Hello, Orthopaedics!

July 31, 2018

I just feel like writing today.
It's been a while, I know.

I have successfully completed my Obstetrics & Gynecology posting, alhamdulillah. :) Missing it the moment I am writing this post. O&G was my first in encountering almost everything. My housemanship basically started from zero, there. But, to complete these 2 years, I know I need to move on to another postings.

So, here I am, on my way to complete the very first month in Orthopaedics.

Honestly, I don't have specific postings in mind to choose what is going to be next though. So, I am gladly accepting this posting :) There are few life lessons I learned here (so far in 1 month).

1. I need to be physically fit.
Orthopaedics is more about musculoskeletal stuffs - involving fractures of bones, dislocations of joints, diabetic foot ulcers any many more. And this is a surgical based - so, expect operations every single day. Operations are almost 100% different than O&G. They took hourssssss (the longest one I have been in... was 7 hours straight - with 20 minutes break for me in the middle because I was hypoglycemic). But there was one time when there were 4 operations planned to be done that day and it was going one after another from 8am to 5.45pm and all of us there were basically standing the whole hours. 

MO: "Hanis, take a break, pergi makan kat pantry. You need energy to assist me."

Full respects to all of my surgeons, who are very committed to reduce all the fractures, to debride all the wound, to explore the area etc. T___T 

One day, I was helping the medical assistant to lift up a full right leg of a 150kg man to secure the best position of it so that the surgeon can have the best view and space to do operation on the leg. Once upon a time, I was a person who could lift a 30kg luggage up to 4th floor with stairs - but I assume not anymore. I don't know why but seems like I am losing most of my energy and strength.

So, back to the story of 150kg man.... my hand was literally shaking upon lifting the leg. The surgeon realized this and ended up asking a PPK to exchange with me.

MO: "Hanis, the moral of today, you need to eat more and exercise more."
Me: "Okay, doctor."

Thank you doctor for being considerate enough to a newbie like me.

2. Expect the challenging response.
There was one fine morning, raining cats and dogs at almost 6am, when I still remember the azan was berkumandang. It was time to take blood coming morning (means as an oncall person, we need to take any blood needed for the whole ward early morning that day). 

I pushed the blood taking trolley towards a bed - who was known to be very hard to take the blood. But, what could I do? Blood is like an identity to us. Other than physical examinations, doctors can know what is happening in the patients' bodies via blood - how the liver functioning, how well is the kidney, is there any chronic infection going on, are the antibiotics working out yada yada.

So, the uncle said to me. "Doktor nak ambil darah ke? Muak dah tengok muka doktor-doktor asyik nak ambil darah je"

I am so sorry to have this inner thought, "Ingat doktor tak muak ke nak ambil darah?". I proceeded to do so, because this is my job. No matter how much the patient hates blood taking, I am doing my job and trying to make sure to get my job done so that I can feel satisfied for my pay. Keberkatan gaji is very important to me. 

I ended my shift that day at about 2pm and later at night, my colleague told me that patient passed away towards the end of the evening. I was not in charge of him but I feel bad for my inner thought that morning... astaghfirullah T___T

3. Get my work done first and only then, help others.
In this department, we are assigned to beds - which mean we need to take care of the specific patient through out our working hours that day. The beds may be the same from the previous day or the next day, depending on how the oncall shift people distribute the beds.

I need to remember, other colleagues may help me but usually all people will focus on getting their carry outs done first. 

I need to do the same.

And I need to remember my favourite MO mentioned to me a long time ago, "Hanis, I know you are very nice to help your friends. Keep that attitude but in reality, most of the time, you need to save your a** first." 

Life is very subjective. There are colleagues you don't mind to spend your extra time to help them out, but there are some whom you will feel you need to get out of there as soon as you've done your job that day. 

Keep being nice, Nina. You can do this.

4. Ortho ward is full of patients with infections.
Honestly, I feel bad for all babies and kids who come to the ward. I am sure that there is a big notice in front of the ward that we don't really recommend the parents to bring the small kids and babies inside. I know you want the kids to visit their grandmother, grandfather etc.

But, isn't your children's health more important?

Trust me, babies and small kids' immune systems are not that strong compared to adults. They are still literally growing, their immunity is still maturing. If the infections are strong enough for normal adults, don't you think they are extremely harmful for your little buddies?


All in all, the posting is honestly full of dramas. Belum masuk kisah-kisah patients yang nak masuk wad tapi taknak masuk wad, nak operation tapi taknak operation. Hahaha. Adoi laaa.

Embrace them, Nina.
Absorb the best parts and let go of the bad ones. 

You are still learning, try hard to avoid doing mistakes. But, if you do any, acknowledge and analyse the mistakes and try not to do them ever again. If other people blamed you for something not your fault, back yourself up with valid reasons so that they can't fire back at you. But, if they still blamed you for no reasons, then it is their problem, not yours. 

I love the working hours in Orthopaedics anyway. :)
One of the best things here other than very helpful senior housemen and MOs who are willing to guide and teach.

M, Perak, Malaysia

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