Sunday, February 08, 2009


It's 2 hours before the night shift ends, and what a horror it's been.

A continuous influx of drunk and assaulted patients arriving via ambulance and on foot, accompanied by equally intoxicated friends demanding instant service.

One young lady who arrived alone -- brought by paramedics thanks to some kind soul who called 995 -- screamed expletives at us non-stop for a half hour before I ordered IM Haloperidol to shut her up. Where's the Mediacorp TV crew when you need them?

All this wasn't helped by the stupid computer system maintenance, which took place from 12am - 4am, causing our emergency room and inpatient software to be completely inaccessible during this crucial period.

I'm not the sort to use the F-word out loud, but my MOs were more than making up for that. :)

We don't usually get this much action, even on weekends. Even now, there's a list of young adults in for various forms of assault ( slapped, punched, hit with a beer bottle / metal rod, etc ). And all totally plastered with alcohol.

One possible reason: the bright, shining full moon I spotted from the rooftop of our ER as I exited the tea room not too long ago.

A retrospective analysis for journal publication perhaps? Haha...

Another encounter a few days ago really disgusted me. And I consider my threshold pretty high.

A patient's son -- male, middle-aged -- walked up to me at the nurse's counter during a busy shift, asking, "How many doctors are there at the moment?"
Perplexed, I asked why he wanted to know this.
"My mother's been waiting for quite a while and no-one has seen her yet."
It wasn't what he said that irked me, but how he said it. His next remark confirmed my assessment.
Waving his hand around the area, he stated, "How can this be called an emergency department? All these people don't look sick what."

I glanced at the handful of frail geriatric patients behind him, one of whom was groaning in distress, another with a nasogastric tube and diapers. A psychiatric case was sobbing nearby, and our MOs and nurses scurried around doing changes, reviewing results and making urgent calls.

I attempted to explain that we were trying our best to clear the queue, but of course, he couldn't care less. In fact, he began to smirk, flashing me an incredulous look.

Knowing that I wasn't getting anywhere, I politely asked him to wait outside. Relatives aren't allowed to loiter in the P2 area, and our security guards had gone MIA.
As expected, he refused to leave.
So I picked up the phone and called security to intervene. That did the trick.

This is the sort of crap we face on an almost daily basis. And you know what, it's never the old patients who give us problems, but the younger ones. And most of the time, the accompanying relatives and/or friends consume much more of our time and energy compared to the actual patient.
This is my 10th year post-graduation, and it keeps getting worse.

Tick, Tick... Boom!

No, I'm not suicidal. That's the title of the latest Broadway soundtrack I'm hooked on.

Staged in 2001, it's an autobiographical piece written by Jonathan Larson ( creator of the hit musical Rent ).

I bought this from Amazon for only one reason: Raul Esparza, who plays Larson.

While the songs aren't the best I've heard, those sung by Esparza stand out, buoyed by his exceptional vocals and emotional deliveries. Favourites include See Her Smile, Why and Louder Than Words -- slightly-above-average ballads that dazzle with the Esparza treatment.

I'm always thrilled by the discovery of new musical talent. Thanks for the intro, L!

TV Highlights

The Ghost Hunters are back! The new season aired on Wednesday on StarWorld, and somehow, I'm never bored by their little expeditions.
The latest outing was to a Revolutionary era dungeon, complete with solitary confinement cells and creepy tunnels.
There were hair-raising moments aplenty, like the disembodied voice of a female crying, "Mommy!", multiple glimpses of a ghostly face and even a positive thermal image of a human figure in Casement 11 -- absolutely terrifying.

There's also a movie you may be able to catch on HBO: titled Haunted, it stars Kate Beckinsale, Aidan Quinn and Anthony Andrews, featuring an eerie old house in the English countryside. I watched it with my mom late one night -- an extremely unnerving experience.

But it doesn't come close to the TV adaptation of Henry James' Turn Of The Screw. *shudder*

Also, Monk has returned, better than ever. Tune in every Friday to catch the genius detective solving bizarre crimes in the most innovative ways. CSI really sucks in comparison.

Last but not least, the cable TV premiere of Becoming Jane tonight on Star Movies. Not sure why this film has taken such a long time to reach the small screen, but it's a gem! One of James McAvoy's best work to date.

Well then, it's back to the grind. Morning rounds beckon. Sigh.

No comments: