Sunday, October 05, 2008

in 24 hours

28 admissions, two 12-hour posts, one exhausted team. grabe, ayoko na.

i was supposed to go on duty in the labor room and delivery room. unfortunately, patients flooded the ob admitting section, forcing the team to pull me out of my post and put me there. a few hours in, a new wave of patients came and completely overwhelmed the team. we charted, examined and conducted non-stop from about 9:00 pm to 4:00 am. at around midnight, tempers were flaring. a few hours later, the lrdr people were begging us to stop admitting patients. at 3:00 am, we just stopped caring, and examined patients as fast as we could to JUST GET IT OVER WITH.

they say that medical students tend to be dehumanized because of the sheer workload. we stop caring and work like robots - carrying orders without thought. in our defense, the work really is too much. imagine spending your whole day talking to patients who (1) are in the hospital because they deferred treatment until severe complications arose, (2) do not listen to a thing you're saying, (3) or are angry at you because they think that the interview (history-taking, we doctors call it) is absolutely doing nothing for their health. then, imagine that you do this the entire day with only 15 minutes to eat meals that are 6 hours late (we eat dinner at midnight), and 30 minutes to sleep in the most uncomfortable position ever. at the worst times, you don't even get to take a bath. (haha!) now put yourself in my shoes, and tell me to my face that you would NOT become dehumanized.

but we are human. and it shows. we make mistakes, we get sick, we get angry, we cry, we get hurt. sometimes, i think i'm better than others (or other think that they're better than me) because of age, education, financial status, or even sex. i should stop, and maybe i'll try harder this time. because as tears leaked from my eyes while waiting for the stat albumin results to come out, as interns ran all over pgh because a patient was missing, as residents fell asleep while discussing a case, as the patients screamed in pain while being examined, God helped me realize we are all the same - just human. and being human means being limited.

we tend to forget it a lot, unfortunately.

verse for the day:
i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.i can do everything through him who gives me strength. [philippians 4:12,13]