Monday, March 29, 2010

old and sick

I have come to this conclusion with absolute certainty. I rather be dead than old and sick. It's very sad, for both individual and family, when one is old and sick, lying in a hospital bed with no hope for revovery; the only path is a slow, painful, seemingly unending journey to deaths door. Oxygen masks, endless needles, numerous blood tests to no good end...... the menial things human beings do to hold on to something that is as good as gone. I guess its easy for me to say now, but after having to bear witness to similar sights day in and day out, it just dosent seem like a big deal anymore, when death comes knocking at your door, even the newest technology wont help you breathe no more...

learning curve.....

so in the past 3 weeks i've been taking 3rd year medical students, helping out with some of their clinical skills assessments and giving short tutorials here and there. it wasnt until today that I truly experienced what my previosu tutors must have felt, the frustration that one gets when students (while enthusiastic and eager) do not appear to grasp the importance of certain aspects of the teachings that Im trying to pass on. " Guys, please go home and read up on the following......." in the near future, " guys, can you tell me the following.....". 1st time, you give them soem leeway, 2nd time, you get frustrated, and 3rd time, you start to think that maybe, there was just something in the message that you are trying to put across is not CLEAR enough. its pretty damn frustrating, when 3rd year medical students still behave like they are in pre-clinical years; expecting to be lectured on and doing minimal self-directed learning. The learning curve when one gets to clinical years of medical training is a steep one. I'm very thankful I had someone to direct me when I was in 3rd year. Im jsut trying to do the same for other that come after me, to the best of my ability, and sometimes its just frustrating.

update 1 - needle-stick patient is HCV positive. so now I have to do blood tests for the next 6 months. damn.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


today I suffered a needle stick injury. the patient has a hx of IVDU and ETOH, and is riddled with tattoos. blood test so far has been good. hopefully nothing bad happens from this. When i got home and decided ot heat up some soup, I forgot to open the lid up enough, and my soup exploded in the microwave. fuck me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

life and death

today I saw a man literally come back to life. whilst the events had taken place over a course of approx 10 days, the progress has been remarkable. an elderly man who suffered a fall and a brain bleed, managed in intensive care and later recovered on the wards. Unfortunately for this man, he then developed blood clots in his lungs which sent him back to intensive care. this was where I first met him and heard of his story. The ICU is a scary place. Machines, tubes, needles, bottles, scurrying of doctors and nurses. Background noises of pumps, machines, patients coughing, choking, gurgling, the list is endless. Here I saw the same man, hooked up to the same instruments and looked after like every other patient with a serious problem. here every patient is broken down into numbers and percentages. the wonders of modern medicine are endless. where a man once laid on the brink of death, where family members had given up home on improvement and signed an advance medical directive. this man is now walking up in the wards, cheerful and talking. if you didnt see him over the course of the week, you could not fathom the strife he was in.