Monday, October 10, 2005

The work of a trained medical professional

anyways about today

well it was painful again. i had lots of stupid things to do. i spent about an hour in total on the telephone seeing if one lab (lab 1) in the hospital could send another lab (lab 2) in the same hospital a set of slides (slides as in to look at under the microscope). the chain of events was as follows:

  1. doctor from different team reviewing one of our patients asks if the slides can be sent to another lab for a second opinion by another expert... fine. no probs.
  2. i call lab 2.
  3. they say they do not have the slides as lab 1 have not sent slides over to them yet.
  4. i call lab 1
  5. lab 1 says they are aware of the slides i speak of
  6. lab 1 says they however cannot release the slides to another lab unless the person who analysed them in the first place give permission for them to do so (fair enough - confidentiality)
  7. i call person who analysed slides to ask for permission to release. they say "no probs mate"
  8. i call back lab 1 and tell them big man has said ok to go
  9. they say they cannot find slides and will call me back
  10. i hear nothing from them for one hour
  11. i call back lab 1 who tell me that actually they did send slides to lab 2 last week.
  12. i call back lab 2. they have no idea where slides are. didn't realise that slides had been sent. they will have a look again. they will also call me back.
  13. i do not hear from lab 2. i call lab 2 back. they say they are still looking but it is now 4.30pm and nearly hometime so not much will be done.
  14. i leave my number and number of doctor working overnight so they can call someone when they do find slides. they say "cheers" but they're all going home. best to call back tomorrow and see the progress.
  15. i tell reviewing doctor (see point 1) about the chaos. he is very pleasant and thanks me profusely for trying to sort it out. i realise this has been a waste of time.
to be fair not all of my 'work' today was like this but 98% of it was calling people, ordering things on the computer, emailing lists to people, etc. so perversely i leave work at about 6.45pm thinking that i'm glad i sorted out all the little jobs (bar the slides) over today so that tomorrow the ward will run smoothly.

then it dawns on me.

i've not actually done anything that my cactus couldn't do.

there are plenty of interesting (personally, intellectually, academically) patients on the ward with quite complicated things going on with them. some are very sick and i'm always amazed by the resolve and strength of character of some people when they're ill.

i haven't had any time to talk properly to any of them about how they feel, what they're worried about, etc all the stuff that a good caring doctor should do (cliche but true)

i haven't had any time to look into detail about some of the more bizarre rare problems that you don't see normally in medicine that a few of the patients have so from a learning point of view it's also rubbish.

and i'm knackered now! i'm so tired! from doing fucking nothing productive! from pushing paper all day long! by the time i've cooked dinner it'll be bed time. bollocks.

the tragic irony of it is there are thousands of people in pakistan now in need of help.

here is the BBC's take on it today "Aid begins arriving in quake zone"

i could be doing anything out there now which would be of more use than points 1 to 15 above - like clearing rubble or fucking anything. better than moving slides about the place that's for sure.

i am starting to resent now that the bullshit that i've been doing all day has sapped physical as well as mental energy.

well i'm going as the longer i spend on the computer the less sleep i get.

see you tomoz (maybe) - i have cod fillets in the fridge tonight. yum!

[i am listening to somwhere else by razorlight]

1 comment:

vk said...

i know of what you speak my is the most frustrating feeling to run around trying to do something that you view as being important and 1) not acclompishing it and 2) realizing that no one really gave a shit anyway. I think in the never ending quest to have plausible deniability (i.e. "we have the paperwork to prove that we did nothing wrong") the powers that be have tied down a doctor to the point where he is not doing his most basic function......which I don't believe is the administering of medicines but rather basic HUMAN interaction...but then again who needs humans anymore considering patients are not people either, they are better known for, their various ailments, the amount of time they will spend in a hospital or my favorite how they will pay theit bills, otherwise known as medical insurance policies....sorry being a bit cynical....I have a suggestion, why not try to get into the administration side of things....maybe you can beat the system from the inside....I don't know how fruitful that would be, but hey at least you might get more free time......