HouseJob Chronicles: 5 Ways NOT To Take Things Personal.

Hello People,

I had an experience at work the other day, interesting in retrospect, but very emotional for me at the time. I was hurt by some stuff one of my “Ogas at the top” said, and I ended in tears.

It was so embarrassing…long story short, I came out of the experience a better me.

In this post, I’d like to share a few tips with you about how NOT to take things personal as a House Officer, especially if you work (or plan to work) in Nigeria.

Enjoy!

***

1. Offenses will come.
Offenses are a part of life we all can’t do without. On a daily basis, we offend people and people offend us.

Unfortunately, even in the work-environment where everyone is expected to be cordial, people step on one another’s toes all the time.

As a House Officer, patients will annoy you, your colleagues will make you angry, and your seniors will frustrate you.

The way some patients view medical interns…🙄

Sadly, a lot of Nigerian doctors still see BULLYING as a necessary evil, and unless there’s a change in such mindset, House Officers will continue to be at the receiving end.

It’s in your own best interest to develop a thick skin against such scenarios, because they will surely come.

2. Keep Moving On.
No matter how bad a day seems, that day will pass.

Days will turn into weeks, weeks into months, and before you know it, your housejob experience is over.

If you want to survive as a House Officer unscathed, learn to move on quickly!

3. Be Considerate.
Eventually, what goes around comes around.

As a newbie doctor, maybe it’s time to change the narrative.

Be the difference you want to see.

To your patients show empathy. You have no idea what some of them are passing through.

To your colleagues show comradeship. You’re together in the struggle.

To your seniors show loyalty. They were once in your shoes.

It takes a little kindness to make a BIG difference.

In all, do your best and give the quality of care, treatment and respect you want others to give you.

4. Know your elastic limit.

When all is said and done, it is NOT every nonsense that you should allow.

I’m yet to walk out of a ward round, because God has REALLY helped me.

And I hope the day never comes because if it so happens…hehe

Like I say to anyone who cares to listen, I’m the only doctor in my family…I cannot come and die.

For your own sanity, speak up when you MUST.

If a colleague wants to take advantage of you, call such person to order.
If a patient tries to disrespect you, set him/her straight.
And if your seniors verbally or physically abuse you, to an extent that is unhealthy to your self-esteem, please report them to the appropriate quarters.

You’re a doctor, not a door-mat!

5. Laugh out Loud
When all is said and done, someone may just be having a bad day and looking for a channel to vent.

DO NOT become the scapegoat.

Try to to give your best at ALL times. Be timely. Be proactive. Don’t be lazy. Don’t be rude. Know your limits.

Refuse to be a casualty in another person’s mood instability.

And when you’ve done all you can, and someone still wants to make you angry or sad, just LAUGH OUT LOUD.

Image Credit: iStock
Laugh so hard that it confuses your “Tormentor.”

A little humor can really go a long way!

Remember, you’re STRONGER than you think.

Source: WEB

For me, whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by the sheer stress of the job, the Holyspirit gently reminds me that…

So I don’t complain, I give thanks.

***

I screen grabbed this from a friend’s status the other day. Truly this job Issa calling! 

Last, last, all of us will be ALRIGHT. 

….
Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

    ❤️❤️❤️

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HouseJob Chronicles: An Internal Medicine Resident’s Profile

My passion keeps me going. I remind myself that I signed up for this business of saving lives and that things will not always be bad. For every patient we lose, many more are saved.

– Dr. Dennis Palma

Q1. Why Internal Medicine?

Dr. Palma: Well, it started with my medical school experience. Internal Medicine was my first posting. I admired the team work among the doctors. I also liked the way they applied their knowledge to make the correct diagnosis.

In my work as a medical officer, following my service year (NYSC), I found the motivation from my senior colleagues very helpful.
Although O and G was also a specialty of interest, I signed up for Internal Medicine as soon as there was a reaidency opening.

Q2. What does a fulfilled day look like for you?

Dr. Palma: A fulfilled day for me, means that I have contributed immensely to patient care, especially those in life threatening conditions.


http://www.eunicesmiles.wordpress.com


Q3. What keeps you going on tough days?

Dr. Palma: My passion keeps me going. I remind myself that I signed up for this business of saving lives and that things will not always be bad. For every patient we lose, many more are saved.

Q4. Do you have a favorite mantra? Please share. 

Dr. Palma: If you wait for things to happen nothing will happen.” You have to be proactive in life to get anything you want.


Q5. What’s the most life-changing lesson you’ve learnt as a doctor?

Dr. Palma: Several. A particular lesson that comes to mind is to show more empathy towards patients and their relatives.
When my dad passed on at a teaching hospital some years back, I was able to understand how patient’s relatives are treated, the physical and psychological stress, the impolite and condescending attitude from health workers, and the enormous financial implications of healthcare.


Q6. If not medicine, what?

Dr. Palma: I wanted to be a medical doctor from childhood.
At some point in secondary school, I considered Engineering because most of my classmates wanted either Medicine or Engineering but becoming a doctor was a dream come true.

Q7. What are your favorite activities outside work?

Dr. Palma: I enjoy watching football and hanging out with friends. I also enjoy movies and reading novels.


http://www.eunicesmiles.wordpress.com


Q8. How do you keep your work-life balance?

Dr. Palma: There is no balance at the moment. Work takes a large aspect of my time, even my weekends are not entirely free.

Still I try to keep in touch with a few friends outside the medical circle.

Q9. What are the attributes of a good doctor?

Dr Palma: A good doctor should have a good relationship with other members of the healthcare team. He should be humble because a lot of responsibility is demanded of him. A good doctor should be able to convert medical knowledge into practice and learn to show empathy towards patients.

Q10. What advice will you give to a Naija House Officer?

Dr. Palma: Learn all you can from your senior colleagues and show them respect. The more you know, the more outstanding you’ll be. It’s important to have a professional goal at the start of your career and work towards it. Show empathy towards patients. When all is said and done, it’s all about the patient. 

***

Dr. Dennis Palma, is a graduate of University of Maiduguri Medical School. He’s presently a Senior Resident at Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, and is interested in Endocrinology.

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: The Journey So Far!

So yours truly is half-way done with this housejob thing. Yay!

Throwback to my Med school graduation shoot

I recently completed my second posting: INTERNAL MEDICINE.

Let’s just say the posting was more of presentations and the likes, than anything else. 

Internal medicine doctors like to brag about their “stuff”, unlike the surgeons who love “action” and just want to get a knife under your skin. To their credit, the internists seem to spend more bedside time with their patients.

The longest ward round of my life (about 5 hours) was during my internal medicine rotation and it was not funny. 

Photo credit: WEB
 

I spent my entire posting in the Endocrinology unit where about 90% of our patients had diabetes. 

Some Diabetic cases were really bad especially those complicated with Diabetic Foot Syndrome (DMFS) and we lost a number of them, sadly. 

Still there were more successes than defeats and for that I’m thankful.

The importance of patient education and regular health checks cannot be overemphasized because without those complications, Diabetes is pretty manageable. 

I’m especially thankful that God kept me through those 12 weeks of ward rounds, emergency room calls and outpatient clinic activities. I had some tough days as well as a few long nights. 

I’m glad I was able to make friends with my colleagues, seniors, nurses and even a few patients. The Unit Consultants and Residents were also kind and helpful.

I’m especially thankful for my unit partner, Dr. M. He made my life easier in so many ways and he took the bulk of the work on days when the unit was really busy. He really deserves some accolades😂

L-R: Dr. M, myself, Dr. Tony, Dr. Esther (in front), Dr. Palma (behind), Dr. Eugene and Dr. Nonso.

I’ve since resumed a new posting (Obstetrics/Gynecology), and I’m gonna be seeing lots of preggos and cute newborns  over the next couple of  weeks.

Unfortunately, more than half of the hospital staff are currently on a National strike (that excludes doctors), so I’m yet to do some of the cool things I’ve heard about like taking deliveries or repairing episiotomies. 

Tbh…can’t wait for the strike to be over (the holiday is enough). Learning is still important to me, abeg.

Here are some of the highlights of my Housejob experience:

1. Being called a Doctor

It does feel good to be officially addressed as a doctor. I know I feel entitled but who wouldn’t?

After the stress of medical school and MDCN licensing exam, I know I paid my dues so I deserve some accolades sorry, the title😉

With Dr. Tony

So it’s kinda annoying when that random patient or patient’s relative refers to me as a nurse. Maka gini?

I know it’s not a crime to be called a nurse but I think it’s an identity theft, to answer to a title that is false 😉

On days when I have the strength, I sharply correct such erring individuals, while on other days I just roll my eyes and let it slide.

2. Call food struggle 

You know how many Nigerians love awoof (free things)? Let’s just say that the doctors are no exception. 

Although our call food is not exactly free, since a monthly deduction is made from our salaries, still it feels good to have ready-to-eat meals at work.

And don’t let it surprise you that we sometimes go for extra helpings and even lobby for call food on days when we are not on call…because doctors love food like that.

A couple of times, the taste of the food can be so disappointing (more like crappy), still we try to make the most use of it.
I’d rather go for my own home cooked meal than call food any day, but on days when I don’t have a choice, I’m thankful for call food. 

3. Patients who L.A.M.A

To L.A.M.A is to Leave Against Medical Advice 

This has be to one of my favorite scenarios as a house officer. 

I know it sounds selfish but it simply means there’s one less patient to worry about. 

Medical ethics emphasizes a patient’s power of autonomy, in other words, no doctor can force a patient to make any decision concerning his/her health. 

As doctors we are trained to assess the benefit to risk ratio of our treatment plan, and only go ahead if the benefit outweighs the risk. 

In a situation where patients (or their relatives), refuse a particular treatment due to financial incapacity, religious/cultural beliefs or preference for alternative care, they are allowed to leave against medical advice.

In one of my Consultant’s words, “The hospital is not a prison yard and we can’t force you to get treated.”

Occasionally, some patients who L.A.M.A eventually return in worse condition. It’s very tempting to send them away, but as doctors we have no choice but to treat them anyway.

4. ER Memoirs

The Emergency room is one of the toughest places for a doctor to be in, especially during call hours. Call hours usually last from 4 p.m. till 8 a.m. the next day.

The experience ranges from days of having a sleep-over (like no patient to disturb you all night) to days of little or no sleep. 

Photo credit: WEB

One of the worst scenarios is to be told to prepare an unstable patient for an emergency surgery around 2 a.m., another scenario is having to monitor glucose levels, for a diabetic patient in Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar State (HHS) every hour.
In such scenarios you can’t help but philosophize:

Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Robert Schuller.

Count yourself lucky if you are able to catch a wink before morning, because you’re mandated to be on your feet again, running errands till closing hours. 

Still we don’t COMPLAIN, we give thanks.

5. Patients’ stories 

If we look past the sick faces, investigation results, the diagnosis, the prognosis, and all other medical jargon, we realize that there is more to our patients than meets the eye.

That patient who just had a cholecystectomy is someone’s husband, father, brother, uncle, boss or mentor. 

The lady who was just diagnosed with diabetes is someone’s daughter, neighbor, student or friend.

I’ve heard all sort of stories that break my heart and many times I wonder why God allows some people to pass through so much pain.

I once had a patient who was involved in a nearly fatal road traffic accident, in which she broke a leg, a few weeks to her wedding. Thankfully she survived the ordeal, but her life was never the same again. 

Another patient, a father of three, struggling to make ends meet, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and had to be placed on regular hemodialysis. How the family could even afford the treatment remains a mystery to me.

Life seems to momentarily stand still when sickness comes knocking, but the truth is there’s so much going on behind the scenes. 

A diagnosis is enough to change the course of a person’s life and only faith in God that can keep such a person going. 

Miracles do happen. And I’ve seen a number of them. 

I believe as doctors, we will show more empathy if we routinely put ourselves in our patients’ shoes. 

So help us God.

***

– call food: the food served when a doctor is on call duty.

Cheers,
:::requ1ne:::

     ❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: A Surgery Resident’s Profile.

An interesting aspect of housejob for me, is getting to meet senior colleagues from various backgrounds, with unique personalities and a wide-range of interests in the medical field. 

As part of the HouseJob Chronicles series, I’ll be featuring some residents from my centre (FMCL) who will give insights about the expectations and demands of residency (in Nigeria).

Enjoy!
***

“A good doctor cares. He cares about his patients. He’s not necessarily the doctor with the greatest knowledge, [but] he is empathic and shows compassion.”

– Dr. Fola Aduloju.


Q1. Why Surgery?

Dr. Fola: I’ve always loved the idea and I’ve always been fascinated by it. I studied medicine because I wanted to be a surgeon. Apart from that, surgery is physically and mentally challenging and I loved that too. Also, surgery is very lucrative. I also like the fact that surgeons don’t rely on medications alone, they identify the problem and take it out or fix it. Even the best of surgeons would need the services of another surgeon if he has a surgical problem… he won’t operate on himself, meaning that surgeons will always be sought after.
Lastly, I love the the theater environment.

Q2. What does a fulfilled day look like for you?

Dr. Fola: As a resident, a fulfilled day for me is one in which I have successfully balanced service rendering, academic activity, family life and rest. One hardly experiences a fulfilled day as a surgery resident. There always something that gives for another. This might be different for other residents though

A Surgery Resident’s Profile
Q3. What keeps you going on tough days?

Dr Fola: On tough days, I remind myself that this was the path I chose for myself and I won’t let temporary circumstances derail me. I keep my eyes on the prize and get going. “No pain, no gain.”

Q4. Do you have a favorite mantra? Please share.

Dr. Fola: No favorite mantra, sorry. Lol

Q5. What’s the most life-changing lesson you’ve learnt as a doctor?

Dr. Fola: Life is ephemeral and one must value every day and maximize it like it’s the last. 

There’s a thin line between life and death.

Q6. If not medicine, what?

Dr. Fola: Aviation. I would most definitely become a pilot. That was my first love before the idea of becoming a surgeon came.

Q7. What are your favorite activities outside work?

Dr. Fola: I love reading about music theory, drawing and painting, programming and foreign languages. Unfortunately most of these are time consuming and residency won’t permit. So instead, I just watch TV and sleep when I have the chance.

Q8. How do you keep your “work-life” balance?

Dr. Fola: It’s difficult in surgery. The demands are enormous and time consuming. A surgery resident would always be skewed towards work. When there is opportunity, I hang out with friends and keep myself up to date with happenings.

A Surgery Resident’s Profile

Q9. What are the attributes of a good doctor?

Dr. Fola: A good doctor cares. He cares about his patients. He’s not necessarily the doctor with the greatest knowledge, [but] he is empathic and shows compassion. 

Of course, he hungers for knowledge to improve the quality of patient care.

Q10. What advice will you give to a Naija House Officer?

Dr. Fola: Naija House officers should know that the work environment is harsh and stressful. They should find ways of simplifying their tasks and reducing the stress. In other words, they should work smart.

Most importantly, they should consider getting licensed to practice in other places irrespective of their love to practice in Nigeria. This will give them more exposure and possibly better finance to have an independent and comfortable practice. There are things one does when one is younger, do them now. Lastly, they should go after skills acquisition and thirst after knowlege/self-improvement.

***

Dr. Fola Aduloju, is a graduate of University of Ilorin Medical School, and a Surgery Resident at Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Nigeria. He is interested in Neurosurgery specialty. 


Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::

    ❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: Financial Wisdom 101

Well, this series was supposed to be all fun but this particular post may take on a serious tone.

Let’s talk about that thing called SALARY!

I know my salary is my business and your salary is your business, but when all is said and done, you can be a great doctor and still be broke.

That’s why I’d like to share some of the insight I’ve acquired, mostly by experience with you.

Since I’m no expert, this post is as good for me as it is for any Newbie House Officer.

That said, let’s dig in.

Now that you have a job, it feels like you have finally arrived.

It is not funny when a few months into HouseJob you start going broke left and right, and just as you finish clearing one debt, another one accumulates.

Here are a few tips that have helped me stay financially sane:

1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND


Sounds cliché, right?

Trust me on this one, your salary can develop invisible wings and fly away overnight.

As a doctor, you should have clear-cut SALARY GOALS.

And the best time to decide that is before you earn your first salary!

What are your immediate Post House-Job plans?

*Port abroad?

*Write Primaries for residency in Nigeria?

*Take a well-deserved trip to Dubai?

*Get married?

*Buy a Car?

Whatever it is, you’ll probably need a substantial amount to follow through.

The average Naija Houseofficer has a “take-home” of 100k (minus taxes and other deductions).

So what will you do with all that money?

Spend it all? Or Save some of it?

What will be your Spending:Saving Ratio?

50:50?

20:80?

10:90?

60:40 is comfortable and works well for me.

So find out what works for you, and make it work.

2. HAVE A BUDGET

Maybe you never had a budget as a medical student because pocket money was not an issue.

Now that you’re earning your own pay, it’s wise for you to have a basic budget.

It’s hard to plan a budget, it’s even harder to follow through.

The goodnews is that a budget should serve as your guide and not your master.

Before that alert hits your phone, get a pen/notepad and write out your budget.

* How much goes for feeding/groceries?

* How much for utilities? transport? rent?

* How about emergencies?

Having a budget may not make sense to you initially, but soon you’ll realize its importance.

3. BE GENEROUS BUT APPLY WISDOM


Here in Nigeria, doctors are a big deal as far as an average family is concerned.

In some families, a doctor is seen as a beacon of hope to alleviate all forms of financial distress.

While there is nothing wrong with meeting some of the financial needs of your loved ones, don’t throw caution to the wind and think you can solve every money related problem that arises.

You’re not the GREAT Provider.

It is even more tricky for guys, when “baes” of different sizes and shapes are involved.

Bros, your name is not Santa Claus. Receive sense in Jesus’ name!

Before you became a doctor, there were needs. Now that you’re a doctor, there are needs.

God forbid that you lose your medical license or fall ill, there will still be needs.

Wisdom, is profitable to direct.

4. BEWARE OF 419

Everyone wants to get richer and doctors are no exception.

Doctors are easy targets to scammers in the name of investors.


If you’re a Nigerian living in Nigeria, you’ll know that Passive Income is the trending thing.

I’m no expert in the world of Multilevel marketing or Cryptocurrency, but I’ve seen people put in a whole lot of money with zero returns.
It can be devastating.

My point is, don’t say YES to every invitation to invest. Double check any idea you’re being offered and do your home work before you launch in.

May you not fall a victim of 419. Amen.

5. DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY.

When all is said and done, your present salary is not enough to fulfill all your future dreams.

It’s very tempting to want to save to the last kobo and live like a peasant during housejob.

That however is unwise.

You’re not in this world to suffer. 

You worked hard for this money (remember the many years you spent studying tirelessly in school), so you deserve to enjoy it.

Flex a little. Shop for some new clothes or shoes. Go on a mini-vacation. Give yourself a treat from time to time.

Don’t WORRY about the future. After all, no one is guaranteed of tomorrow.

Save what you can. Give what you can. Invest what you can.

And spend the rest like a boss.

6. MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING.

You know this.

I know this.

We all know this.

But for some weird reason(s), we like to think/act the opposite. 

As if everything depends on money.

You worth much more than your pay check. Remember this. 

So even if you don’t earn enough, to save, invest or spend as you like-the value of your life is definitely more important to God than your salary.  

***

For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Ecclesiastes 7:12 KJV

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles- A day in the life of a Naija Intern.

Hello friends, 

Here’s a post showing what a typical stress free day looks like for me as a medical house officer in Nigeria. 

Enjoy!

***

Today was a good one.

Let’s call it the typical FRIDAY SYNDROME


So I’ll join Millions of People across the globe to scream


T.G.I.F

Yaaas! (Image credit: WEB)

Although I have to be at the hospital tomorrow, work is going to be flexible (hopefully), since it’s a non-working day.


Tbh, I never imagined housejob could be this hard.

There are days I love my job 100%.

Other days, not so much.

Occasionally, I get lowkey depressed.

Talk about the physical and mental stress, whether sensible or otherwise.


HouseJob in Naija takes a special kind of grace I tell you.

Anyway, TODAY started on a relatively good note.

When I woke up- which was around 5:30 a.m- the power was out as usual, and with the intensity of Lokoja heat, I had no choice but to get out of bed asap.

I was able to take my bath, brush my teeth, journal some thoughts in my diary, and reheat yesterday’s dinner (white rice and stew) for lunch- all in record time!

LUNCH PACK…Issa Lifesaver!
My dad called while I got dressed, a few minutes after I stepped out of the house, got on the first motorbike I saw and was at the hospital before 7 a.m.

Of the 15 patients- that are split over 6 wards-being managed by my team (Endocrinology Unit), I saw 6 while my partner, Dr. M, (who is definitely more hardworking than I am) saw the remaining 9 patients.

Meet Dr. M

By 8 a.m, I joined other interns, residents and consultants, for our weekly departmental House Officer’s presentation.

Today’s topic was CNS Toxoplasmosis by one of my favorite colleagues, Dr. Tony. It lasted about 2 hours. 

I’m not proud to say I didn’t concentrate during the presentation, because I was chatting on one hand, and making a to-do-list/shopping list on the other. 

Following the presentation, my team had a pre-consultant ward round. 

The team is made up of 2 House officers (Interns), 2 residents, 1 senior resident, and 2 consultants.

Thankfully, the Consultant ward round didn’t hold, as the consultant who was to do the round got called for an important meeting. 

Still wardround lasted about 3 hours. We had to take blood samples, update treatment sheets, check drug charts and the likes. At some point, I had to sneak off to have lunch (because I can’t come and go and kill myself). 

The goodnews was that we discharged 3 of our patients, which is a MIRACLE.

We were done before 2 p.m. While the rest of my team left for home/to run personal errands, I stayed behind.

Not too long after, there was a call that one of our patients with DMFS was out of surgery and my team should start him on the Glucose-Potassium-Insulin (GKI) regimen. 
It took a while to get through to one of my senior colleagues and I even got into an altercation with an otherwise-usually friendly colleague, that got me both angry and hurt. I tried to make the person understand I was only joking but I guess it was a costly one.

Maybe, I play too much. #Lessonlearnt

Eventually left the hospital around 5 p.m. after setting an iv access and constituting the GKI regime together with my Partner.



Dr. M, walked me to the hospital gate, then I went across the road to a nearby supermarket for my typical weekly shopping. It was surprising when moments later two of my cousins (who were visiting a relative at the hospital) walked in too. Let’s just say I was wowed when all my groceries were paid for by one of them.

On leaving the supermarket, my favorite bike man picked me up (he charges only N50 instead of the usual N60 or even N70). The distance between the hospital and where I leave, is roughly 5 minutes by bike. 


When I got home, I briefly went to purchase a bag of pure water from a small shop on the street. 

After which I prepared indomie (with boiled egg) for dinner, had a bath, and ate as I chatted with friends PRN. 


I plan to take a nap shortly after publishing this post.

My plan for the rest of this evening is to: tidy up the kitchen, write in my prayer journal, probably practice Spanish on my Duolingo app, go through a presentation I have in 2 weeks and catch up on social media. 

So far, it’s been a good day and I really look forward to having a refreshing weekend even though I’m on call tomorrow. 😑

I know this feeling…hahaha (Photo-credit: WEB)
Again,

We don’t COMPLAIN, We give THANKS!

For life, for strength, for health, for joy unspeakable, for peace in the midst of several storms, for unmerited favor, for victory…for God’s uncountable blessings.

Thank God for housejob.

It’s a fulfillment of one of the scriptures God laid in my heart during my waiting season, last year:

And he has been faithful through it all.

***

Cheers to a fantastic weekend,
:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: 6 Types Of Patients You Will Meet In Medical Practice 

Hey Fam,
So I’ve been on housejob close to 4 months now, and I’ve come across all sorts of patients, the awesome, the annoying and everything in between.

I decided to blog about some of the extreme patients I’ve seen. If you’re a doctor or medical student, I hope you can relate with some of them. 

Disclaimer: This post is for comic purpose only and should NOT be used as a reference to categorize patients. 

Enjoy! 

****

1. The Ideal patient.

“Consistent Mr. Kay.”

Mr. Kay is so sweet, very compliant with medications, pays his medical bills without complaining and gets along with other patients and hospital staff.

During rounds he has Nil Fresh Complaints.

On Physical Examination, his General Condition is always Stable.

Mr Kay is everyone’s favorite patient and whenever he is admitted on the ward, we want to throw him a WELCOME PARTY!!!

He takes his follow up appointments very seriously too.

I know what you’re thinking, well…Mr. Kay doesn’t exist.

Not in this part of the world anyway.

2. The Overly thankful patient.

“Grateful Madam Vera”

Madam Vera is usually nice and all that, but too profuse in her show of appreciation.

Rather than pay you the occasional compliment, she literally smothers you with words like…

“Well done, doctor”
“Thank you so much, doctor”
“God bless you, my doctor”
“God will reward you, able doctor”
“I’m so grateful, doctor”

And she repeats such lines over and over. 

Eventually you have no choice but to ignore her accolades in order to get your job done.

Solution: Play deaf and dumb. Smile/Nod when you can.

3. The Defiant patient.

“Stubborn Lady Kate.”

Lady Kate is a thorn in the flesh for any Doctor that attends to her.

For one, she can argue for Africa.

She won’t do any thing you ask her to do.

And she does everything you advise her not to do.

If she’s diabetic, she insists that she can’t sleep unless she has had a bottle of soda.

She questions every prescription or investigation you order for her.

Obviously, she defaults in her appointments and her drug compliance is next to zero.

Lady Kate insists that she knows her own body better than any doctor and will treat it the best way she knows how to.

You begin to wonder why she came to the hospital in the first place.

Solution: Don’t admit or attend to her unless she signs an undertaking.

4. The Fretful patient.

“Fearful Sir Tim”

Sir Tim typically presents to the ER with 100 complains.

From a backache to a sore throat to a headache to a constipation to a cough to a fever…the list is inexhaustible. .


It doesn’t help that he has Hypertension, Arthritis and Parkinson’s disease.

Although faithful with his medications and hospital visits, he is always tearful and believes he is dying.

With each new visit, you are tempted to diagnose him with a somatization disorder or walk him out of the door.

But you can’t help but hand him a tissue and listen to the same complains for the third time in a week.

Solution: Reassure him, prescribe some multivitamins, encourage him to take several walks and lots of fresh air and see him on outpatient basis.

5. The impatient patient.

“Restless Ms. Clara”

Ms. Clara is always on the move.

She treats her health like it is the last thing on her mind.

She can’t wait to get over any clinic appointment.

If there’s a surgery on the way, she wants to have it done the very next day.

If there’s a drug you’ve prescribed, she expects it to work the next minute.

As an inpatient, she’s in a hurry to leave the hospital bed.

Her only way of greeting is “Doctor, when am I going home?”

Solution: Allow her to Leave Against Medical Advice, because no time.

6. The Entitled Patient.

“Grumpy Mister Ben”

He is the worst kind of patient to attend to especially when you’re short on sleep or food.

Mister Ben can be very demanding, controlling and downright rude.

He believes he has a right to be attended to as soon as he walks in through the ER and uses lawsuit threats to intimidate anyone that says otherwise.

It’s not helpful that he’s some retired military personnel who knows a few names in top government.

Mister Ben’s voice is usually louder than anyone’s.

He criticizes anything that does not meet his expectations- including the hospital bed linen!

Every bedside visit is like an interrogation session for the doctor. Even nurses try to avoid him during their shifts.

Mister Ben cannot be pleased, and it’s useless to attempt to do so.

Solution: Refer him to the next available Doctor.😉

***

What types of patients have you met as a doctor or med student? 

What type of patient are you? I’m a Ms Clara. Because, no time. 😂🙈

Cheers,

:::requ1ne:::
    ❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: PROGRESS

Hello everyone!

Guess who just completed her SURGERY Posting? 💃💃💃

Seems just like yesterday when I started this HouseJob thing,

Look at God.


I’m so thankful for the journey so far…the good, the bad, the ugly and the extremely wonderful.

All in all, God favored me.

I worked with some of the most amazing colleagues ever. And I won’t be forgetting my surgery experience in a long, long, time.

Quick breakdown.

So I rotated through 8 (out of 9) units of surgery:

– General Surgery (2 weeks)
– Pediatric Surgery (2 weeks)
– Orthopedics (1 week)
– Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery (2 weeks)
– Neurosurgery (2 weeks)
– Urology (2 weeks)

Total: 11 weeks

Leave: 1 week

On a scale of 1-10, my preferred units were

– Pediatric Surgery (7),
– Urology/Plastic Surgery (6)
and

– Orthopedics (5.5).

Mostly because of the flexibility the units offered, the light workload or the fact that I worked with some of the most benign Residents or Consultants.

I remember when I was a surgeon…lol


Neurosurgery was the best as per clinical skills/acumen but it was quite hectic physically and otherwise.

My General surgery experience was quite hectic too in terms of pressure from superiors. I rotated twice (one week each) and barely survived 😂.

Of course, we all know I won’t be specializing in any of the fields of surgery, thanks so much.

***

So here’s my PROGRESS Report 3 months into Housejob:

PS: If you haven’t, please read this post, HouseJob Chronicles- GOALS.

PROGRESS REPORT

Others:

– Assisted in Surgery: 5
– Wound debridement: 1
– Served IM/IV Injections: 6

I’m so PLEASED with myself right now. Well, apart from no acquiring any suturing skills from surgery🙈 Tbh, I didn’t even try to…the entire suturing technique looks like magic to me.

Well, I’m in a new department-Internal Medicine-and I look forward to not just learning new skills but also acquiring lots of Clinical knowledge. So help me God.

Hopefully in another 3 months, I’ll share with you the other feathers I have added to my cap.

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

HouseJob Chronicles: READY-FOR-HOUSEJOB LIST

Hey friends,

HAPPY New Year, again!

The series is back.

To kick off this year, let me just take a moment to encourage those believing God to start their Housejob:

THIS TOO SHALL COME TO PASS!

And it will be SOONER than you think.

It’s a new year of new opportunities, new experiences and new growth.

And it’s only wise to get prepared even as we await the right opportunities.

***

So this post is for (but NOT limited to) doctors who want to do their Housejob in Nigeria.

Before I started Housejob, I drafted a couple of things I thought I’d be needing and since starting, I’ve added a few items to that list.

Please note that the list is not exclusive and can be conveniently adjusted based on the uniqueness of the centre you work in. 

For the sake of simplicity, I’ve divided the list into 6 categories.

Shall we?

1. MUST HAVES

These items are mandatory. It’s best to have them ready before you start Housejob.

– Ward coats: This is a no brainer right? Look out for a quality easy-to-wash cotton material that requires little to no ironing on most days (because we can’t trust NEPA). You need 3-4 ward coats for your peace of mind unless you prefer to do laundry every other night .

– Stethoscope: Buying a solid and durable steth makes a huge difference. I use a Classic II Littmann and everyday with it is pure bliss. So if you don’t have a good steth yet, why not save towards one?

– Wristwatch (with “seconds” hand or a digital watch): A MUST to monitor the Pulse Rate and Respiratory Rate of your patients.

– Scrubs/Scrub Shoes: Most centers have outdated scrubs/shoes in the theatre and there are days you can’t get what you need cos of logistics, so do yourself a favor and buy yours.

You might add a customized “surgical cap” to your list for special effects.


– Hand Sanitizer: Unfortunately most centers have poor sanitary conditions, with no running water and sometimes no hand washing soap. To avoid stories that touch (like Ebola or Lassa fever) just buy an alcohol based sanitizer and put in your pocket.

– Notepads/Pens: So Housejob requires a lot of multitasking and you need to outline all the tasks coming your way each day. Having a portable notepad gives you that luxury. Depending on the size, you need one notepad per posting.
You need a lot of pens/biros too (maybe upto 50 pieces), no kidding. There’s no end to an intern’s writing, except ofcourse, you work in an ICT compliant facility.
Also prepare to lend to your seniors (Regs/SRs), fellow HOs and even nurses without ever getting them back. You’ve been warned! 

– A Name Tag (Or you have the option of customizing your ward coats and scrubs).

2. SHOULD HAVES

These are items that might be found routinely on the wards but it’s safer to have yours.

– Pen torch (all CNS exams require this)

– Patella hammer (to check for reflexes)

– Tape rule (To measure Occipitofrontal circumference, Abdominal girth etc)

– Sphygmomanometer (Digital or Analog)

-Glucometer/Strips

– Pulse Oximeter

– Thermometer (For days when you need to quickly check a patient’s temperature and there’s no thermometer to use)

A Phone with flash light (for setting lines, catheterization etc) and good camera (for clinical snapshots, and of course selfies😜)

– Medical Books in PDF Versions/Resource sites like MEDSCAPE (because you’ll need all the STUFF you can get on the go): I’m currently in my Surgery posting and BADOE is a must.

3. DISPOSABLES

In the centre where I work, patients buy pretty much EVERYTHING and if it’s an Emergency or your patient has financial constraints, you will get stranded waiting endlessly for these items to come out of thin air. The GOAL is for the patient’s relatives to replace them when they finally come around.

– Non-sterile latex hand gloves: Have a pair or two in your ward coat pocket PRN.

– IV Cannulas (yellow/blue/pink/green/grey)

– Plaster (Recommended: Agary brand)

– Thermometer

– Methylated Spirit

– Cotton Wool

All for reasons previously stated ABOVE.

4. SAMARITAN PURSE

You can go a step further to keep some other collectibles (in addition to those highlighted above) that you can use for indigent patients especially those who have been rendered financially incapacitated by their long stay in the hospital.

– Water for injection

– Needles and syringes (2 mls, 5 mls)

– Crepe bandage

– Urethral catheter/Urine bag (various sizes )

– NG Tube (various sizes)

– KY/Xylocaine gel

5. PHILANTROPIST GOALS:

If donating to a good cause is one of your priorities, you will find several opportunities to do that during your Housejob.

Maybe there is no CT, MRI or Mammogram machine in your Centre, you can start a fundraiser to get one. Generations will remember you.  

Even simple gifts  like donating Hand washing soap to the wards,  or a Microwave to the doctor’s room will make a lot of difference. 

6. PERSONAL ESSENTIALS

These are items highly recommended for your personal convenience. Having them will do you a whole lot of good.

– Power bank (You know why)

– Good shoes (Ladies, flats preferably. We are allowed to put on sandals in my Centre too)

– Absorbable ready-to-wear shirts/blouses/dresses (because you can’t trust NEPA)

– Good Ties (for the guys, every day until 4 pm. Weekends are casual).

– Handkerchiefs, Face towels/wipes (for sweaty faces or wet hands)

– Water bottle/Lunch bag/Snacks (Unless you’re a big boy/girl with a FAT bank account and you don’t mind spending like 1K each day on stomach runs)

– Carry on body spray, (sorry, no air conditioning in the wards), lip gloss, hand cream (there’s such a thing as harmattan, baby) etc

– Ear piece and lots of GOOD music to keep you sane

– Durable BackPacks or Carry-On Bags for everything we have listed above 😉☺️

PS: Be sure to have Games, Comedy or Movies and a LOT of DATA (For days when you’re exhausted and need to crash in between work, TRUST ME, such days will come).
In my case, I read the books on my phone or use my Duolingo app or simply find my way to Whatsapp 😂

PPS: All images were downloaded from the Internet. 

So did I miss anything?😉
Oops! Ladies you NEED to buy Hair Wigs too. You can thank me later.😘

Cheers!
:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️

Housejob Chronicles- Coping Mechanisms!

Hello Everybody,

It’s CHRISTMAS!!


And I’m glad even though it doesn’t really feel like Christmas around me.

While everyone else was busy planning special activities for this Yuletide season, my routines were pretty much the same.

Sleep, wake up, go to work, sleep, wake up, go to work…” 

Everything else from cooking to cleaning get lumped into each day. 

I’ve really missed my very organized self. 😢

There are days I don’t even have the time to eat one proper meal. No kidding.

On such days I’m doubly thankful for Coca-Cola. 


It’s an essential tool for preventing hypoglycemic shock.😉

So my birthday was a couple of days ago and among other things, I’m thankful for God’s MERCY. He is the reason I’m still STANDING.


The latter part of this year has been trying for me spiritually (erratic with no functional church, dusty bible syndrome et al),  but his MERCIES kept me. So the song on replay for my birthday was this:

I won’t even lie, my last few postings have been increasingly hectic. I just switched from Orthopaedic to Neurosurgery, and every other day there’s at least one RTA patient waiting for me in the Emergency ward. 

At several points, I almost broke down (Physically and Mentally) and there were days I found myself in tears (I know, “too much water” in my tear glands..haha). In the midst of all that, God has been teaching me some vital lessons for this season which I’d like to share:  

1. PRAY MORE, NOT LESS.

This sounds obvious right? if only you know how hard it can get. 

Everyday feels like a marathon as I try to race against time (I can still hear my Reg’s voice, “IPR starts by 7:00am”. Yet I’m in the hospital till after 10 p.m. on some days even when I’m not on CALL but that’s no excuse not to have a quality time with GOD (my Father): who is the Source and Centre of it all. 

From my experience, the less I pray, the more irritable, tired, anxious, distracted and restless I get.

Pray as if your life depends on it, because it does.

I’m learning among other things, to:

– Pray for MYSELF, my COLLEAGUES, other CO-WORKERS and especially my PATIENTS.

– Pray for the WISDOM, COURAGE and STRENGTH to face the challenges that each day brings. 

– Pray for the PATIENCE to deal with trying circumstances, irate patients, annoying co-workers and every other kind of evil that the enemy wants to bring my way.

– Pray that I’m a BLESSING to my Team and not a BURDEN to them. I don’t want to be labeled as a Lazy, Undisciplined, or Disorganized Doctor. 

*IPR: Intern’s Pre-round.

2. TAKE CARE OF YOU, SO YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF OTHERS.

This is soooo important. 

I recall one day, I was so physically exhausted while running some errands, that some nurses around took time to lecture me about the importance of taking proper care of myself. 

When all is said and done, there will always be patients. But I’ll only be here for a season. 

Wisdom teaches me that to give my best, I have to build stamina. Because I can’t give what I don’t have. 

So these days, when I find myself getting worked up, I take a break. 

When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m tired, I rest. 

A hungry Doctor, is an angry Doctor. A sleepy Doctor, is a snappy Doctor. It’s that simple.

3. CONNECT WITH YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK. 

Your Friends and Family are especially important during this Housejob phase. 

It’s easy to become so consumed with the work that you don’t have the time to reach out to others. 

I know this because I’ve been there. 

It’s even more tough when you have a significant other who is not in the same location with you. 

So here’s a suggestion that works for me (It’s called the PTCV Principle):

  • Pray for them always.
  • Text whenever you miss them.
  • Call when you have the chance. 
  • Visit when there’s the opportunity.

4. DON’T JUST COUNT THE DAYS, MAKE THE DAYS COUNT.

Housejob isn’t beans. I’m sure you know that by now.

And if you’re like most people, you just want it to END already. So you can move on with your life. 

Before you know what’s happening, the days have turned into weeks, the weeks into months and the year is over.

Of course you don’t want that year to be spent merely seeing patients that are anicteric, acyanotic, afebrile, not pale , well hydrated and without pedal edema. 😅

That’s why you must be INTENTIONAL about everything you do on a daily basis. 

I’m often reminded that if I want to make a difference, the time is NOW.

5. LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. LEARN.

No matter how tough a day is, you can always find time and creative ways to enjoy it. For me that includes:

  • Reading a good book.
  • Eating a good meal. 
  • Listening to uplifting music.
  • Hanging out with friends 
  • Watching a funny movie 

And of course connecting with patients and co-workers

You don’t know how much you have in common with others until you’re willing to have casual conversations with them. 

I’ve made a number of acquaintances with people who speak my local dialect, share my first name or birthday, similar beliefs and the likes. 

It’s an AMAZING something!

***

Again, it’s MERRY Christmas from me to you.

I hope y’all don’t forget the REASON for the celebration- Christ’s BIRTH!

Here’s my all-time favorite Christmas song: 

Cheers!

:::requ1ne:::
❤️❤️❤️