Many of you have written to tell me how much they have enjoyed the anecdotes of hotel staff so I thought I’ll write one on the medical staff that I have encountered.
Some of you are aware I was hospitalized around Christmas time due to an unfortunate case of dengue fever. That 4 bedridden nights provided me with plenty of materials, in addition to the few times I had been a regular visitor (as a patient or visiting a patient) for the last few years. Bad habits break hard, I should be born a journalist. I hoped you enjoy the following collections of anecdotes from our sacrificing medical team.
Sometimes I think that being a nurse hardens me because I have witnessed so much in the last ten years in my career. Every now and then, something unbelievable comes along and breaks me and remind me how fragile life can be. The most recent one is a baby who was involved in a car accident. Both her parents died immediately from the impact of the horrifying incident but the baby (other than traumatized) was without a scratch.
Sometimes it takes a while (sometimes a few days to weeks) to locate children’s next of kin, especially when they are too young to comprehend and communicate but the baby’s grandparents, aunts and uncles (from both sides) came forward within hours and was able to bring her home on the same day. I was sad for the baby to be orphaned at such a young age but grateful that at least he is surrounded by loving family.
Susan, Pediatrics Specialty Nurse
I used to be in the Emergency Medical Team Unit and I totally hate my job. I couldn’t sleep for the whole of my first year and by the second year, I was on the verge of breaking down. I kept blaming myself for all the lives I couldn’t save. Like the one time, I had a father who passed away before we can even wheel him into the operating theatre. I had to brace myself walking past his widow. That incident cost me a week of sleepless nights. That was the last straw. My supervisor saw what it did to me and had me transferred to administrative. I’m happier now, being in administration. I know I wasted my medical training but I rather be dealing with paperwork than blood and tears.
Robin, Hospital Administration
You know the On Call Room rumours are true. We had an unspoken policy. If the On Call Room is ‘occupied’ – meaning it is used for sex – a mask or a rubber glove will be hanging on the door handle to indicate so. Don’t be so quick to judge. Sometimes, the room is used by husbands and wives working in the same hospital because that is the only way they get to spend time with each other if their shifts clashes.
Many patients aren’t aware that the more they claim their medical bills from their insurance, the higher their premiums will be. So they should be selective about what they claim. If they afford not to claim the smaller amount, maybe they should skip that and only claim for those bigger cases.
Kevin, Patient Administration
The sweetest thing I have seen in my twelve years of nursing involved a young lady that was in a coma for two years and her boyfriend who was a regular visitor. She sent in after being hit by a truck on Christmas Day. Her boyfriend never fails to show up every single day. He’ll come after work, just to read her stories or to sing to her. He’ll brush her hair, whisper promises for the future and massages her limbs. Even when her own mother has given up on her and eventually stop visiting, he didn’t stop coming. He paid for all her medical expenses as well. It is all worth it, the day she woke up and the first word was his name. I was there in the room with them when her eyes lit up the moment he walked into the room, crying. They still have a long way ahead of them as she needs more time and physiotherapy to recover but I’m sure she will do alright with a boyfriend like him.
Ramesh, ICU Nurse
Hospitals can bring out the sweetest and nastiest behaviour in human. I witness a sister and her brothers arguing over who has to pay for their dad’s medical bills. She wanted the best care, the best doctors for him but hadn’t wanted to pay a single cent while one of her brother wants the most affordable option and the other brother wants nothing to do with the family at all. The whole decision on whether to operate on their dad was put on hold for a week just because the siblings couldn’t agree. In the end, it was their mother who made the decision by paying everything.
Samuel, Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery Spine Surgery
I don’t know what it is with young people nowadays. Every week, I had to chase off some frisky couples in their midst of foreplay in all kind of places. The stairways, the empty patient rooms, the storerooms, the handicapped toilets. The only place is off limits are the nursery and operating room.
A miracle happened to me in 2017. A young boy of four years old wandered into my office. As I wasn’t seeing any patient that morning, I happily entertained him with stethoscope, thermometer, blood pressure monitor for almost an hour until the nurses locate his mother who was warded for a minor illness.
The thing is that I have been trying IVF for five years and I always wanted a boy. I have always been so occupied obtaining my doctorate then with my career and that was the longest time I ever been with a young child. Straight after that incident, I was tested positive for one of my successful implanted embryos. I’m due in March 2018 and I’m having a boy!
Jacqueline, Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Night duties are the most boring shift. Nothing is ever exciting. But a while ago, we had a naughty old patient who would ask his equally elderly friends to sneak in sinful goodies well after visiting hours. He knows he isn’t supposed to eat such rich sinful food, not when he is recovering from his cardiovascular surgery. I have busted a few of them hiding chocolate cakes, cream puffs, baked ham, treacle pudding, red wine in their bags, under their coats. Those goodies will be confiscated and shared among the night shift duty nurses.
Dinesh, Night Duty Nurse
This patient I have seen many years, suddenly have a relapse of his previous cancerous condition. I offered to pro bono his case because I know he exhausted all his savings and insurance for his last relapse. With tears in his eyes, he thanked me but he asked if he can pass my pro bono offer to his 8 years old son, which was recently diagnosed with leukaemia by another doctor in the same hospital. I cried after he left my consultation room. I have never cried so much in my life. Determined to help, I transferred his son under my care and I made sure that both father and son received the best care possible under no charge.
Have you heard of or come across interesting stories to share? Come and tell your stories in the comments below.
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