Jan 16, 2017


I always hate going to work the next day after having my off day. The off day itself is actually really pleasant, don't get me wrong, but the sluggishness of my mind that I will encounter the following morning is too horrible for me to experience. I had my day off yesterday which I fully utilized by being dormant at home, surrounded by family and the comfort my home always provide.

Meanwhile, today is the first day of my first week being off-tagged and becoming a "permanent" houseman. Personally, the only perk of being a permanent houseman in the O&G department in this hospital is that I can go back by 5pm every time I am working on morning shift like today. The drawbacks of being a permanent houseman, on the other hand, are quite plenty and downright scary. Thinking about what had happened today alone has proved to be a torturous mental effort. 

I supposed, as stories often do, I will begin my story with an epilogue. My epilogue for today, although it has nothing to do with the main topic of today's post, is about the sleep of last. I always have a habit of sleeping next to the windows, and if only the mosquitoes had gone extinct, I will always sleep with the windows open. But sometimes I do open it, and last night the wind blew hard and long late last night, bringing with it heavy downpour at an angle where the rain soaked me awake. It was a rude awakening to say at the very least, because it took a while for me to fall asleep.

Much of the insomniatic thoughts that occupied my mind last night were about today - shouldering the overdue responsibility of being a houseman. I talked about it last time and I am talking about it again this time. That concern of mine finally turned into a reality when I went to work at the labour room today.

The labour room here is divided into 3 sides - A side for cases like preeclampsia, post partum haemorrhage and patients under tocoloysis, B side is the actual labour suite with 5 delivery cubicles, and C side is for obstetric infectious-disease and other cases. I began my day with reviewing patients in A side first as these patients will be discussed by the MOs and the specialists in the morning passover. 

Once I finished with the A side, I went to the B side. Already there were 3 cubicles with the patients, and the situation was tense. I instantaneously thought there must be an emergency Caesarean case happening, so I went hurriedly to help. My guess aimed true. There was a CTG left to be reviewed quickly, so I got my pen and started reading the scripted lines while writing down.

"Doctor cepat la tulis. Apasal lambat sangat ni."
"CTG ni discussed dengan siapa? Tulis la kat situ!"

The elderly staff nurse barked at me. Terkebil-kebil aku while holding the pen, staring at her. I looked back at the CTG, knowing that the parameters are not normal. But what did they had discussed? 

"Semua orang dah tahu la case ni adik oi. Tulis la abnormal CTG kat situ cepat!"

The scary senior registrar half yelled at me. O-kay. Shouldn't come and help blindly if you don't know the case I supposed.

After the patient was pushed to the operating theatre, I thought I could take a breather but I was mistaken. Another patient, this time in C side, with indication that now had slipped off my mind, warranted for an emergency operation and so the drill was repeated. Consent for the operation, consent for blood transfusion, the two copies of OT list, inserting two branulas and a catheter, informing HO paediatrics, informing the husband, and informing the 2B housemen. 

"Mana OT list, mana?! Cepat la tulis. Last meal dia bila? Penting tak kita nak tau last meal dia bila? Penting kan??"

"Height dia berapa? Weight dia? Kenapa tak tulis? Antenatal dia takkan kosong?"

At that time I was flustered real bad. Imagine trying to sort out the papers urgently and could not find the needed BHT that holds all the information about the patient. And the senior registrar was the one who's doing the OT list, which is bad because it's supposed to be our task.

I mistakenly blurted out,

"Kat mana nak cari weight and height dia, doctor? Saya tak jumpa BHT dia."

"Apa dia awak kata? Tak jumpa? Buku pink tu kan ada? Kenapa tak selak tengok?"

Oh man aku kena balik. Stupid stupid stupid. I quickly moved away and sorted out other task. Once the MO had posted the case to the Anaes, I went to ask who is the surgeon for the case and where is the operation going to take place. It was in the GOT, so I called my friend who was in the 2B today to post case to them. Then, they will go to GOT to assist the Caesarean operation. 

"Weyh, ada emergency LSCS. Surgeon Dr V. Buat kat GOT."

Already I knew I was talking crap. I was stammering into the phone. Luckily it's my friend and not anyone else that will scold me back at the speed of light. I should have started with something like this:

"Weyh, aku ada satu emergency LSCS nak post case kat kau.

Ready? Nama dia Ms X X X, 29 years old gravida berapa para berapa at 36 weeks 2 days for emergency LSCS indication fetal distress. 

Antenatal issues dia ada GDM on diet control and anaemia in pregnancy.

Surgeon in charge is Dr V, operation buat kat GOT."

Sounds simple, isn't it? It should be simple if I actually know the case. I shouldn't have gone straight into calling 2B people without having the facts with me. It made sense, doesn't it? I have noticed it for a while now whenever I got myself into tensed situations. I panic easily. Well I know that I do get panic, my performance in the university had shown me that repeatedly, but for someone who inspires to work in Emergency department as a future prospect, this is downright unthinkable.

I think I crumble easily under pressure. Like cookies crushed by a hand of a toddler. Ni baru benda emergency kecik. Toddler-size emergency case. What will happen to me tomorrow then when I will be working night shift with fewer colleagues and only oncall doctors available? Can I do this?

I fall asleep earlier tonight after I went home (my hostel) from work. My back is sore and my head is full with clutter. I feel so tired and mentally disappointed with myself. There are so many things I've learnt from my blunders. I know I will do some of the mistakes yet again, but I hope the mistakes would be lesser and my ability to do my work will improve. I would like to think that despite the difficulties I have faced today, I actually survived it.


  1. Creepy gila, anyway may Allah ease ur path. :) stay strong bro.

  2. ive been reading your blogposts all morning and i have to say you write really really well! i feel as if i am there living the very situation youre in. I am starting my HOship this May and im riddled with fear, uncertainty and so much self doubt but reading your journey into HOship makes me feel like i wont be alone out there and i too can fight and keep going
    Thank you so much and i hope you keep writing!

    1. Thanks! I've been getting a few comments all of a sudden and ah ha, that means new batch of future colleagues are coming soon eh? Good luck!!

  3. Soon--as next week! Scarehhh