A Doc's Life is a underground Medical Blog about some poor Singapore doctors. They are sibei sian and very buay song. Best practices not observed!
(Warning: Grammar is non existent in this blog. Those obsessively compulsive about good English please go no further and book an appointment to see your psychiatrist in Singapore.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Different Strokes

The ambivalent love-hate relationship with nurses can really drive a doctor crazy. (Sometimes crazy enough to marry a nurse :P) Essentially conflict arises due to a difference in perception between the two profession. Let me illustrate with this example:

A good friend of mine from nursing was complaining to me about her doctor.

"Aiyoh that doctor, resuscitation he neber run, walk over like so cool like tat." She was upset that the doctor appeared boh chap about the whole event and went through the process emotionlessly.

"Can't you guys be more human?"

I told her of my experience:

I was called by a nurse who told me that my patient had collapsed. I walked quickly to the bed. Yes I walked because hospital floor is always slippery from urine, blood and fluids leaking from the drip. Me falling down would hardly make things better for the patient. After all, Dr Og is not Carl Lewis and I would rather spent that few nano seconds I could have gained from running going through in my head what possibly could have gone wrong with the patient. Running also makes me breatheless, (I am NOT CARL LEWIS) and that is not a great way to start a resuscitation.

When I reached the bed, I had at least gathered my thoughts and contained my anxiety. You need a doctor not so much to perform the actual resus but to control all the headless chickens banging into each other like brownian motion (not brown motion).

SN1: "Dr how ar??? How ar?"
SN2: "Dr he just stop breathing!!!! HOW!!!!"
NO: "They never teach me how to insert IV in nursing school! They never teach me how to insert IV in nursing school!"
And they continued banging into each other while trying to dunno do what.

Instruction to SN1: "You bag and mask."
Instruction to SN2: "You get the ETT ready."
Instruction to NO: "You go back to nursing school. And on your way call for more doctors to help me!"
Instruction to all: "Those on my left walk behind me and those on my right walk in front." (So that they stop banging each other.)

My friend after hearing my story was still sceptical. It is already ingrained in her that doctors are unsympathetic and can't care less. Well, I guess its that Mars and Venus thing.....


  1. i agree on headless chickens bangs.

    there're different level of people, dun be bothered by them, as long as u know u do your job well.

    go for it!

    i support u all the way!

    ole! ole! ole! ole! ole! ole!

  2. xiaoming1:18 PM

    bery kua zhang leh! o_o

  3. xiaoming: i feel for lokun, bcos i was in somewat the same scenerio too....

    maybe a big kua zhang la....


  4. might not be a mars/venus thing... and issue applies to other occupations also.

    i'm female, but 90% of the time ruled by the head when at work and for most personal affairs. sometimes so logic/principle-oriented until some say i'm insensitive :P

    i only bring in empathy when there's a need to (e.g., appraisal, counselling, getting staff support) coz can't afford to be emotional or too human when solving problems/fire-fighting. no one will like it if i'm emotional anyway, coz at work, that's seen as a weakness...

  5. heh, dear friends, my account has to be kua zhang and sometimes ludicrous. otherwise people might take it for real and come after me.

    just hope it leaves a smile on your face after reading.

  6. yes. i see it as people who look at big pic and people who look at sesame seeds....

  7. Dr Bl Og: it sure do! u lighten my day!

    a big THANK YOU!!!

    btw, the chat box can load leh....my comp got prob?

  8. cactus! u can email me, but i can't reply u leh! always, mailer fail delivery. your mail box too full?

  9. Hi Geno... not full leh, my mailbox. I have probs assessing my mail too. sigh.

  10. I'm also having problems loading the chat.. maybe all the activity caused it to crash?

    anyway,to reply to your question, my bf is prob not in the same year as ur brother.He's together with the 1977/1979 batch of MOs. I think 2nd year MO now.

  11. xiaoming2:46 PM

    i din say kua zhang not good ma

    kua zhang GOOD :D

  12. xiaoming is very funny.

  13. who spoil my tag box? who?

  14. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Somewhere out there in a fictional setting.
    Medical ICU 3:37 am.
    The clock stops. So does the rhythm.
    ICU Nurse 1: Cham lah, cannot rest tonight. Just went asystole. Better call the MO.
    ICU Nurse 2: OK lah, give you a hand to do CPR. You cover break for me later hah?
    MO runs in (not all MOs are so cool as Dr. Bl Og!).
    ICU Nurse 1: Oy, you want to call registrar or not?
    MO: Errr. Better call... I am new here.
    ICU Nurse 2: Yah lah you look so green. So many cases tonight, you never bathe seven flower water izzit?
    ICU Nurse 1: Ey, I already prepare adrenaline and atropine here already, give hah?
    MO: Errr. OK. (desperately tries to remember ACLS, his last posting was in Surgery, so at least the one thing he has in abundance is confidence if nothing else). Uh... how much are you giving hah?
    ICU Nurse 1: Standard lah. 1 in 10000.
    MO: OK, give, give. OK... how is the rhythm?
    ICU Nurse 2: Went asystole. Ey! Patient they say active you know. Want to intubate or not?
    MO: I think better prepare. Err... but I think better wait for registrar.
    ICU Nurses exchange meaningful looks ("still wait for registrar?!")
    ICU Nurse 1: OK lah. Wait for registrar lah. Bag and mask first lor.
    Black tag eventually walks in (by then, he/she knows the rules, like Dr. Bl Og) and saves the day.

  15. another med student8:42 PM

    so... basic rule of hospital.. never run, and always walk to look cool? haha

  16. Anonymous12:51 AM

    if your blog is not kau zhang, i dun think there wouldn't b so many comments. i know u r telling nothing but the Tthru. :) n i think the NO only know how to talk.. n give loads of instructions?! haha!

  17. dear another med stud, not cool, be calm.....

  18. Anonymous7:36 AM

    just a note of observation, its not easy to keep a professional distance and yet be humane enough to feel for your patients all the time is it?

  19. anon 7.36am: i dun think so

  20. dear anon @ 736am, we cannot empathize with patients all the time, but we showing empathy and that you care is a skill and different matter altogether.

  21. Anonymous11:08 PM

    Hmm i m curious what do you mean by showing empathy and care is a "skill " and is a different matter?

    I know I risk sounding too hopelessly idealistic and an absolute dreamer.. but being empathic and showing you care is part of being a doctor isnt it..at least personally that is what i really hope to achieve. Despite all the verbal ( and sometimes physical abuse I heard! ) from patients and their relatives to be able to humane enough to allow patients to reach you for comfort, and yet when they are in need or a professional, just to keep the distance with the level headed ness enough to show them they can leave all the medical aspects to you. Hmm do i make any sense?

  22. what i mean is that while some doctors do empathise, they don't know how to show it. showing empathy to patients is itself a communication skill which can be mastered.

    sometimes we do get numb, it happens. sometimes we get burnt out. sometimes like you say if we don't keep our level headedness we can't perform. but we can still show we care. its a skill.

  23. Anonymous9:26 AM

    awww i see =) thanks dr blog. i m only a student now but i really cant wait till i qualify.. i know everyone sayd HO in spore in really hard work and rather miserable but i must be crazy cause i m really looking forward to coming back to spore to work =)

  24. Anonymous8:43 PM

    anonymous 9:26: Don't fret. It's excellent these days. I looked around the ward at 7 pm. 4 registrars, 2 MOs, and the HO had already gone home.

  25. Anonymous8:44 PM

    anonymous 9:26: Don't fret. It's excellent these days. I looked around the ward at 7 pm. 4 registrars, 2 MOs, and the HO had already gone home.