Observership diaries: Day One

I started my observership on the 27th of February. It’s an arrangement in my school where the students in MD5 are assigned to two departments in the hospital to observe their proceedings for two weeks, one department for each week. You don’t get to do much, you literally observe while your preceptors (the doctors you’re assigned to) teach and explain to you the proceedings of that hospital department. The aim being to give you an idea of the hospital life before you  begin your rotations or residency. That being said, here’s my experience on the first day.

I woke up that beautiful morning frantic, now I had slept early the night before, meaning I slept before 12a.m and I accidentally woke up by 4a.m to pee and entered into the dilemma of whether or not I should go back to sleep. I can’t remember what my final decision was but five minutes later I was snoring my way round the dream world. You see, I was sleeping even in my dream. Then, I started dreaming of how I’d overslept and got to the hospital late and my preceptor was screaming at me which jolted me out of my bed. I checked the time, It was 6:30am. I heaved a sigh of relief and then it hit me. I was still behind schedule. First I was on a morning shift, so 8 am was my resuming time. Secondly, my  friend had asked me to pick her up so we could go together as she did not know the hospital’s location and finally I had not picked out what to wear, neither had I ironed my white coat. I guess you could say I was having a very adventurous day.

I dashed into the bathroom, took what my mom calls a magical shower and brushed my teeth as fast as my hand could go in circular motion. When I got out, I took one quick glance at my wardrobe and remembered, My leopard print gown, that’ll do. A smile flashed across my face because it didn’t need ironing. God bless the genius who designed wash and wear materials. With that thought, I struggled to iron my white coat which right now, it’s worthy of mention that I neither know how to iron like a 60s lady nor does my iron know how to heat up more than a candle. Frustrated, I shoved it into a plastic bag and stuck my stethoscope in too, a bottle of water because no to hospital water. Next, hair and make-up.

Okay, if you don’t have 4c natural hair, you wont understand this. It’s a struggle. I combed the living daylight out of my hair. It was so tangled that I almost gave up and tied a scarf like I was embracing my heritage. I finally got through and just pulled it up as far as it could go into whatever the style I came up with that morning was. I’m not one for dramatic make up, besides who am I kidding,  I have three items I call make up: My foundation, loose powder and mascara, two of which were already empty and needless to say that mascara is older than the house I live in right now. I finally heard my friend knock and we dashed out of the house. Luckily there was no traffic  and we got there just in time.

Using the arrows on the wall of the hospitals, I found my way to the Medical Director’s office and found some of my classmates waiting, after standing for almost 30 mins, we were shown to our various departments so I said goodbye to my friend and ended up in the operating theatre with scrubs and a face mask on and no clue as to why the entire place smelt funny. My preceptor was a sweet woman, she showed me where to change and eased me into the subject for the day. Oh yea… I was assigned to Anesthesiology.

There were about five surgeries to be done that day. I can’t remember what the first one was because I didn’t even see the patient well. The rotating students had surrounded the table as well as the nurses and the other surgeon. The second and third surgeries however were not the easiest to watch. There was a colonostomy which was to be re-anastomosed and the second was an old lady that had developed a fistula, I think tracheosophageal, after a tracheostomy. She also had some kind of abscess that they needed to drain. Lord Jesus! I don’t get icked by things but I was not prepared for all the smells, and so many organs, the suction sounds and the way people fall asleep under anesthesia. I just looked away and stared at the machine most of the time, watching the numbers fluctuate and when I got tired, I watched the CO2 graph as it went up down and up and down and up and down. You get the point

It was an awesome experience for the first day. The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was the standing for 5 hours straight. I hadn’t eaten that morning and neither did I bring lunch. Thank God my preceptor was nice enough to offer me an apple, I would have slumped like snow-white. I got home by 2:30 pm that day, tired and drenched in the rain. I have so much more respect for surgeons, not that the other doctors aren’t doing a great job because the colonostomy surgery took more than four hours. My day 2 would be an afternoon shift. I was so grateful for my health because I feel like the people in there are strong. They fight through the pain of surgery and all the recovery in the ICU. I’m not strong enough. I hope they all get better.

IF you liked this, check back tomorrow for Day Two. Like,Share and follow me across social media. Have a beautiful day



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