Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Working World

Dear future Housemen,

There are some things I think you should know before you start your new life in the hospital. All of it is actually just basic common sense, but my friends and I have seen one too many HOs who seem to lack in these areas.

First of all, you have to be aware of the fact that the profession you chose is not an easy one. You will be getting scoldings from you specialists, your MOs, sometimes you colleagues and even your patients. You will have to work 7 days a week, 7am to 5pm (at least) and you will have to do oncalls. If you think that you cannot handle these, then please just quit before you start.

You are just a housemen. You are nothing. Nothing you do is actually going to save a patients life - if a patient is really ill, it is usually the MO and specialist who will do the saving. You are just a pawn. You do what they tell you to do. You just HELP. All you are expected to do is to not kill a patient, to not make a patient's condition worse.

So, please, don't be arrogant. Don't think that just because you graduated you are to be looked up upon. The title 'Doctor' is nothing, unless you have your work to prove yourself.

Just think about it this way - if your parents are unwell, will you treat them yourself or take them to the specialist? The day you think you can treat your parents yourself without feeling inadequate, then be arrogant, be snobbish, be whatever you want. But as long as you think you would like the opinion of someone else for your parents, try to be a bit more humble.

The MOs and specialists may scold you sometimes - usually it is your fault, something you did wrong. When they do so, try to look remorseful, try to be sorry, DO NOT ANSWER BACK!! Most of the time, they are right. They have years and years of experience. If you think you are right, say so properly, politely, and they will listen. If you are wrong, just say sorry - is that so hard to do?

Your colleagues will be the ones teaching/guiding you during your early days. Be nice to them. If they are telling you something, LISTEN! DO NOT answer back to them, talk to them sarcastically, because trust me, they will just stop teaching you stuff, and you are the one who will regret it later. Even once you are senior housemen, you will need your colleagues, because you will not know everything, you cannot do everything. Work is about teamwork, and your team is your colleagues.

Please be proactive. If you want to learn to set a branula, then whenever there is a branula to set, volunteer to set it, to try. Don't keep quiet and wait for people to offer to teach you. The same goes for any other procedures - ask your friends to teach you. If you don't ask, then you will never know. Why would anyone want to answer a question before it is asked?

Please try not to take unplanned leaves. Yes, I know you used to bunk classes whenever you felt like it, I did it too - but absences in classes never affected anyone else. When you are working in a ward with other people, each person matters, the workload differs. You may think that one person is not going to make much of a difference, but imagine if 2 or 3 people in the ward think the same way? Who is then supposed to do the work? Nobody is denying you leave - just plan your leave earlier. Yes, you can fall sick, you can have an emergency - no one is stopping you then, but then if you take emergency leave 2-3 times a month, obviously no one will like it.

The thing is, once you give someone a bad impression, it stays that way for a LONG time. Because people talk. Housemen, MOs, specialists, it makes no difference - they will all talk behind your back. And once you spoil your name this way, people will be extra mean to you, extra unhelpful and they would rather you not be in you ward, because then that ward won't have a good team.

One more thing, I'm sure that you have heard of the phrase 'the customer is always right'. Patients are your customers. Be nice. Yes, they can be irritating, they can be rude, but try to be nicer to them - they are just worried. If you don't think you can be polite to them, then get your friend to talk to them. Don't say things that you will regret later, because patients have be known to complain about doctors too - and this will go into your record, which is unerasable, no matter how good you turn out to be later.

I am not saying that everyone is bad. Most of the housemen are OK, but there are a few that even we Housemen cannot 'tahan', I wonder how the MOs and specialists feel.

Please dear future doctors, don't make people hate you.


kenwooi said...

when i was younger, i thought of becoming a doctor.. but i changed my mind.. not sure why though.. maybe it's because i dont really like the fact that i have to study for like... 5 years? and stay with the government for like... another 5 years? haha..

well.. the hospital scene you mentioned is just like any other working place.. it can be nasty! =)

Sharini said...

actually, you are right - wherever you are working, it would be the the end, only your attitude matters..

Kelvin Tan said...

Welcome to the real world!

Chong Beng said...

very good post,pretty much sum up everything :)when is our gathering?

Yusrul said...

Hi Sharini, not sure if u still remember me or not..but we studied in same school for SPM in 2001 i think..SMKSI 1 rite?just found your blog, really nice blog u have here..well, u got your dream job rite, being a doctor..:)

wish u good luck with ur job..chayok..

Sharini said...

yusrul! of course i remember you.....u working redi? where? lost contact with you once u went to UM...rite?

yusrul said...

yup, working in melaka but not doctorla..hahaha..well, not really lost contact maa only when i'm going back to texas (aka chukai)u r not min pau last 2 or 3 years CNY..they said your family already move from chukai..rite?

C.l.i.c.H.e G.a.L said...

well said.. thanks so much for the advice.. gonna need that alot.. ^_^