula into a vein or doing a lumbar puncture. The housemans know what I am blabbering about.

Every junior doctor will learn the ugliest sound of all time – no, it is not the sound of the fire alarm going off, or the sound of continuous cry of children in the mad A&E. Nope! It is the sound of the pager which goes ‘beeeeeeeeeep!’. For that reason, the doctor’s pager is affectionately called the Bleep, because that is all it does from dawn to dusk. When your bleep produces that screeching ear-piercing sound, it means that some nurses are looking for you somewhere, which also means, somebody else’s problem is about to become yours. I don’t mean to sound unkind, but if you have not sleep for the last 23 hours, dehydrated (because there is no time to drink) or is having urinary retention (because you can’t find the time to go the toilet), and then you are bleeped by a nurse for something completely insignificant and will not cause anyone’s death, like ‘doctor, can you please rewrite this drug chart?’, you will understand why so many doctors wish the little Bleep was never invented. Dear nurses, doctors are human and just in case you forget, we only have two hands.

To survive medicine, you need:

1. A good memory
For medical students, please try to understand what you read. But if you, after trying very hard, still don’t understand, just memorise it. Hafal je ok. Sebab apa yang membezakan student yang ‘terror’ dgn ‘tak terror’, ialah bila Consultant tanya, dia boleh jawab! For doctors, no excuse. Jadi doktor ni blaja dan exam sepanjang hayat. It is baddd if there are at least 10 most common cause of loss of consciousness, and you can only think of 3. I will feel unsafe to leave my mother in your hands. It’s OK if your mathematics is bad, we can use the calculator.

2. Common sense
When a patient’s oxygen level goes low and he looks somewhat breathless, before you go about starting him on a nebuliser or high flow oxygen, please correct the patient’s position from slouching to sitting upright. That maybe all he needs to breathe well.

3. A steady sensitive finger tips
No doctors can survive without this. You need your finger tips to palpate for veins to insert the cannula, feel for pulses to take blood from the arteries, aim for the gap between the spine bone to do lumbar puncture etc. There are many things in the human body that we can’t see, but we must be able to feel using the finger tips to detect the exact location before putting a needle through it. You can’t go puncturing blindly and then hoping to hit gold.

4. Able to think & act under pressure
In the event of cardiac arrest, in the midst of panicking and crying family members outside the door, we must be able to recall the steps that we learn in the Advance Cardiac Life Support course that we attend last month/year, and act accordingly. Practise makes perfect. Experience is of course, the best teacher.

On another occasion, a frail looking 25 year old man with a newly diagnosed leukaemia asked, “Doctor, what’s wrong with me? Will I die?”. Think.. think.. choose your words wisely before answering, doctors!

5. Sabar
If you are scheduled to be oncall on malam raya – sabar, sabar, sabar.
etc etc.

I seriously think to be a doctor, you need to be mentally, emotionally and physically fit. InshaAllah boleh saja untuk masuk ke bidang ini, asalkan sudah berfikir betul-betul, tahu apa cabarannya, sudah berbual terlebih dahulu dengan pelajar perubatan dan doktor yang sudah bekerja dan kemudian solat istikharah mohon petunjuk Allah. Mudah-mudahan pilihan medic dibuat bukanlah kerana tiada idea akibat tidak terdedah dengan pilihan-pilihan kerjaya lain atau cuma mengikut kehendak keluarga. Sungguh, banyak lagi kerjaya di luar sana yang tidak kurang jasanya dan mulianya dalam menolong masyarakat. Bukanlah saya anti-doktor, cuma kalau menimbang, biar adil.

Statistik dalam ramai-ramai pesakit, ada berapa orang doktor, adalah penting.

Namun, statistik dalam ramai-ramai doktor, ada berapa orang doktor yang membawa risalah Islam, adalah jauh lebih penting.

Buat sahabat-sahabat yang sudah pun berada di atas jalan ini, kita adalah orang Islam yang kebetulannya doktor, bukan doktor yang kebetulannya Islam. Doktor, Jurutera, Ustazah, Cikgu, Akauntan, Pengurus Restoran – walau apapun kerjaya dan jawatan kita, kerja tetap setiap seorang dari kita adalah membawa risalah Islam ini kepada semua umat manusia, menunjukkan bahawa Islam ini adalah budaya, cara hidup, pemikiran, perasaan dan pandangan. Islam adalah Kata Kerja, bukan sekadar Kata Nama Khas.

Semoga Allah membimbing setiap langkah kita, memberi barakah pada setiap saat masa kita dan menolong setiap usaha kita, dalam menggapai redhaNya. Ameen.

Medical Officer
Bleep 701
post-call syndrome

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