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Friday, February 10, 2006

It's a love-hate relationship (II)

Why I love my job:

1. It is not boring. There is always something for me to do. If I'm not seeing a patient, I'm writing up notes or dictating letters or teaching a medical student or discussing a case with the nurses or other doctors. I'm not always doing the same thing, because every patient I see is different from the last.

2. I'm always using my mind. I'm always thinking, observing, learning. My brain does not gather dust.

3. Meeting people. Growing up in Singapore has made me a sheltered person. In the hospital environment, I learn to deal with people from different backgrounds to myself. It makes me more aware about what happens in the world and what sort of needs different people have.

4. Being in a position to make an impact. I want my patients to believe that there are people in this world who really care about individuals, that doctors are people whom they can trust and who are really trying to help. Very occasionally, I get a look or a smile from someone...and I know I've made a difference to them.

5. I get a kick out of the other medical staff. Healthcare professionals are some of the most bizarre, neurotic crackpots you'll ever meet. We are downright insane. It's the combination fo caffiene and adrenaline that makes us this way. I love listening to the nurses bitch about the occupational therapists who bitch about the physiotherapists who bitch about the social workers who bitch about the doctors who bitch about nurses. But yet we all get along because it's a beautiful circle of hilarity. During a quiet spell last week, the porters found this giant stuffed bunny, wrapped a bandage round its head and put it in an empty hospital trolley in our resus room and called out a 'code blue'. This was incredibly entertaining for everybody.

6. Money is not a problem for me. This is mostly because I don't often have time to spend anything that I earn. Plus I save money on bills because I'm never at home, and I save on food because I hardly eat etc.

7. Weight is not a problem for me. Last year, I calculated that I walk an average of 15 km a day just walking back and forth between wards. Additionally, like many of my predecessors, I have developed a "carrot-and-stick" speedwalking technique which allows us to move three times as fast as a normal person (carrot = leaving work on time, stick = getting yelled at by 4 different senior doctors and 15 staff nurses). Eat my dust.

8. My opinion matters to people. The minute I started my clinical years at medical school, people have been asking me questions. I can give out medical advice to my friends and family. I can decode 'medispeak'. It saves them a lengthy trip to the hospital at times. I also find myself discussing contraceptive options with brides-to-be and nappy rash creams with mothers-to-be. It's nice to be used as a resource.

9. I have never appreciated the small things in life more. Sleeping in a bed. Taking a hot shower. Eating a warm meal with utensils. Drinking water from a glass. Sitting on the sofa with my husband. Walking in the sunlight. Grocery shopping. Man, I loooove grocery shopping.

10. I get to wear pajamas and trainers to work everyday. It is so liberating not have to think about what to wear to work. Scrubs are so comfortable. And I don't have to wear heels. This is a wonderful thing. What other job allows you to walk to work in pajamas and scuffed up shoes?

11. Getting to see those beautiful moments that pass between people. An old lady tenderly stroking her sick husband's face with a withered, arthritic hand. A child whose racking coughs shake his tiny frame, sits comforting her distressed parent. A boy, body piercings chiming as he scurries around the department trying to get water for his girlfriend. It's pretty inspiring, watching how some people cope with stress. People surprise you all the time.

12. Messing with the minds of other people. I love it that I look like a weedy little foreign girl, then I get to say "Hello, I'm Dr TSCD." That seriously messes some people up. Hahaha.

13. Doing what I've always wanted to do in life. I know that the downside of my job outweighs the upside...but there's nowhere else I'd rather be.


Blogger trisha said...

Nothing beats being at the right place, at the right time, and ultimately doing His work and touching people that He cares for.

God bless you in your job!

10:03 am  
Blogger glared said...

I think it is a wonderful thing to be able to help others and enjoy the process of doing so. =]

1:05 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

trisha and glared: Thanks! It's not all fun and games, but at least I'm doing what God wants me to do.

9:15 pm  
Blogger Tevong said...

I came across this blog during a google search for something completely unrelated... This is beautifully written, it's nice to see someone's life exposed so eloquently! Keep up the good work.

12:17 pm  

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