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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First Salvo Is Fun!



"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." - Eleanor Roosevelt

I don't go crazy over  horror stories much less if it begs your apology for visual incapacity. What is required of you is just a pair of attentive perfectly working eardrums all to get your time tricked into passing.  The room is no mundane setting.You have to submit to proper etiquette and compassionate instinct.The storyteller is gushing with hair-raising tales of the paranormal. Linda Blair and Emily Rose figure prominently at the ghostly scenario, not the fictional superstars but the 'made-up' stories and characters he insists to be real-life experiences. His audience is keen to add life to the deathly plot by agreeing to the script.  Though no loud reactions. Only a couple is in tune,  in fact there is three. And that makes them four together.

While three are visibly active, the fourth person is the real protagonist but hardly exists yet taking command of every scenario. Everytime  mucus inundates his airway and prompts wheezing, he takes  the attention of all, and their touch. The reciter of tales who loves spotlight on him quickly picks up an undersized pair of plastic gloves to lend a hand. And we are back from virtual world. Nurse Jennifer is quick to fix the machine and the tubings. She will be extracting mucus secretion from the patient to clear his airway. We are pretty quick too. We tilt the head and assist in the method. We extracted a bounty. Breathing suddenly normalized. The patient has been comatose since one week. A case of intracerebral hemorrhage with severe hypertension. He is a 66-year old  African. And the bad news is - the prognosis is not good.

It was my first OJT and my assignment was ICU. Nerves was all over me. I was not alone though. Benjie and I were picked to assist at the ICU. He is a PT grad so more or less he is inclined to doing this and stuff. After taking down notes on patient's profile and medical history, we proceeded to don our gloves and plastic apron. The patient is being fed via nasogastric tube and so we had to assist in his feeding. Turning the patient every two hours is also necessary to avoid bedsores and skin ulcer. The patient is on foley catheter so we had to drain his urine every now and then. We also did oral care on him to contain the stench coming from his oral cavity. His BP has been consistently abnormal and so cardiac arrest could be imminent. He has to be under our careful watch. Other than that everything is pretty normal and peaceful in the ICU.

The yawning gap in between administering care for a comatose patient could steal one's sanity away, says Nurse Jen. Gladly, we came that day to her aid. So she won't be humming around appeasing those naughty unseen gliding over the room in a cold breeze. Nurse Jen has had company that day. To shun away  lulling moments  in the ICU, Benjie had spooky stories dug up from his footlocker. Deathly tales, exorcisms, nightmares and creepy adventures made good fodder for the three of us. There was no escaping from pinning your auditory cells to the convincingly credible storytelling of the "cold compress king". Did I say he used up more than a dozen pairs of gloves for his cold compress regimen on his inert listener? :-)

If there was an award  for tibial stamina we could have run away with it too. And surely the fun diminishes when you feel some grumbling within. And this is what Benjie has been blabbering about - tons of pizza that he ordered that made my midsection even loudly complaining. Little did we know, down a ceiling below, some of our co-trainees were already on a frenzy over a huge pizza and salad that Chris had ordered for the batch. He happened to be the birthday boy (it was announced at school) and so he had to oblige us. (Poor Chris! :-)) Benjie surely had eavesdropped on the activities below. He made a trip quite a number of times down. (He must have bullied reluctant Chris into obliging for a pizza treat :-)) Of course there's no way we could miss out on the 'plunder'. We eventually found ourselves sprinting down the stairs.

Now I won't have to weep with envy everytime I see a flatter belly. Pizza is the single most atrociously irresistible reward you could possibly get for enduring the day. The  smell and sight of it is going to make every carb skeptic crawl out of the woodwork and ignore a beeline for a first grab of a bigger slice, pepperoni at that. Apart from the pizza, salad and cookies, Jasmine too had brought a basin of pancit  with matching white loaves. There you go a food trip in the hospital. Haggard faces suddenly lightened up. A co-trainee recounts how his boy patient is practicing high jump in his bed. Another, his patient touring around the hospital with  the entire socceer team with him, you would think there is a football match in the lobby. Ours though is not exactly a happy one.

At the onset, everyone thought our OJT will be an entirely nerve-wracking experience. On the first foray, we were overwhelmed with nerves and pressure, but it wouldn't take long before we realized that the experience helped boost our morale and self-worth. And yes we had fun too. Patients are people with varying needs. A little tap on their back and reassurance that everything will be okay already lights up their faces, and it does contribute to their recovery. True healthcare providers don't just focus on the patient's physical well-being, they are bound to go the extra mile too. Expertise and science alone do not at all complement the healing of the infirm without compassion. After all, homo sapiens is not only made up of flesh and blood, there is more to what our eyes can't see. Good luck to all Batch Four!

5 comments:

duboy said...

kumusta po?

i really find your blog very interesting and profound. malapit sa puso ko din bilang isang ofw,your stories are related both sa work, sa buhay ofw. kaka inspire.

sana ma add mo ko sa blog roll mo, inadd na kita. eto po site ko. www.oslekdude.blogspot.com

maraming salamat!

chico

NFB said...

add na kita dubs, ikaw pa isa ka sa mga hinahangaan ko sa galing sumulat. di ba summa cum laude ka lang naman pala hehe. gusto ko rin yong entry mo sa peba, good luck sau dubs :-)

Jeremy Thomas said...

Good job Nelson. Thanks for letting the world know that behind the hospital walls are weary souls waiting to be "touched" by an angel, that would alleviates their pains. This is what Caregiving is all about.

duboy said...

thanks sa pag add! goodluck sa mga entries natin!

NFB said...

@ Sir Tom, thanks for dropping by, it's an honor to have you here. Thanks for your selfless mentoring and most especially the funniest moments you have shared with us. We are proud of you Sir.


@ Duboy, not at all. good luck din sayo :-)

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