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Noor Othman

Rookie (4th August / Sri Menanti)

Internship hardship friendship


[Hilarious and unforgettable anecdotes as House officer [intern] in the ‘craziest' hospital in Malaysia - Hospital Kuala Lumpur 1981-1982]

The First Day - June 21st 1981

It was one beautiful Monday morning
June 21st was the exact date of reckoning
I stepped into Antenatal Ward which was ‘drowning'
The patients were impatient; the nurses' job was daunting

I asked Jenny, a house-officer like me
A classmate from University who reported for duty
"Where do we start, Bed 1 or Bed 30? "
"Or Trolley 1, Trolley 2 or Trolley 3? "

The first day was nothing but utter confusion
Jenny and I, had no sense of work-division
There was no guidance nor senior supervision
It was the nurses who made the decision!

The chores were endless, patients were screaming
Blood needed to be drawn, patients kept streaming
From Bed to Bed, from Trolley to Trolley
We rushed around not knowing what to volley

Patients were in some form of agonizing pain
While few were sombre, most women were 'insane'
The Policy says "If Os is 5cm - rush to Labour Room"
Patients were too many, our time was consumed

By evening activities did not slow down
Jenny and I realised, we had no time to frown!
To our surprise, we didn't have a breakdown
Body soaked in sweat, blood stained our gowns!

Jenny said "this is the worst day of my life"
" I'd rather stay single and not be someone's wife"
"I can't see the joy when there is too much to strife"
"Just to bring a baby to the world so a family has life! "


Days in between

Many days in and many days out……
Biological rhythms were beginning to rot
Social activities were not in slot
Considered myself lucky if I had a moment to plot

Jenny and I became one good pack,
If she was too tired, I was there to act,
Likewise she would easily track
take over my tasks had I been so slack

One day we had an unusual day
After days and days of lack of play
A senior succumbed after months of decay
She acted strange, as if in dismay

One patient became her first victim
She screamed at him and lashed out whim
Everyone else ran helter skelter
Wondering what went on that instigated her

We thought there was a surgical emergency
That required the Consultant to come in a hurry
We picked the phone, Boss rushed in a jiffy
Only to find out, the senior was just unhappy!

There was always something to muse
The brain was numb, the body was bruised
At times we were quite confuse
Yet we admit, we enjoyed the abuse!

We learnt many things even on stuff not taught
What our teachers told us now come to naught
Real experience we eagerly sought
Those were lessons that made us matured!


My last Day- June 20th

Internship year was coming to the end
I say thank you to those I befriend
A year with you is life well-spent
To my supervisors I give commend

The last day was time of mixed emotion
A year of internship I have done with devotion!
I am happy to be given the certification
The Authority had approved my skill acquisition

I reflected on good and bad days I had
Actually most were good only few were bad
I have no complaints, I have nothing to add
Even a loss in social life, a loss I'm glad

One day I had such an extra busy call
By now, lack of sleep had taken its toll
My senior called, asking on a new patient
I fell asleep while answering the phone!

Doctors like patients are humans too
One day I felt ill, I had a very bad flu
One patient asked "doctor why you look blue? "
"Go ask your mother to make you chicken stew! "

There was a colleague who fainted one day
He said he had no meals yet, just 5 chappatis and Tosay
I didn't realise he was feigning the act
To avoid been asked by the Chief of the Pack!

Six months of O&G and 6 months of Surgery
Taught me more stuff than what I learnt in University
Every patient was teaching me more new things
Which I did not learn from lecturers nor from readings

Those were the days I would cherish till today
I remember the events as if they were yesterday
My colleague interns share the same sentiment
Though memorable, we just want to have it once!

Submitted: Saturday, March 09, 2013

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