Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A good on-call day/night

I had a nice call day yesterday, what is described in my profession as "complete bed rest". You need to be a doctor to understand that type of humour.

The day didn't start off that well. I was admitted patients when I heard one of the health care assistants shouting one of the patients had collapsed. Since I was the only doctor around, I raced over to check what was going on. The patient became unconscious whilst walking to the toilet and fell forwards, banging her head & cutting her lip. I checked to see if she was responsive (no) but if she was still breathing & had a pulse (yes to both). I didn't know the patient that well since she's not on my team but had to do a quick assessment. It felt unnecessary since one of the medical officers was going to document her condition anyway but I felt as the first doctor there that I at least should write something.

In the end it didn't really matter. Three hours later the patient passed away. Her condition deteriorated very rapidly. I'm just surprised at how patients can go from being good & walking around to being comatose and near death.


The medical officer that I was on-call with last night was a good friend of mine. Whatever people say about her, she's a nice girl. It is slightly awkward having a friend as your senior. In the presence of other people I would call her "Dr. Chow" but if nobody is around I would call her by her first name. I know it aggravates a lot of people but in this situation she's not my pal but my superior. She's the one who tells me to do things, whether to write up discharge summaries or consultations. I just have to remind myself she's doing her job and so am I.

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