Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Outside Looking In
I love the feeling of a "from-duty." The fact that my 24-hour duty was over and that i'll be in an on-call status the next day is comforting. Also, i love the feeling of being from duty watching my colleagues doing their stuffs inside the ER.
Everytime i am from a 24-hr duty, my dad fetches me from work. I usually fall asleep when i take a puj that i might find myself somewhere when i wake up that's why. My favorite place to hang around at the hospital while waiting for my dad is the ER lobby. With my duty bag filled with soiled clothes and my harrassed look, i sit with the patients' watchers at the lobby. I love the feeling of being with them. Not a doctor, but an ordinary individual like the people around me. I love to hear conversations and commentaries from lay people. I may not join their conversations, but at least i get to hear non-medical people talking about other things than sickness. I sometimes let out a grin or two when i hear them talk with conviction about their patient's cases. Or if they make a comment about the doctors i know who are currently on duty inside the emergency room.
It's really destressing to be an ordinary human being. Being a doctor seems to be a super hero job for me. You have this signature stethoscope complete with a white coat signifying power and responsibility. Power over your patient's sickness and responsibility over your patient. This job is usually draining. Sometimes, you just wanted to feel at your weakest, wanting to throw away the stethoscope and remove the coat. In my casual clothes, sitting with the patients' folks at the ER lobby, i feel so free. Freed from responsibilities, freed from the yoke that my profession has laid upon my shoulders.
Watching my colleagues runnng to and fro attending to the patients at the ER, i tend to appreciate our profession. We may be burning out but when on the call of duty, amazing how we could perform our jobs and responsibilities. Collegues my age or younger than i am by a year or two show authority over the emergency room. It seems like being inside the emergency room and being on duty would require an additional decade for our current age. You can however observe the transition of an ordinary human being (like me when i am from duty), to a superhero who gets to save lives inside the ER.
It's destressing to be an ordinary human being alright, but being a doctor is more rewarding and challenging. The adrenaline rush of resuscitating someone who's dying brings out the best in you. The maximum tolerance over difficult patients and folks would usually test your patience and character. The time-bound decisions that you have to make in order to save a life sharpens your mind. The criticisms of seniors and consultants would usually strengthen your spirit. These can only be felt in this profession that i chose to take. Being a doctor is really draining but sometimes, all we need is a little rest and a little time to look at our job from another perspective in order to appreciate it and be thankful for it.