HouseJob Chronicles: What School Did You Finish From?

Hey folks,

First of all, this post is long over due. I’ve being working on the draft since like forever and even abandoned it at some point, cos no time.

So I have had a crazy few days post-leave. I’m so stressed out that I could use another break! Lol.

My face during Intern’s Pre-round…lol

I’m just glad I got to publish this, at last!

The post is especially for, but not limited to the Foreign Trained Doctors (FTDs).

My “brothers and sisters” from the diaspora, welcome back to REAL LIFE- Naija Version!

I’m sending you thousands of cyber hugs that will last you through the first few months of your House Job at least.


If you’ve passed through the MDCN hurdles already, you’d have observed that the system is NOT ready to welcome you with open arms. I’m not even kidding…

If you’re one of those patriotic FTDs (I’m not one btw🙄), who returned with high hopes of contributing your skills and expertise to the expansion of Naija’s health sector; I’m sorry to burst your bubble:

Whatever fancy reasons you had for returning to Naija, no one cares.

It is a sad reality.

But for what it’s worth, there are some great moments too. Like having patients discharged after spending days/weeks in the hospital or hearing an uncooperative patient Left Against Medical Advice (LAMA)…lol. I should do a separate post on that.

Anyhow.

So once you start your house job, expect to feel intimidated by your seniors. Naija doctors love to move STUFF. Eeesh!!

The million-dollar question that got my fellow interns tongue-tied, like we weren’t expecting it…lol! 

It wasn’t a funny scenario but I can laugh it off now.

The “Ogas” at the top love to deliberate on which is the best medical school in Naija, so they keep setting baits for house officers in form of questions, sane or otherwise.

Whether you are foreign trained or locally, you’ll experience this at some point or the other, although the former seem to be more at the receiving end.

Having passed through the initiation process of getting asked the same question multiple times, I have a few tips for upcoming House Officers:


1. OWN your identity.

You’re a MEDICAL DOCTOR, with a CERTIFICATE and a LICENSE.

So wear it like a cape. Be PROUD of it, because it’s who you are.

Embrace it. Love it. Live it.


If you schooled abroad, it was your decision, your money (whether sponsored or not) and your experience. Ditto if you were locally trained.

Even if studying Medicine was a mistake, it was the best mistake of your life.
Don’t let anyone guilt-trip you on it.
2. You have NOTHING to prove.

You heard that right.

There’s NOTHING to prove to anybody.

Not your skills. Not your knowledge. Not your personality.

What you know was enough to get you to this level. And if you build on your knowledge and skills, you can (and will) get better.

Remember, your senior colleagues (Regs, SRs, Consultants) did not get all their medical expertise during their housemanship year.

They earned it with time. Life takes time. 

So while there’s always room for improvement, you have NOTHING to prove.



Remember this.

3. Do it with JOY!

When all is said and done, what really matters is the impact you made wherever you find yourself.

So whatever you do, do it with EXCELLENCE. And COURAGE. And JOY.

Give the kind of care you would like to receive.


Put in your very best at all times, even when it’s hard. It’s okay to feel out of place sometimes but don’t let anyone (not even yourself) hold you back.

***

Image: http://www.eunicesmiles.wordpress.com

I’ve asked myself this question a couple of times, and tried to answer it as sincerely as possible:

My answer is YES.

And to add to that, given similar circumstances in the current Naija, I’d still study abroad and maybe the very school I attended. Tenkiu!



Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

   â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸
Disclaimer: All images unless otherwise tagged, were obtained from the WEB.

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December|| R E S T

Yaaay!

It’s the month of the JINGLE BELLS!!!

Though I’m yet to get a good feel of the Christmas spirit.

No lights, no decorations and no gift hampers, on every street corner or roadside stall.

And to my all-time favorite, when are the carols starting??

 “Hello Santa, are you on leave too?” Hehe. 

So yours sincerely, got a one-week leave from work…I’m not even a month into this house job thing and my name comes out first on the leave roster.

No special request or anything. Just like that.

Initially, I wanted to swap dates with another colleague, but as God would have it, this LEAVE was a timely excuse to visit my family and get one or two things done.

Then I needed some physical, mental and even spiritual REST (plus a CHANGE of environment) because my job has definitely taken a toll on me. Tbh, the past 3 or so weeks on the job feels like 3 months already but I’m thankful for the journey so far.

The theme for this month is REST. And here are a few things God is teaching me about it:

1. REST is not a Suggestion, it is an Instruction.

If we go through the scriptures carefully, we’d observe that the SABBATH was given as a commandment for the Israelites and they were to dedicate that day to God as a form of WORSHIP. (Exodus 20:8-11)

2. It is in the place of REST, that Strength is drawn.

No one explains this more beautifully than the Psalmist,

“He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised.”

Psalms 23:2-3 GNB

3. Focus is a byproduct of REST, while distractions are an evidence of a restless spirit.

No wonder Jesus says,

““Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you REST. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest.”
Matthew 11:28-29 GNB

Truth is, a restless spirit cannot hear from God and we must be quiet enough to hear God’s still, small (yet loud and clear) voice, and receive instructions for each phase of our individual journeys.

That’s my heart-cry this season, and you’re welcome to join in too. As I embrace his rest, I receive instructions for this phase of my journey and I go from STRENGTH to STRENGTH . Amen.

Here’s a verse from one of my favorite songs:

“Find rest my soul,
In Christ alone,
Know his power,
In quietness and trust.”

So like I mentioned in a previous post, I recently moved to a new town. That meant leaving everything that was familiar to me- my family, what few friends I had, my (new) church and the likes.

Hello, LOKOJA. (Credit:WEB)

If you’re an old timer on this blog, you would have noticed how I don’t like stress one bit, which includes that of moving to a new place.
I easily get addicted to my “comfort zone” and I prefer a kind of LIFE I can have a say about (the timing, the place, the people etc) 🙈

Recently, I was reminded of this scripture:
“LORD, I know that no one is the master of his own destiny; no person has control over his own life.”
Jeremiah 10:23 GNB

In an earlier conversation with God about this Housejob thingy, he asked me, “So what do you (specifically) want?”
I came up with some STRONG points:

– I want a place not too far from home and church (so I can continue to enjoy my family and “serve” the brethren)😉

– There are some (God-inspired) projects at hand that I need to execute (at my pace and convenience, lol)

So in my mind I was thinking, “It has to be Ibadan, it just makes perfect sense.”

Then there were well-meaning voices around me confessing the same too..lol. I even gave God a deadline about when I wanted the job blah, blah.

[Lesson learnt: Never attempt to teach God his own job. His PLAN, His TIMING].

The irony was, when the job finally came I felt “zero prepared” but this line from Christine Caine’s book, UNSTOPPABLE, gets me all the time:

“When God calls us and sends us, we are ready whether we feel like we are or not.”

Anyway, like in so many previous instances of my life, God had something BIGGER and BETTER in mind, according to his own PERFECT purpose. I must confess I’m yet to grasp even half of that picture. 

“My thoughts,” says the LORD, “are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.” Isaiah 55:8-9 GNB

At some point, the only answer I was receiving as per my Housejob prayer was “I HAVE ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF IT.”

He reminded me of my stay in Lagos, which I wrote about here, here and here.
The challenges I shared on the blog were a mere fraction of what I actually experienced. But I’m doubly thankful for that phase of my journey, because it became a reference point for this new season.
Things that usually would have stressed me out are now what I embrace as mere adventures. Moving to Lokoja came with its share of challenges, but there was a WORD already for the season:

“My help will come from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”
Psalms 121:2 GNB

And this has literally been my reality from the application process, to the interview, uptil now. 

Every where I go, there is at least one person eager to be of assistance to me and I just see God’s hands working things out for my good because He is Amazing like that!

My point is, God always comes through for us in every phase if we learn to trust him.

I don’t mean there won’t be challenges, but with God, no challenge is insurmountable.

So no matter what you’re facing at this time, take time to REST in God’s faithfulness and he’ll come through for you.

***

❤️ Guess who is in town??😉

Well, Pictures don’t lie!

❤️ 

Who else has seen this Movie?

I’d say 3.5/5. Nice storyline sha👌


❤️Currently Reading:

1. Unglued Devotional (Lysa Terkeurst)

2. The Meaning of Marriage (Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller)

3. The Purpose driven Life (Rick Warren)

4. Understanding the purpose and power of a man (Myles Munroe)

5. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey)

6. The Bible: ROMANS

PS: What do you think about these tee shirts (designed by yours truly) and which is your preference?

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

Housejob Chronicles- 7 Rules For The Naija House Officer!

DISCLAIMER: Shebi you know I’m barely “3 weeks” into this Housejob thing? These are strictly self-made rules o! You don’t need to take them “hook, line and sinker.” Thanking you!😅


***
Dear New Naija House Officer,

Congratulations!

I’m so glad you made it.

You worked so hard to get here, spent countless late nights studying in medical school and slaying all the GIANT exams along the way. 

However, there are new hurdles to cross and your “Housemanship” is one of them.

As a newbie Naija house officer, I’ve put together some really simple suggestions to help you get started and maximize the Housejob experience.

1. Apply yourself. I can’t over emphasize this one. 

And it’s a phrase one of my consultants used while having a conversation with me.



Don’t just count your days, make your days count.

Housejob can be so stressful that you’re in a hurry to complete it. If you’re not careful you’ll just keep counting each day that comes without making the most of it.  

2. Don’t be a fraud i.e. Avoid synthesizing stuff that don’t exist. 

Sadly, I have been a victim and it wasn’t funny. The pressure to impress the “Ogas” can be so real, that you begin to generate values for your patient’s vitals, randomly state their clinical status and so on. 

Don’t say/write what you don’t know, even if it makes you look stupid sometimes. Trust me, you will find yourself in such shoes someday. Let your MOTTO be: “Integrity over Impression.”

Whatever you do be you, but always be a PLUS wherever you go.

{Tip: Have a small notepad and a wristwatch to document everything you do for a patient even when you don’t have access to the case note.}

3. Know your lane and respect others.

You’ll meet many nurses, lab scientists, attendants etc and often the respect you give them, is the respect you get back.
Forget the stereotype rumors you’ve heard. There are nice people (doctors, nurses, security etc) everywhere. And nobody is out to get you if you do what you ought to do well.

4. There’s such a thing as “Hierarchy syndrome.” Don’t be caught in the web.

It’s safer to be on the sidelines. Don’t let anyone belittle or intimidate you. Respect your seniors, but don’t fear them. It only destroys your self-esteem.
Sometimes you really want to help your patient but you can’t do much, because you have some “Ogas” at the top that are ready to ridicule you whether for doing nothing, doing too little or doing too much.

5. Learn all you can, while you possibly can.

From unit posting to unit posting, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time flies. If you don’t make a conscious effort to learn, you won’t learn a thing. The goal of Housejob is for you to gain a level of independence in medical practice. And achieving that goal largely lies on you.

6. Remember, PATIENTS first. They are the priority of any healthcare institution, and they should be your priority too. 

That’s the reason you’re there in the first place.

So in whatever decision you make, ask yourself “what are my patient’s needs and how can I help to fulfill them“?

7. Just chill, in the end you’ll be alright.

Oh, there’ll be tough days but there’ll also be the not-so-tough ones. Don’t let anyone trick you into believing that everyday you will be called upon to resite IV lines at 1:00 am or to prepare a patient for surgery at 10:00 pm. 

There are days you’ll have few to no patients on the ward, canceled surgeries, missed appointments and so on. When such days come, enjoy them! 

***

As a closing thought, here’s an adapted thought from a fellow blogger (Omooba):

“Don’t let yourself get distracted. FOCUS is a slippery thing. You are going to live long. You are not going to spend even up to a quarter of your life doing HouseJob. Give it your time, and mind. The less things you entertain in your life at a time, the better the overall quality.”

I’ll be honest with you, there are things you love that just have to give up for a while, to be able to maximize this new phase. It might hurt at first, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
So don’t forget the first rule, APPLY YOURSELF!

Here’s wishing you an “extension” and “extra call” free, housemanship year.

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

Housejob Chronicles- GOALS!

Hey folks,

So since starting this housejob thingy, I’ve been working roughly 12-15 HOURS a day, for 7 DAYS a week! (no kidding)

But I am not complaining, because FOR THIS JOB, I prayed. Haha…

Thankful this is NOT my portion…loool😂
Btw, Lokoja is a lovely place to live in, minus the “hot weather” and the “water-rationing” (one of the things I miss about home)…haha.

Everywhere I go, people have been kind to me. From my Uncle’s family that currently hosts me, to random people giving me rides or buying me snacks. Even most of the nurses, doctors and patients’ caregivers I have met have been nice.
Also I’ve met some of my Kinsfolk (one from Magongo, two from Ogori)and what a joy it was to communicate in our local dialect.

Anyway, as per Housejob, I was told that my department (surgery) is the toughest so to speak (followed by ObGyn, Paeds & Int Med- I suppose), and my unit (Paediatric Surgery) is relatively a “soft-landing” i.e. we are in an off-season atm, with only about 20% of our patients requiring critical care. 
My first call was smooth. I was summoned just twice (one case of AUR, one case of Fever) so I grabbed a couple hours of sweet sleep.

I’m thankful that I still have “windows of time” to do the things I really enjoy doing-Reading, Blogging, Spanish tutorials, Music and the likes.

Because not every time work, sometimes flexing.

I’m learning to make the most of the opportunities I get to relax and be as productive as possible rather than just while away on social media or with random gists.

I love this phrase:

So I’ve come up with a number of goals that I hope to achieve by the end of my housemanship year. (Thanks to one of the speakers at the ARD house officers welcoming). Here it goes: 
5 Deliveries 

– 5 NGT Insertions

– 5 Skin Suturing

-10 DREs

-15 VEs

-15 Urinary Catheterizations

-20 IV line setting

-25 Venepunctures

Total Procedures: 100.

Succeeded in : 0😂

Attempts: 2 Venepunctures, 2 IV lines (flat veins syndrome), 1 urinary catheterization (assisted), 1 skin suturing (no stamina to push in the needle😭).

I’m sharing this, because at the end of my Housejob sojourn I’d like to compare notes and see how far I’ve gone. 
And I hope to write more about the Housejob as it progresses.

So help me God.

My Housejob face…lol
Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

💕💕💕

A November To Remember: New Beginnings.

Hey People,

GOD is good.

It’s a new SEASON.

And I have a new SONG.

I remember almost too clearly, this time about 10 years ago.

I was through with secondary school, and seriously stressing over gaining an admission into the University.
Nigerians living in Nigeria, can relate to this.

First, I had to sit for the “Almighty” University Matriculation Exam known as JAMB, which I thankfully passed at one sitting, after much prayers…lol.

Next came the Post-UME exam (to streamline the number of candidates applying to a particular institution). My dad traveled with me and we spent the night at a Family friend’s place.

On the day of the exam, I was so nervous on seeing the THOUSANDS of candidates that came from all over the country for it.

I kept praying and praying and praying…lol.

We Nigerians pray about anything and everything, because every Success is a Breakthrough, be it Academic, Marital or Financial.

To cut the story short, I was admitted that year (although for a different course than I applied for), but I was thrilled nonetheless and so was my family.

It was as if I’d won a LOTTERY…lol.

Again, only in Nigeria.

Anyway, I had to move to a new city which was a whole new experience for my “young and naive” self, especially those first few weeks on campus.

I literally gawked at everything happening around me, exhibiting the typical “Freshers’ Syndrome” 😂

So Many Fears.

How will I cope with this or that? I thought.

But not only did I survive, I thrived. The rest, they say is History.

10 years later, I find myself in a similar situation but on a grander scale.

My dream of getting a HOUSE JOB finally came to pass. And I feel like a “Fresher” all over.

I had to move to a new city, and leave everyone dear to me (Family, Friends, Church) several miles behind.

My parents are the real MVP.

They were as involved now as they were then. They took the pain to get the necessary contacts to ensure I settle down on time.

While I’m emotional about the big move, I’m thankful for this opportunity and I anticipate all the adventures that come with it.

Thanks to everyone that prayed, advised or encouraged me while I was “hunting” for a job..lol.

Your prayers have been ANSWERED.

God bless you!
***
So the song for this season:

You’re Love, You’re Light, You’re LORD over everything.

And here’s one of my favorite scriptures of all times:

“I rely on your constant love; I will be glad, because you will rescue me. I will sing to you, O LORD, because you have been good to me.”


(Psalms 13:5-6 GNB)

Currently Reading:

– The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey)

– Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men (Myles Munroe)

– The Meaning of Marriage (Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller)

New Read:

– The Purpose driven Life (Rick Warren)

***

“When you get what you want, be sure you want what you get.”

This is my Story. This is my Song…lol.

Naija Housejob wahala has finally started. 

There’s so much to do and to learn. And these first few days have been challenging. 

But I know God will order my steps and grant me the wisdom to deal with every circumstance that comes along.

So just in case I am MIA,  know that I’m in that phase of life where I am barely trying to place one foot in front of the other.

I know that this too will pass.

Again God is good.

Cheers to a great November,

Throwback to med school days!
:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

READY-TO-TRAVEL LIST: What’s in your bag?


In the past few weeks, I’ve had to take one short trip after the other, and while I enjoy the adventure (people-watching, sight-seeing, exposure to different culture, and trying out new cuisines) that typically comes with traveling, packing (and especially unpacking), for a trip can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, with special credits to my mum, I now have what I call my “READY-TO-TRAVEL LIST.”

And in this post, I’ll be sharing with you how I organize the list, some of my travel bag’s contents and general tips in making your trip more comfortable.

In my opinion, it’s better to be over-prepared for a trip than to be under prepared for it.

PS: This post is not intended for those who love to travel really light. I’m a “comfort-first” type of traveler so I like to travel with as many necessities as possible, plus a few extras.


And by the way, I will focus more on the female traveler but guys can pick up some useful tips as well.

Enjoy!

***

FIRST THINGS FIRST.

1. The Occasion for your trip:

Simple enough right? but forgetting to pack one or two very important items is easier than you think.

For instance, you don’t want to leave behind any of your credentials or forget to pick out a formal attire while traveling for an interview.

The reason for your trip should determine a good percentage of the contents of your luggage.

2. The Duration of your trip:

How long will the entire trip last? A few days, a week or more?

This will help you with simple logistics like how much cash you need to hold for your upkeep, to the number of clothes and toiletries you should take along.

3. The Mode of Transportation:

It’s also important to consider whether you’ll be traveling by car, bus, train, plane or boat, if it’s by public or private means, and if you’re traveling alone, or in a group, with friends/family or strangers.

Knowing the details of how you’ll get to where you are going, helps you to plan what size/number of luggages to carry and how to secure them.

If you’re traveling by plane for instance, you know that carrying extra luggage will cost you an arm and a leg, plus some contents (eg over 100ml of liquid/gel products) may be confiscated as carry-on luggage. 

4. The type of Luggage:

You need to also determine the type of luggage that will be efficient (in terms of size) and also convenient (in terms of carriage) for your trip.

For a short trip you can use any (or more) of the following: A handbag, a back pack, a small traveling (duffel) bag, or a suitcase.

5. The Destination:

Where you are going will also determine to some extent, what you should put in your luggage.

For instance, If you are going on a vacation to a temperate climate like Europe, you need to go with coats, mufflers and solid boots. If on the other hand, your destination is a warm climate (e.g. Barbados), you will need sunglasses, hats, and some cozy slippers.

Also where you’ll be staying (whether at a hotel, a friend’s house, a hostel, or with distant relatives) will determine some of the items to take along.

The last time I went for a camp meeting, I had to go with my own everything (from bed-sheet to toothpaste), but that wasn’t the case when I spent a few days in Lagos, because my sister had most of the items already.

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR TRAVEL-LIST:

The rule of thumb is to have a list ready, before you put the first item into your traveling bag or box. That’s the only guarantee that you don’t leave something remotely important behind.

I typically organize my list into three categories:

i. Toiletries


This includes your personal care products like toothbrush/toothpaste, soap/sponge (and a soap case if you like), body lotion, roll-on, body-spray/perfume*.

You can put most of the items listed in a toilet bag.

Other items to consider are: hair-spray/gel, hair brush/comb, toilet roll, plastic bag, small towel and a shower cap.

*if you’re going on a really short trip, you can even spray your clothes in advance instead. I do that a lot.

ii. Clothing/Foot wears

Night gown/Pajamas, Wrapper, Handkerchiefs

Bathroom slippers, Sandals/Flats/Heels as needed*

Underwear (Bras, Pants, Shorts) multiplied by the number of days you’ll spend. It’s always good to pack an extra or two, just in case you stay an extra night.

Attires: Everything you’ll wear especially for the main occasion of your trip eg Casual wears for a picnic, Traditional outfit for a wedding ceremony etc

*I like to be as specific as possible, so I write out the details of each footwear eg Nude flats, Black heels etc

iii. Essentials

Sufficient cash/ATM card: Trust me, you don’t want to be stranded on an out-of-town trip😂

Make-up (Powder, lipstick, gloss etc)

– Face wipes, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, hand tissue, lip balm etc

Accessories (Wrist-watch, jewelry, handbags etc)

Gadgets (Power bank, phone chargers, iPod, headphones etc)*

Snacks/Drinks (Chococolate, Plantain chips, Biscuits, Gala are easy to chew without getting messy). It’s more cost effective to buy the items before your trip. A bottle of water and pack of chewing gum are “must-haves” for my road trips.

Note pad/Journal and pen (to write with), Bible/Non-fiction Book/Novel (to read)

Torch (Naija factor)

Medications (if necessary)

And don’t forget to take a plastic bag to put your dirty laundry.

*Safety first, if it’s a short trip and especially by public transport, you don’t need to take all your gadgets (tab, laptop) along.

ACTION TIME:

After you’ve prepared your list, put ALL the items in a single place (on your bed preferably), then begin to transfer each one into your bag(s). Tick each item off your list until you’re done packing. 

Remember to use a padlock or a good lock combination for your luggage if you’re traveling by public means. And don’t forget to “pee” before leaving your house. I bet Nigerians will understand…lol. 😉😅

That’s how I organize my luggage for a short trip.

Did I miss anything?

***

So how do you prepare for a short trip? Do you make a list or not?

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

TO BE A KID AGAIN…

At a quarter to 30, with most of my contemporaries already married, about to marry, or with one or more kids to care for, here I am in my parents’ house, boasting of being the deputy administrator of household affairs, a title that exists only in my imagination.

“U-U, what’s for dinner?”

Eba and Egusi soup” I reply, rolling my eyes as I stroll towards the kitchen.

It’s because you’re still in this house. 

I’ll leave when it’s time.

While some half my age are already earning their pay, I’m here excited to be dashed 2k by my dad to buy the data I needed to publish what you’re now reading.

Arrant nonsense! Please grow up. My mind tells me.

Thank you, my daddy is not complaining. 

I applied to a place recently but was rejected, I called my mom on my way home, tearing up like a toddler. 

Are you for real? At your age, shoe size and marital status??

Lemme jaare. Is it a crime to cry? I know Jesus loves me.

I’ve been mood swinging for a few days, I know it’s between PMS and Satan’s tactics yet can’t help but feel dejected. 

COME ON, SNAP OUT OF IT ALREADY…YOU ARE AN A-D-U-L-T!!!

 *sighs* That was blunt. Oh, to be a kid again.

Please someone should explain to me what this Adulting thing is really about. 

Because I’m beginning to think it’s some cheap form of blackmail. 

I don’t even know if I know what it means to be ready for it. 

What defines an adult? 

Is it about the many responsibilities that life randomly throws your way? Or is there more to it?

Do share your thoughts.

:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

GONE TOO SOON!

Over time, I’ve realized that my most profound moments from medical school had little to do with the “books” but everything to do with the “lives” especially of the patients I encountered on the ward.

Today’s post is from an experience I had as a medical student rotating on the pediatric ward.

Enjoy!


I walked into the ward that morning and noticed most of the staff were speaking in hushed tones.
Ward round went on as usual, but everyone seemed a little reserved. Soon, the cat was let out of the bag- one of our patients had passed on!

I was stunned.

Such a young, peaceful and innocent-looking boy, not more than eleven. He had been on the ward for sometime and because his diagnosis wasn’t straight forward, we kept running series of tests.

Then the doctor decided to place him on some steroids and his symptoms seemed to improve, so he was discharged.
However, he soon began to deteriorate rapidly that he had to be re-admitted, eventually leading to his demise.

It was particularly sad for me because that was the first patient I knew as a medical student that passed on.

I remember the day he asked me to pass him a bottle of water from his bedside cabinet. “Miss, Miss…” was how he began his request. After passing him the water, I watched him for a few moments before going back to what I was doing.

If only I knew that was the last time I would be able to interact with him,

Maybe I would have held one of his hands, looked into his eyes and told him not to be afraid.

Maybe I would have sang him a song, written him a poem, or read him a book.

Maybe I would have asked him to tell me about his family, his friends at school, and all of his favorite things.

Maybe I would have assured him that despite his pain, there was a Father in heaven who cared so much about him- spirit, soul and body.

Maybe I would have just taken a few minutes right there, to say a word of prayer for him. 

If only I knew…

But I didn’t.

Because I wasn’t expecting him to die, at least not that soon.

Weak and wasted as he was, we still held on to the hope that he would live.

But death gave no notice of its intentions, it came and left without restrictions.

Three years later, my heart still bleeds when I remember the incident-though I didn’t shed a single tear at that time.

The rest of my sojourn through medical school came with its own heartaches as several other patients I met passed away, but I still can’t get that very first experience out of my head.

As a closing thought, it’s funny how we take the little things for granted, especially with the people that matter to us the most thinking they will always be around.

Truth is, when it comes to those we care about, death is always too soon.

The good news for the believer though, is that death is not the end, there is life after death.

And that for me, is such a comforting thought.

***

So when was the first time you saw a patient die? And how did you react to it?

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

#TrueLifeStories #WardChronicles #PatientSeries

WHY YOU LEARN THE WAY YOU LEARN.


During my undergraduate days, I had a classmate who often requested for my “jotter” a few days to our exams. According to him, I knew how to summarize and simplify my notes in such a way that anyone reading would understand. And I believe he had a point.

The first I heard of a learning model was from a friend, a couple of years back. He enlightened me on the difference between VISUAL and AURAL learners, and encouraged me to apply that to how I studied. Unfortunately, I didn’t give it much attention at that time.

Many years later, I would come across the V.A.R.K model of learning and found it quite enlightening.

In any classroom setting, from elementary level to postgraduate level, students receive, retain and retrieve information in different ways. And I believe medical students especially, would benefit from knowing how the learning models work since there’s so much to cover and so little time.

According to the VARK model, there are four types of learners:


1. VISUAL Learners.

I call them “The Scanners.”

These are the model students, especially in a traditional school setting. They don’t just read to comprehend, but seem to possess the so-called “Photographic Memory” and can reproduce the pages of their lecture notes or textbooks, word for word (sometimes with particular page numbers, no kidding!).

They enjoy studying long and hard, retaining most of the information they come across. They especially do well with Charts, Graphs and other Pictorial aids.

One morning while in medical school, we were having a discussion on the ward, and one of my colleagues was asked a question. When he started talking, it was as though an encyclopedia had been opened inside his brain. He just kept stating all the facts and figures while the rest of us gaped…lol.
Afterwards, our consultant looked at him and smiled, stating that he had a photographic memory and she knew he could actually picture the things he was saying. Needless to say, that colleague of mine was one of the smartest students in medical school.

2. AURAL Learners.

Aural learners are also known as AUDIO learners but I prefer to call them “The Crammers.

These are the students who simply pay attention during classes (with/without taking notes) and retain most of the information long afterwards. Some simply “Memorize and Recite” (i.e. CRAM) their notes and they are good to go.
Unlike the VISUAL learners, they don’t really need to study for long, although having group discussions are of great benefit. Still, a lot of them do well with last minute studying.

I had a roommate who would memorize several pages of her notes on the morning of an exam, and her results usually came out so well.
Another friend of mine who is now a doctor, said she only needed to attend (and listen well) in class, and without further reading, she would be able to sit for any exam. When I heard that, my respect for her grew by several inches…haha.

If I’m being honest I doze off or day-dream during classes more times than I’d like to admit. Long lectures are like music to my ears, and I often start drifting off before I catch myself.

3. READ & WRITE Learners.

I call them “The Stenographers.

This kind of learners love to copy everything that is said during a lecture. They afterwards go home to “READ and DIGEST” their notes, often breaking the notes into simpler and condensed versions to understand them better.

Such learners also appreciate Highlights, Mnemonics, Power Points and Summaries. Their goal is to be able to comprehend the material in its simplest form.

I happen to belong to this category of learners. I’m a COPIER by default and the only way I remember things (from class and especially in church) is by taking down notes. Even when there’s nothing to write, I doodle in my notebook, else my mind wanders off.

I remember one time a lecturer gave an impromptu test, immediately after his lecture, and I barely passed though I was sitting right there in the class. The reason was simple, I did not have enough time to “process” the information he had given before the test. In such scenarios, I rely more on residual knowledge.

For me, reading, then writing down notes, enhances comprehension. And if I’m reading something I don’t understand, I try to look it up, otherwise, I skip it.

4. KINESTHETIC Learners

I call them “The Demonstrators.

When it comes to learning, they are more practical than theoretically-inclined. These are the so-called Hands-on-Students.

In medical school they find most lectures boring, but rush off to dissect every cadaver that comes into the anatomy lab. When they start their clerkships, they can’t wait to examine every patient, set lines and insert urinary catheters. Ask them to state the differentials for a neck swelling and they draw a blank, but ask them to scrub in for a Thyroidectomy and they jump right in! 

***
What about HYBRIDS?

I believe most students learn by a combination of two or more of the learning models.

Personally, I learn the most by Association i.e. connecting multiple dots together. So it’s a little bit of what I see, what I hear and most of what I read. I’m not much of a hands-on-learner though. And it usually takes me twice the time my contemporaries take to learn a skill, whether it’s cooking Jollofrice or inserting a Urinary catheter! 😂

***

Do you know what learning model (or combination) you use the most?

Cheers!


Sources:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/whats_their_learning_style_part_2_kinesthetic_learners
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/whats_their_learning_style_part_1_auditory_learners

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

OCTOBER|| C O U R A G E


It’s a few days into October already and all I can say is, God is good!

While meditating on what theme this month would be about, one word that stood out in my heart, was COURAGE. And I believe God was giving me a gentle reminder, that when everything else fails (my plans and what-not), I can look up to him and remain courageous.

Here are a few synonyms for the word COURAGE:
“bravery, pluckiness, valor, fearlessness, intrepidity, nerve, daring, audacity, boldness, grit, hardihood, heroism, gallantry”

And I’ll go with the first, BRAVERY

the admirable quality of being able to confront frightening things. It takes bravery for a knight to battle a dragon, but it also takes bravery for a shy child to walk into a new classroom.
(Vocabulary.com)

It’s little wonder that the song in my heart for this season just happens to be:

||WORSHIPYou make me brave (Amanda Cook)

And it’s one of my favorite songs ever! I remember having it on repeat for sometime last year.

||WORD– Lamentations 3:22-24 GNB

“The LORD ‘s unfailing love and mercy still continue, Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The LORD is all I have, and so I put my hope in him.” 

I especially love the line that reads,

Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise
. How reassuring that is! 

I still don’t know all God has in stock for me this season but I’m stepping out of the shadows of fear, discouragement and doubts and embracing his promises by faith.

And Amen to that!
***
In a nutshell, here’s what I’ve been upto:

|| My Ankara crafts and designs exhibition (As Promised)



My trainer, Niyot of Beracah House of Fashion, who is also a longtime friend did such a great job and I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn through her. Moving forward, I think I’ll be focusing on the Ankara book covers and see what designs I can come up with.

|| Still Learning

Spanish and Igbo!

|| Recent Reads:

Anthills of the Savannah (Chinua Achebe)
This was my first time reading any Chinua Achebe’s book. I’d attempted “There was a Country” earlier this year but found it difficult to continue with it. Not too long ago, I picked up this title, but I wasn’t enjoying the plot, so I dropped it. Eventually, one bored evening I summoned up courage and jumpstarted it (i.e. started reading right from the middle) and I was so intrigued that I read until the end. I found the book compelling, thought-provoking and with a melodramatic ending.

I heard that song before (Mary Higgins Clark)
I totally loved this book (although I’m sure I’ve read it before but totally forgot the plot), the writer kept me guessing until the very end. It had the right amount of suspense that kept me glued till the last page. If you’re a fan of mystery/crime/suspense books, I totally recommend that you read this one.

And then there were none (Agatha Christie)
I first read this book a couple of years ago, I had an idea about the plot but forgot how it ended, so I decided to read it again. So it was the Judge after all, what a twist!

|| Currently Reading:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen R. Covey)

Principles and Values become more evident when we think of how short life is.

||Re-reading (For my Small Group Bible-study):

UNSTOPPABLE (Christine Caine)

Some start for the gold but end up with the bronze. Some start for the gold but do a poor exchange and can not continue. Some start for the gold but drop the baton and are disqualified. Some start for the gold and not only win the race, but break a record doing so.

|| Recent Adventure: A Mini-vacay!

So yours sincerely took a few days off to spend in Lagos. Yaaaas!!!
You know how I feel about the city already (You can read about my previous experiences here and here). This time around though, I was not constrained by a lack of “cash” or “time” nor any urgent business to take care of. I wanted to not just pass through Lagos, but actually savor it all over like a first-timer.

The summary of my stay was: Sightseeing, Window-shopping (plus some micro-shopping…lol), People-watching, Reading novels, Eating and Sleeping. I eventually stayed more indoors than outdoors, and found it kinda boring, thanks to EKEDC…😑🙄

I went off to visit one of my friends (@Tyn) and enjoyed every moment of it. Also went on a date with my sister to watch the movie, FLATLINERS (a Sci-Fi/Medical Thriller/Horror combo). The plot wasn’t too bad, in my opinion. Definitely PG material.

Then I ran into one of my seniors from Unilorin, Eyitayo, at the Palms Mall (saw him last in 2010…haha), I started “gisting” my sis how he is such a prominent figure on FB, and a kind-of-social activist etc. He is someone I actually respect (from a distance) and it was an honor to see him again, howbeit for a few minutes.

Finally, I got to ride in an Uber, then a BRT bus for the first time ever and I enjoyed both (for different reasons). Lagos is such a lovely place tbh, I just don’t see myself living there. But who knows, ehn?😉


Enjoy the lovely views!


To wrap up the post, here are my

|| 9 Intriguing Lessons [plus 1 Life Changing Discovery] from 2017:

1. Social media is overrated. I know it sounds cliché, but I’m only beginning to understand that phrase. I’ve now realized that Facebook (which was the social media platform I used the most) is not that important. I used to think it was impossible for me to do without Facebook in a day until I actually put some structure to my social media time and now I have days when I completely forget to log in. It’s amazing isn’t it? Ever wondered what we all did before the advent of social media?

2. Not everything that is happening will continue to happen. “Time” and “Chance” happens to all men. If you’re a Nigerian living in Nigeria, have you ever wondered what happened to the likes of Mr. Biggs and Tantalizers? My sentiments exactly.

3. Time alone doesn’t make things better, deliberate actions do. Thanks to the Mother Hen (Remi Owadokun) for this. If something is bad and you do nothing about it, it will only get worse.

4. Forgiveness is not forgetfulness, but choosing not to remember. Choosing not to remember an offense is quite different from forgetting it, as if it never happened. I so needed that closure. Phew!

5. What you do is more important than what you know. We have many “knowers” but far too few “doers.” Memo to me. Noted!

6. To every stage in life, there is a backstage and to every scene there’s a behind-the-scene. Truth!

7. Others are different from you, and so are you from others. Our unity lies in our individual uniqueness and not in our uniformity (or conformity).

8. (More than your phones, wallets, money, relationships etc) The enemy targets your joy, don’t let him steal it!

9. The Nigerian Police may (or may not) be your friend. Not all policemen are unkind, rude or wicked. Ditto Lawyers, Nurses, Doctors etc Having a preconceived mindset can be harmful.

10. I don’t like bread. In fact, I’ve never liked it, and I’m only just realizing that. So I’ve only been tolerating bread all my life?! Well, it’s better late than never.

|| Inspiration from around the web:

1. On Adulting, Rounding Up My Housemanship Year and Future Plans

2. Why I Shut Down My Instagram Account (Cutting back to move forward)
3. What it means to be a Christian doctor

4. Preparation: A lesson from Hurricane Irma

5. Nothing to prove

Ps: Still on the job search, if you’ve been praying, please pray harder! 🙏🏾
___

*EKEDC: Eko Electricity Distribution Company

:::Requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️