Nurses. They, no doubt, hold an important role in medical services. They’re the ones who probably see the patients a little more than the doctors or DM do. Years of experience doing practically the same things in both cooperative and non-cooperative patients, with many varieties in physical appearance, make them the experts. Sometimes even doctors can’t perform some tasks nurses can easily do with their eyes closed. The way I see it, nurses tend to act around one department as if it’s their lair. It is their lair. Doctors & DM don’t get to stick in one place together. We have rotations. So yep. We’re literally stepping into someone’s lair every month or so. For adaptable, friendly person it may not be a problem. They can just charm their way around. But I find it very awkward and uncomfortable, not knowing everything; where do they keep the medical supplies, or even much simpler, where’s the toilet. I hate stumbling around new places looking like complete idiot. I hate feeling inferior, so pathetic. I hate being in unfamiliar places. Well, it doesn’t hurt to ask and I know it’s okay to not know a thing or two; hence the term med-student. And that’s where nurses come in handy, or not at all. See, there are few types of nurse:
1. The kind who gives you the feeling like you’re this spoiled brat, who just happen to have more money to get your ass into a fancy medschool- when in reality you’re no better than someone who’s less educated. They’d secretly mock you, comment your every move, complain about how slow and indecisive you are. Everything you do is basically wrong. They make you feel like you’re persistent itch on their skin, and treat you like so. With certain level of annoyance. They get angry pretty easily and exaggerate too- over little things. No matter how big of a smile you offer, how low you duck your head when you pass them by, how many apologies you mutter in the span of 15 hours shift, no matter how literally confuse you look about some things you really don’t understand, how polite you ask, they always have this sour look on. This is how I feel anyway, I’m pretty sensitive so Idk maybe to some people this may not even be a problem, like sometimes people are just the way they are, and we’re living in a mean competitive world. I used to be up for hours wondering whether it’s me and my clumsiness or they’re just like that. As time goes by, at the end of my shift I learn to just brush it off and let it go. Every negativity I get, every anger I feel. But I couldn’t help how I felt cos, what did it take to just be kind? I’m well aware that I’m lacking in hard skill. And yes, I’ve had enough peep-talks about how less experienced we are compared to our seniors, how fucked up our medical education system nowadays. But I’ve been trying so hard to counter my fear and anxiety, I’ve had fair amount of struggles too, so it’d be very great to have people, you know, show some kind of support. Sap.
2. The ones who act like you’re invisible. Their works are effective and efficient already. They don’t like to make fuss over things. Kinda like spies you know, you have one job, one target, speak less, get in and get it done fast, no harm no foul, then get out quietly. Idk maybe if they let us tag along it’ll only slow them down, so they rather just let us watch and do nothing. I don’t really mind the silent treatment really, as long as they let me observe whatever they’re doing. Sure it’s awkward, you can only stand quietly and watch from behind, probably ask if they need help with anything. But at least the awkwardness is bearable. They won’t bother phoning us; making us walk at 1 a.m. from one ward to another for typical complaints made by stable patients like fever, headache, pain, etc. They’ll give paracetamol and reassurance, then report back to us when we’re around the next day.
3. My favorite. The kind ones. The ones who respect us, treat us like the word dokter in Dokter Muda really matters. You know, like whenever there are new patients come in, they’ll notice us, ask us nicely to come upstairs to do the anamnesa and check on them. They don’t rush, give us as much time as we need to examine the patients, report back to the PPDS, who then give us directions about what to do and how to handle the condition. There’s no unnecessary panic going around. Even, I am able to stay calm and do everything thoroughly. That’s big, coming from a nervous wreck like me. They always give us chance to do our job, as DM and appreciate our presence. They make me comfortable to ask for help. They won’t mind helping us through the prescription, telling the place of some things, explaining how things work in that ward and such. They rarely ask for help to do their jobs, like replacing IV fluids, injecting drugs, arranging the medical records, etc., but when they do, it’s followed by series of apology and thank you and I’m more than happy to help. They will engage in conversations, ask about how the medschool work these days, offer us some food, tell us to take a rest when the night gets darker, or just simply turn the telly on and let us slouch on the sofa. I’m not essentially asking for those treatments. I’m already grateful by them talking in just the right tone and not making us feel small. It’s more than enough.
In my 7 months of being a DM I’ve came in contact with each type and, well, all had it’s ups and downs. I was totally completely afraid cos my friends were like making the one-shift-one-person kind of arrangement and it stressed the shit out of me. Lots of WHAT IF questions were running around my head. I was nowhere ready to be on-call for 3 wards; Rosella 1, 2, & UPIPI (HIV/AIDS ward). Turned out my last two shifts were total blessing. The PPDS was a fun person to be around. We basically did two rows of sleepover over night shift! And the nurses were the kindest people. There were few critical patients to observe, few new patients being admitted, 3 patients passed away, but I somehow didn’t panic and the shift went rather smoothly. I was able to rest for an hour or two. And that’s A LOT.
So yeah, I owe it all to lovely dr. Rima and all nurses in tropical disease department; the ones I like and like less. Thank you. There’s always lesson to be learned and thank you for putting me in various situations to do so.
All the love.