I really really need to get this off my chest, especially before my night shift starts.
Am already cranky for not being able to sleep through this afternoon in preparation for the next few nights, and for having an awful dream where I met someone in-dream I really didn't want to see and then I wake up to find idiots in my inbox.

The medical admin where I currently work really need to get their act together. I've never come across a more incompetent team (despite having only worked long-term with three previous teams - one during university, the others up in Sydney).

I have been working at this hospital since mid-January this year. We're now nearing the end of October and I get an email saying "I have been advised that you have not been to see the staff at the Occupational Medicine Unit at The Canberra Hospital on Level 10 for your immunisation/vaccination screening." You're joking right? It took you until now? I went away for 8 weeks early on during the year and got my little vaccination card after getting verification of my immunization status. But, no, that doesn't count because we're in a frickin' different state that really doesn't have much going on  for it except that someone decided a while back to cordon off an area of New South Wales and declare it the capital territory. To be honest, I completely forgot about immunization. I vaguely remember attempting to do the right thing and seek them out, until I shortly gave up trying. Seriously, they open for two hours a day - from 1.30 - 3.30pm and then you need to go to another clinic for them to be happy you don't have TB. That clinic's not much better, opening between 12 and 3pm. What planet did these people come from!? Do they honestly believe that doctors who are hauling ass around the hospital trying to work have time to go up during their measly opening hours so they can shuffle some paper around? Especially surgeons?

And then there's that mandatory training of a new x-ray machine that the operating theaters are getting. You gotta know, this mass email telling us we all had to attend included everyone from registars to bosses from both orthopedics and plastics. The first email came out early August, telling us training sessions would be either Sept 8th or Sept 22 during bloody working hours: 2 - 4pm! Again, what planet did these people come from?! So a boss emailed, saying they'd rather come back Saturday and get the thing over and done with in one shot without having to worry that we were losing precious allocated theater time. After 2 more emails hounding for us to reply and sign up because training couldn't proceed unless there are 10 or more people (or what? you lose money? why does it matter if this is all mandatory for us anyway?), we get an email four days before the rescheduled session to say it's been cancelled. We have since had three more reschedulings and several emails in between to nag us of the new training dates. Why? Because they couldn't get their act together. The first two times, rescheduling happened because the bloody x-ray machine hadn't physically arrived. The last, was because they couldn't get it "commissioned" in time, whatever that means. Seriously?! Eleven emails since August and they still couldn't get it together.

And don't get me started on the horrible rostering, or their lack of responsibility.. or the fact that they somehow "forgot" to give the IT department a list of all new incoming doctors at the beginning of the year and therefore, none of us had passwords issued for immediate use on our first day of work. They're here to support us - bullshit! They told one consultant colleague of mine they would pay for his relocation costs, seeing that he was shifting all his stuff from overseas to here. He arrived, they stuck him in accommodation for only 6 weeks because his contract is for a year (and not 6 months, so apparently they're not obliged to provide him with accommodation) and then refused to pay for relocation costs because "it was never promised." Sorry, there's just so much wrong with this place.. I'm really really looking forward to leaving and have already started counting down the days. I don't know how anyone who has worked here before had anything good to say about it. Personally, all the consultants I've met have just smirked and skirted the issue about their previous stints here - and that's not even taking the awful medical admin into account.

And with that, off to night shift a little less angsty. =)


another round of gnnnnaarrrrrgh!

Can i hazard a guess that it's universally annoying to all to know that one is right, but can't do a thing about it? Patients are lovely like that. they revive random sentiments every so often, just to keep me on my toes. Just yesterday, I had to talk to a 40 year old housewife in Mandarin to explain why her distal radius fracture really needs surgery.

Despite explaining that:
  • her bones would heal in about 6 weeks regardless of surgery
  • she would continue to have improving levels of pain until her bones healed
  • we would give her medications through the drip and tablets to control her pain
  • her arm would be out of action for the next 6 weeks until her bones healed
  • she would have poor function if her bones healed in a not-so-ideal position like they're in now
  • she may not have pain now, but may experience pain in the future with unsatisfactory positioning of the pieces
  • she will have no guarantee of finding an orthopod who will perform the required surgery up in sydney, let alone guarantee that the surgery will proceed at the latest, tomorrow
  • she doesn't even know where to find an orthopod
  • any number of friends she's got, unless they're in the medical system, will not even come close to getting her near an orthopod in Sydney (I was also thinking that it would prolly help if she had some English speaking friends in an English-based country but kept that thought to myself)
  • she is already fasted for more than 6 hours and is technically ready to go to theaters
  • she could be home in sydney by tomorrow afternoon if all goes well
  • she is lucky there wasn't much trauma on in theaters and we could fit her in within the next few hours
  • we don't advocate operations just because we like cutting people open and we have nothing better to do (shush, all you naysayers! *waits for the ortho-bashing*)

We traced lines and angles on her xrays to explain. We got her friend to explain (after we went through the above again in Mandarin because, much to my dismay, her friend couldn't speak English either. URGH!). We showed her what normal bone alignment was supposed to be like and what hers looked like. She obviously got it because there was a lot of tsk-tsking and shaking of her head along with her gasps.

And despite all that..

The lady refused surgery. 
And for what reason?

She was paiseh. Really, lady. You would rather live with a broken wrist that would very likely continue to collapse and shift in position (especially after you refuse a backslab because you were scared of pain) and cause you functional problems in the future, besides the possibility of pain and future corrective surgery or wrist fusion. You would rather live with that because you were too shy or polite or whatever you call it for not wanting to bother your friends by staying an extra night because you were only meant to stay one night. Really, lady? Really?

So, I got a bit shitty with her. I was right! She knew it just as well as I did. She knew I was being so persistent as her advocate, so she kept thanking me. That really made me more mad. I told her to stop thanking me because it wasn't going to help her wrist return to normal function. And then I launched into the consequences of declining surgery, making sure she understood them all. She said she did. Then she would start to thank me again. We went in circles and it drove me mad. My Aussie colleague could only roll her eyes as she figured out the gist of it without needing to understand a word of Chinese. Because nobody was happy, we got an ED intern that could speak Mandarin to reiterate everything again just to make sure the lady wasn't being daft because of my linguistic skills, or lack of.

By then, my colleague and I had had it. Why the hell were we wasting time with an obstinate idiot who obviously values "face" to avoid any "shame" (such as walking out with a backslab) more than her well-being, or that of her family's. So we left it at that and told her that ultimately, it was her body, her choice but she had to be put in a backslab as basic fracture management.

Imagine my surprise when I saw her name on the pre-op patient list this morning!!
She had some sense of self-preservation after all! Yay, there's hope.. but boo, she made me work for it dammit!


oh chute!

uncouth neighbors with no manners irk me to bits. just had to get that off my chest..
out of curiosity, what's the worst "payback" anyone's given to their unruly neighbors? sadly, or not.. mine haven't been too creative. they mostly involved poking a broom or bouncing a ball up at the ceiling to coincide and drown out stomping from upstairs.. or sarcastic passive-aggressive letters. the latest of which had photographic evidence of the oodles of garbage left in front of our garbage chute. seriously, who does that?! they bothered to take the trash all the way to the chute but couldn't be bothered opening the door to dump it in! they're either really stupid, or really lazy.. or both. some people, honestly! *huffs*