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Showing posts from May, 2012

THE MALE NURSE.

I remember him now, after many years.

His wide grin, revealing the gap in his teeth, one of the two front teeth chipped by some previous incident giving him an awkward, yet, still pleasant smile.

He had marks on his face - etched deeply into both sides of his cheek, yet unable to completely disfigure his face and his alluring smile.

He was always neatly dressed, his white uniform spotless despite the hot and sandy environment.

He was the nurse assigned to the village.

I met him on a compulsory youth service scheme, I had been assigned to man a remote hospital in a remote part of the country; I was essentially the only doctor in the village. The senior Doctor only came on weekends.

My male nurse more than made up for this deficit.

I remember the time a young boy had cut his hand with a matchete. His thumb had almost been severed from his palm, the skin, blood vessels and tendons were all dangling, longing to be disconnected from the rest of the hand - This was my first major test as t…

HOW TO GET THE BEST FROM NURSES.

I have come to realise that the most important and influential group of health workers are not neurosurgeons, physicians or pharmacists - they are nurses.
As a Doctor or a patient you take them for granted at your own peril; they can make you have a difficult stay in the hospital (if they wish), or a blissful one, depending on how you treat them.

As a young Doctor, I learnt two of the most important skills of my career from nurses; suturing a wound and delivery of babies.

I have found that if you are a cocky doctor, with your head in the clouds, they have a way of bringing you down to size without saying a word. They are the mafia.

I've witnessed patients and relatives of patients get their fingers burnt when dealing with nurses just because they don't know the formula. So, I will give some tips:

1. When nurses say they got it covered, they got it covered.Don't keep coming to remind them about your relative's drugs, once is enough - unless, you might end up being atten…

REWARD IN HEAVEN.

It is rare to have a patient give you a gift.

It is even rarer to have a gift worth thousands of dollars.

It is most unlikely to have a gift in the form of real estate.


I remember the day I met Mrs W; She came in with abdominal pains of a non- specific type. Fortunately, I was in one of my rare 'good doctor' moods.

Mrs W was middle aged and slightly frail - there was something about her which made me want to help her to the best of my ability.

I took the necessary history of her condition and went on to give her a thorough examination.

That was when I found it - hidden in a corner of her anatomy - a suspicious lump.

Mrs W had Breast cancer, and it was spreading.

Suddenly, a previous diagnosis of an ulcer had suddenly turned into one of the most feared conditions.

I wrote my notes, referred Mrs W appropriately and consequently forgot about her.

But she didn't forget about my accidental discovery, she sought me out on another visit to the hospital.

Her appreciation knew no …

INFERTILITY - UNDERSTANDING THE MALE VIEW.

I have on occasion, been called upon to play an intermediary role in a couple's relationship. A role I often feel ill equipped to perform.

One of such roles is convincing a husband to have a fertility test.

In our society, infertility is usually believed to be a problem of the wife and not the husband.

Nurse J was having difficulty becoming pregnant again after her first child who was almost twenty.

Nurse J had tried everything, she had done all the required tests, taken all of the medications but her husband of almost two decades refused any medical intervention - afterall there was nothing wrong with him.

She tried all the tricks in the book to get her husband checked medically, but he had refused. So she came to me.

Obviously something had happened in all those years to reduce his fertility (If he was indeed the Father). Nurse J suspected he'd gotten an infection, probably from his many acts of infidelity.

I adviced a letter be written to her husband to come for a general…

WHY IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE A GOOD DOCTOR.

WHAT IF...

1. You get to the hospital and the doctor greets you with a smile, offers you a seat and brings out some fresh oven baked cookies and serves you tea.


2. The doctor sits and listens to all your problems for the next two hours without any interruption, all the while still smiling.


3. He examines you from head to toe, checks your eyes, nostrils, ears, tongue, fingernails for anything you may have missed.


4. He does a CT Scan, MRI, kidney, Liver and blood tests for that cough.


5. He takes time to explain his diagnosis to you, then asks if you fully understand. He also calls in your relatives and explains same to them, patiently answering their questions.


Wake up!

Some things are ideal, but not all things are needful, some things are ideal, but not all things are beneficial.

Which would you prefer - a doctor that does what should be done, or a doctor that is nice?

Where do we strike the balance?

How do we know when the doctor is doing his 'best' and when he's being p…

WHEN YOU'RE BURNED OUT!

The signs are all there - You get to work exhausted, you find it hard to relate with co-workers, you flare up at the slightest provocation, you find it hard to make any definite decision and are either carefree or forgetful - its no fault of yours, you're witnessing a burnout.

WHEN A DOCTOR IS BURNED OUT.This is easy to spot: The doctor breezes through the cases he has to see, doing the absolute minimum he needs to get the job done, questions are not encouraged and there are no smiles. Procedures are done with little empathy towards the patient going through pain. You snap at nurses when they remind you there is another patient you have to see.

In a Doctor's case irritability is defined as disagreeing with more than one nurse every 24 hours.

There are also feelings of regret when one remembers past errors and feelings of guilt when one wants to take time off.

CAUSES OF A BURNOUT.
Inadequate income
Workload
Tiring co-workers
Poor working environment
A lack of motivation
Outside w…

NOW I AM A DOCTOR - SO WHAT?

(Guest Post by Dr Busuyi Abu )




Growing up in the hinterland of the sunshine state of my country, I was fascinated by a doctor.

He seemed to know everything about the human body, he seemed to have the power of life and death. He carried an aura around him; he was the village demi-god.

People ran to him when they were in distress; he was empathic and also sympathetic - an epitome of human kindness.

I had to be a doctor.

I can't recall exactly when I made the decision, I just wanted to touch humanity.

I had no idea it would be a very long walk.

Nobody told me a substantial part of my productive years would be taken up chasing my dream, I wasn't told about the long hours of reading. Nobody warned me most of my classmates would graduate before me. Nobody told me I would lose my life to the practice of medicine.


But most of all - Nobody told me the awe my society held for medical doctors would have changed before I became one.

It was a very long and tortuous journey on a lonely and de…

10 QUESTIONS EVERY DOCTOR HATES BEING ASKED.

,

1. WILL I GET BETTER?

Do you really, I mean, really want to know the truth?

2. ARE YOU SURE?

Is there any good way to answer this?

3. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CONDITION BEFORE?

Yes I have - in the newspapers.

4. DOES THE DRUG WORK?

Yes - or so I was told.

5. CAN I CALL YOU?

Absolutely not - If you don't get better kindly bother someone else.

6. CAN I USE HERBS INSTEAD?

Then why are you here?

7. AREN'T YOU MARRIED?

How does that contribute to the global mortality rate?

8. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN PRACTICE?

Long enough to make sure you get a very painful injection.

9. HOW COME DOCTORS FALL SICK?

Never knew we were from Mars.

10. ARE YOU THE DOCTOR?

No, I'm a lampstand.



Image Courtesy

WIFE, DOCTOR - SUPERWOMAN.

"Mummy I'm hungry!" Her 3 year old son cried, tugging at the hem of her skirt. She had just settled down to read chapter one of 'The Principles of Medicine and Surgery'; she had been on the same chapter for a week now.

Her attention shifted to her son, his large brown tear filled eyes boring into her soul - she felt guilty. Guilty she had chosen a profession that kept her away from home most of the time, guilty she was always too tired to cook proper meals for her family, guilty she was not quite where she needed to be in her career to provide the best for her family.

Her mind travelled back in time, to that day she became a doctor, the day she took the Hippocratic oath; the dreams she had - to become a world class Paediatrician with a loving husband, beautiful children and a thriving practice. She smiled.

She was broken from her reverie by her son, who was still hungry. She remembered how she met his father, Dave. Dave had since left her, tired of the frequen…