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Sunday, 31 August 2008

SUR2: wakey wakey

And there goes the second week of my 4th year. Time does pass really fast when you have something on all the time =/

Anaesthesia week's over, but i can't say it's been a really productive week. I had been scheduled to shadow a different anaesthetist for each morning, and other than that there's nothing on. Thing is, out of the 3 days, i had missed 3 surgeries due to cancellations or because the previous surgery took too long. I know, i should have been super enthu and stayed there for the rest of the days. Haha but i have better things to do.. like clerking patients for the next day. Which i didn't really manage to do anyway. Sigh.

But i did learn something though. And that is the misconception that anaesthetists do not need any communication skills because their patients are always asleep anyway. Haha i don't know who came up with that. I had actually thought so too, until now. On the contrary, an anesthetist has to have damn good communication skills. Bloody damn good. Damn.

So what does an anaesthetist do?
He has to visit the patient the day before the surgery to assess the patient's fitness.
He has to visit him again in the morning to reassure and relieve his anxiety.
He has to make him sleep with his lame jokes in the anaesthesia room (just before going into theatre).
And after the surgery, he has to wake him up and assess his condition.

If you notice it, the patient never get to see the surgeon at all, but he sees the anaesthetist all the time.

The surgeon sorta wait in his room for the patient to be wheeled into the theatre, go and do his stuff, and ciao from the theatre to drink coffee leaving the anaesthetist to 'wakey wakey' the patient. In a way, a surgeon seems so cool. Haha.

To be fair, an anesthetist get to drink coffee during the surgery :P.

So what do i think of becoming an anaesthetist now, given that my communication skills is non-existent? Strangely, i just can't wait to be one right now. Heck, i even look through the whole 7 years postgraduate course in anaesthesia. 7 years. Bloody hell i still have to study that long?

By the time i really get the chance to 'wakey wakey' a patient, i would be 32 years old.

That's a really long time just to learn how to make people sleep.. or maybe i can just skip all that and have a crash course in Lame Jokes 101 from a certain 'leng zhai' in Calgary. Haha :P

ps - there, i blogged about a 'leng zhai'. Happy? Haha.

pps - apparently the doctor cum lecturers here like to ask 'Happy?' during their teachings ..


And a happy Merdeka, Malaysia! the land where my blood spill (:

Sunday, 24 August 2008

SUR2: of accidents and emergencies (or lack thereof)

Accident&Emergency block ended, and so did the Olympics. Felt barely a couple of days ago that i was watching the Olympics opening ceremony. Well, half of it anyway.

Having been posted to A&E in the mornings, there wasn't really much too see. There weren't that many cases to observe, and most of the time we ended up just standing around the Review Clinic waiting for patients to come in (which mostly never did). For a hospital that boasts of unrivalled pre-hospital care, Ninewells's A&E department does seem quiet in the mornings.

Most of the patients we saw were during the ward rounds, where half the cases were overdoses, while the other half were trauma/falls. Nothing major i witnessed, but that probably is because i didn't stay around during the evening when patient admissions peak. The one night i did stay though, there was this late middle-aged lady who got drunk and overdosed herself. Pretty worked up and kept trying to leave the ward, at one point i had to try to keep her in bed as well. Haha. Oh and the security guards were called in. And they were.. HUGE. First time i have to lift my head up so high just to look at them. That was the most interesting it got anyway. Maybe i should go at nights again next week.

The consultants and registrars have been very cheerful and friendly here, almost exactly the opposite of what i would expect had it been in Malaysia. Joked around a lot, and i think that's a good thing. At least the patients don't feel uptight where everyone's so serious about everything. But i guess probably it's because they're less stressed here, Scotland being much less populated than Britain. Good thing the patients here get all the attention. If only Malaysia can reach this standard, instead of making the doctors do on-calls for 36 hours straight. But that'd be blamed on the lack of doctors, with that being caused by the exploitations long on-calls making doctors not wanting to come back. Catch-22, eh.

Starting Anaesthesia block for next week, something i had been looking forward to since i've been pretty interested in it. Funny enough, the first reason i took interest in anaesthesia is because of an article on the newspaper, an anaesthesiologist talking bout the lack of anaesthesiologists in Malaysia. Of course, being the young, naive and patriotic boy back then, i pretty much vowed myself to become one and serve the country. I'm still the same after these years, but somehow, i'm more inclined to stay here instead, at least for a while.

Probably due to the childishness that is Malaysian politics. Guess i don't have to say much for every other Malaysian to know what's happening back home, seems to have escalated into some hypocritical competition. Like, someone offering Datukship while the other offers money to an Olympic silver medalist. I mean, why pull the ones watching on the side into this already dirty field. Sigh, if only they're as 'passionate' in serving the rakyat. For now (and as before), i don't know which side is worse. Everything, everyone's just a big mess.


Wouldn't go into that. On to brighter news, Adrian just organised a BBQ for us at his place. Very yummy food, made me miss all the BBQs we used to have. Big Night Outs .. that had been fun. I have a feeling that the BNOs for the British involve a hell lot more alcohol and cigarattes here though. Like, uh.. Carnage UK's coming to Dundee! (viewer discretion advised)

Culture shock would have been an understatement. Haha. At first i thought it'd be a great fun party, but now.. uh, let's say that's a little too 'fun' :P.

Seems a little long (and off-track) now, better sleep soon. Till next then, have a great week peeps.

ps - little known fact: Ninewells Hospital (Dundee's main hospital) has its own series on BBC! Which ran for 6 episodes, centred on the A&E department. Complete with drama-like opening title some more haha. Pity i couldn't find it anywhere on the net to torrent .. (we were shown some parts of a few episodes though heh)

Sunday, 17 August 2008

The Week

The Week is finally coming to an end. It's almost a month since i set foot in this cold, cold place with warm, warm people (:. I'm actually beginning to fall in love with this town.

After having gone through our bridging course in 3 weeks, we had a week's break before the 4th year starts and we join in with the rest of our new batch. A week to do all the catching-up needed for the half year more they did which we skipped.

Catch up, we did. Caught up with the Aberdeen gang of course :P

Since they came all the way down to check Dundee out the last time, we figured we'll return the favor this time round :P. So the day after our online assessment exam (which is.. let's just say the half year we lacked really shows haha) on Thursday, we took the train all the way to Aberdeen.

3 days, 2 nights in Aberdeen, the Aberdonians are really really amazing hosts. Especially Jackie, who went to all the trouble just to make sure our stay is comfortable. Nice to see all of them again after so long, all settled in and close knit now, just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside even so far away from home. And so much thanks for the dinner you all cooked on our last day there. Yummy. Miss you all already (:

After Aberdeen we head even more northwards to Inverness, where the famous Loch Ness is. Very scenic town along the River Ness, albeit a small one (but their shops are open till late evening! maybe dundee is too un-touristy ..). Managed to book a tour package of Loch Ness and Uruquat Castle, which was really worth the 20 pounds we paid for it. Our driver/tour guide, George is such a funny chap hehe.

And after 2 days in Inverness, we came back to Dundee. Since then i've just been either sleeping as much as i can at home, went exploring around the neighbourhood, or be in town (just did a psychology experiment and earned 6 pounds aha). Didn't do nothing much really, but now i think i should have studied a little bit more =/


Just 9 hours to the start of our class now.

The Week is finally over. I guess, i will really miss this week of nothing-to-worry-about-but-just-chill very very soon ..

My first block is Surgery 2 - Acute Care (A&E) for next week. Let's hope i don't embarrass myself and at least get to know some of the locals (:


A random note, listen to this guy's singing. Beautiful song. Just came across it on Facebook hehe (yes, and i've been Facebook-ing too much as well ..)

Rain Melts [A Becca Fox Poem]

Darren Ashley, drummer/vocalist of Malaysian homegrown band, Bus Company, who won the Battle of the Bands Asia 2007 (reminds me of the BotB back in Taylor's College .. so long ago now sigh ..)