Hello out there! Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Blessed 2018
I've been looking at my last couple of blog posts and noted that they've been music or movie reviews. Sure, a lot of good stuff did come out last year; I was also choosing to highlight some of the music that inspires me. That notwithstanding, a lot of stuff's been happening (at work) in the background, so I figured I'll key you in on what's happened thus far. In the past couple of months, I've had about 3 department changes occur: in reality it was 3 days in the Casualty Department, a month and a half in the Orthopaedics Department, and now back (for the remaining foreseeable future) to the Casualty Department.
It really has been a welcome change because I had only ever been in the Internal Medicine Department ever since I started out my current stint at the PCEA Kikuyu Hospital (roughly 1 year and 4 months). There were a bit of shenanigans that helmed my first move to the Casualty Dept (which I will not be visiting here), but I figured some amount of change is good; what left me discombobulated was the sudden turn a few days later when I was moved to the Orthopaedics Dept. Don't get me wrong, I live for Surgery; I'd practically accept and bear any position provided that it had a surgical component to it; but the way things were done, it made me feel as expendable as I did when I was an intern. I was so livid at the time, that I did something unexpected (even for me): I basically told the Head of Department that I had no interest in Orthopaedics.
Anyway, soon as the eventualities were done, I started my stint down at Orthopaedics...and strangely enough, I loved the place! I was actually treated like a Medical Officer, and felt like my own man. Granted, the work can be plentiful on some days, especially Tuesdays and Thursdays down at the Outpatient Clinic; but it is true what they say: if you're doing something that you love/enjoy, then it really doesn't feel like work. I missed lunch on many an occasion, and even worked past my hours, but I enjoyed it.
My basic routine consisted of showing up in the morning for the ward round, and then going down to the clinic. The Orthopaedic ward round is really fast: you have the imaging that shows what's wrong with the patient, their blood work, and you just have to figure out which implant or procedure needs to be performed; after that, they just need to work out some logistics between the theater and the stores and off they would go to perform surgery. For some cases, the consultants would slow down their pace and teach a thing or two. The team on the round consisted of Consultants, a Registrar, a Medical Officer (myself), two interns (Medical and Clinical Officer), a Physiotherapist, and a Theater Nurse.
The ward round was pretty routine and we'd zip through patients really quickly. The only occasions that would demand something extra from my time would be the cases where some sort of medical complication was involved. Seeing as I had spent all that time in the Internal Medicine Dept, I at least provided a chance for patients to get a quick medical review for comorbidities like Diabetes, Hypertension, Pneumonia, etc at the Orthopaedic unit; the alternative would be for them to transferred to the General Unit where they would have their cases reviewed by the physician.
After the ward round, it would be down to the clinic to deal with a large number of patients. Numbers sometimes felt overwhelming, but I was part of a great team. Anyone who needed an orthotic device either got sent to the Limb Shop or the Physiotherapy Dept; if it was something I couldn't handle, my Consults were around for speedy consults; Plaster Technicians also lent a hand in helping me decide which fractures could be dealt with conservatively, or which ones needed urgent surgical management; and lastly, the nurses helped with booking patients into slots for surgery as per our surgical calendar. (Some of them would even chase me off so I could take a tea break or a lunch break :)
I figure I'm only 2 months or so into my Casualty stint, but it seems like Orthopaedics was such a long time ago. Casualty is its own unique animal, with a few fringe benefits, but I miss the regularity of Ortho. At Casualty, I'm on Day Duty for 2 days (each 10 hours), then on Night Duty for 2 days (each 14 hours), and then I get 4 days off. Usually, I spend the 1st day off in a daze and lazing because sometimes that last night shift just punches me in the gut; but the next 3 days are magic, and I have so much free time on my hands to get things done, and perhaps finally delve into some useful hobbies.
Thus far, it's going well. Hoping things only get better.