Being a doctor is an art.
Since I started this surgical posting,
I have been taking consents, explaining procedures and giving reassurance to the ever anxious and agitated family members (read: RE assurance)
It requires an art of explaining…
The patient is gravely ill and can collapse anytime.
“Encik, keadaan emak encik sekarang tidak berapa stabil. Tekanan darah dia agak rendah dan oksigen dalam darah pun kurang. Bla bla bla..”
“Kami akan buat yang terbaik”
And the relatives response;
“Tapi emak saya ok kan. Dia tak apa-apa?”
The first time I received that kind of response, I was perplexed. Which part of the explanation that they don’t understand? Was I using jargons? Was my tone too relax? Was the patient condition looks normal to them? Or they just simply in denial?
Later did I realized that people need reassurance. Comfort. They would like to hear that their relatives are doing fine and things cannot go wrong.
For which I am terribly sorry. I cant say ‘Jangan risau. IA dia tak apa-apa’ I just can’t.
My ending statement will usually be..
“Kami tak pasti lagi macam mana. Tapi encik..kita manusia hanya mampu berusaha, yang menyembuh itu bukan kita. Doa banyak-banyak encik. IA semoga berjalan lancar”
Bukan mahu dikata doktor yang baik, cuma mahu diri sendiri dan orang lain sedar, Allah is the ultimate healer…
It also requires the art of patience
One day, I was taking a consent for laparoscopic appendicectomy from the caretaker. Upon explaining the risk (read: risiko) of the operation, the father replied;
“Itu bukan risiko. Itu kecuaian namanya doktor”
“Macam mana boleh jadi pendarahan atau kecederaan pada organ lain..itu cuai namanya”
I was silenced by the statement. Risk was interpreted as sloppiness?
And that day, we had a language lesson, explaining what is risk, what is accident and what it meant by carelessness. He refused to accept the word risk.
And my ending statement would be similar to above.
Doctors aren’t god and doctors are not perfect.
It also requires art of teamwork and good time management
If not, you’ll find yourself struggling alone and stress seorang diri 😛
Review patients, takes blood, trace results, do dressings, do discharge summaries, request for imaging, ward round with MO, ward round with specialist, attend to patient’s complaint, clerk new patients…all of those ward works which are not fun if being done alone. Believe me.
Being a houseman itself is an art. An art of being a doctor- not a clerk. To think while doing and to process the information given and manage patient with the best of your knowledge.
For if you not doing so-you probably are the highest paid clerk in Malaysia.
Love your job – it’s an art – an art of loving.
And the pen is lifted~