Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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One step at a time

Yesterday was Day One of our clinical clerkship in PGH. My block's first rotation is Surgery. Everyone was on a first day high, armed with new bags, newly purchased stash collections, and overflowing reserves of enthusiasm—pretty much like the first day of school.

Block Three, wheee!

Our initial impressions:

1. The hospital's referral system is so intricate it's harder to remember than the steps in the Krebs cycle. We panic every time we read new orders in the charts, mostly because we're clueless how to go about them.

2. The humidity is overwhelming. We're either sweating like pigs or having that uncomfortable feeling of stickiness (lagkit in the vernacular)—hence, the overwhelming need to take a shower every 30 minutes. Ah, the price we pay for living in the tropics. And the Third World.

Des, Glai, Denden Marv, Jegar, Carlos

3. The telephone ringing in our call room makes us all paranoid. That means one of two things: new tasks to do or eight-hour surgeries to assist in (a.k.a. retraction—good thing I took up rock climbing to strengthen my arms).

4. Everybody keeps warning us not to let the interns bully us. So far, the interns we met have been nothing but helpful and accommodating.

5. Ang susi sa masayang duty ay mga masasayang ka-duty. I'm on 24-hour duty every three days.

6. We're no longer excused from coming to the hospital during weekends, holidays (local or national), typhoons, flooding, and other cases of force majeure. "Accept it as your new reality," the residents tell us.

BJ, Denden, myself, Franco photo

7. We don't have reserved lunch times, which means we'll have to make do with sandwiches, rush to the nearest fast food, or order take-outs. In the end we see ourselves as potential binge eaters after our tour of duty, a temptation we must resist or we'll get fat in no time.

8. Sun Cellular has the best network coverage anywhere in the hospital, except at the Radiology Department where no signal can effectively penetrate. We still hang-out there sometimes because the airconditioning is okay.

9. Must-haves: wet wipes (for the lagkit), electric fans (for comfort), small notebooks (for taking down orders), cheap mobile phones with a Sun cellular SIM (for cost-effective communication), and board games (for dull moments of inactivity).

10. We haven't tried this yet, but in theory we can deep-fry 16 pieces of chicken wings using the natural oil in our shiny, reflective faces at 5 PM.

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Lots of things happen in PGH, I guess, many of them unforgettable. :)

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  2. Good luck on the clinical clerkship, Lance. My, my, exciting times, here they come. And tig-iisa kayo ng buffalo wings nyan. :)

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  3. good luck lancelot! may the odds {n/(100-n)} be ever in your favor

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