Sunday, 18 December 2011

An update, finally

Pushing away the almost convincing sense that nobody is reading this anyway, I'm gonna say that I'm happy to be back in the blogosphere.

My dentistry rotation went okay, despite the fact that one team member quit in the middle of it. Also, we (I, especially) had had a little tension with one of the dentists regarding our papers. In all honesty she wasn't the most knowledgeable dentist. I mean, she even got upset when I [politely] asked for some reading recommendations since we were running out of references. Thought we were lazy, I guess.

I quickly learnt that we should leave her alone and asked the other dentists instead. There's this oral surgeon whose knowledge about general medicine is quite vast; it was very enjoyable to discuss things with him. And then there's a forensic odontologist who is also a police Colonel. She's a bit like Professor McGonagall; stern-looking, but somewhat motherly and very considerate. She was behind-the-scene middle ground between us and the upset dentist.

All in all, dentistry is not my favorite rotation and definitely not my thing, but I did learn one or two handy stuff in there. I learnt a lot about odontogenic focal infection, and the anatomy of the jaws and surrounding structures. Everything else was nonsense to me.

Right now I'm starting my SECOND week of anesthesiology and critical care. Things have been fun, not to mention enlightening. I used to have a negative image about operating rooms. An OR in my mind had been associated with a lot of yelling and tremendous stress and a demand for impeccable attitude (and cleanliness). After spending everyday in the OR though, I manage to develop a surprising fondness for it. The environment isn't that stressful. Not much yelling going on. Maybe one or two surgeons swear to themselves when they see something outrageously strange about a patient's body (like during one case where a plate was screwed too tightly to the ulna, requiring the orthopedist to re-break the bone to release the plate), but it stops there. And only some spots have to be sterile, otherwise it's a normal floor, normal walls, normal ceilings.

So that's my little personal achievement.

Plus, I like the green. Or the blue. Is it an unwritten rule that the OR has to be either green or blue? I hope so.  The colours are very relaxing.

We do our night shifts in the ICU. It's a unique 7-bedroom place. Most patients here can't hear you, can't understand you, and can't react much. On the first days, our job is to make ourselves familiar with objects and instruments and where they're stored and how to use them. I have successfully located commonly used items such as the suction tubes, urine bags, gauzes, cotton balls, alcohol sprays, epinephrine auto-injectors, syringes, essential drugs, and examination gloves. The ICU is a simple four-sided room but some objects are so typically placed that you have the learn it in order to quickly find them.

What I dislike the most about shifts is the paperwork. But so does the greatest diagnostician in the world.

Well, until next time!

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