its been a significant while since i last shared and I’m sorry. SO i started working! Week 3 now as an MOI (thats a Medical officer Intern. ) And in maternity department. And let me tell you it is fun! It is the most fun I have had.
To be an intern means to most hard work and a lot of toil and you feel like pulling your hair and strangling yourself and I have seen centers where two people are managing 146 people in a day! In one department and I watch how much strength they have, picking out pain from someone’s laboured breathing, working together even when really you’re not on call and well…workflow management.
And its no joke when people say you do not sleep, heck you hardly even leave the hospital, and your head is ringing APH, PET, and a lady who’s very sick wo’s covered their head with high fevers but all your lab works are NORMAL apart from a mildly elevated leukocytosis, and your basically treating her emperically where in all honesty logic and science don’t seem to tie up.
I have been lucky and so blessed to be in a system where the Med Sup and the MO’s and the nurses and the CO’s are also so willing to help and to train you to be a good doctor, like a great one! Taking their time to teach you how to even assemble an MVA Kit, doing reviews with you sometimes because its 3am at night and your both from a C-section and he/she doesn’t see the need of leaving you in hospital because there’s a candida review on the bench. The team work I have found is so astounding, like a family, a sister won’t call you unless for real there’s an emergency, and they won’t have tea and not offer you a cup and they send you home, Daktari enda ukalale sasa, umechoka sana and lecture you on eating all your meals and hand hygiene when you remove gloves and forget to wash your hands before writing notes.
I feel really blessed when all interns those Senior and those who are a rotation ahead and newbies like me help each other irrespective of department, helping with a line in casualty, because you’ve dealt with so many new borns, phlebotomy is now an art and your colleague has been struggling with a line for 30mins and to no end, and knowing about each other’s patients and progress in management and even meeting for social times because life can’t be all about medicine, then finding ourselves drifting back to talk about the same medicine because we are doctors and its part of who we are. But we correct each other and learn from each other and just step in when help is needed.
Rosy as it sounds, internship is internship and you will be called at night for many reviews, and you will be so busy you forget about lunch, or wake up in such a hurry to go induce or do your daily round and promise yourself you will eat at 10 which never comes. You will find a new case that you last saw in med school year 3 and rack your brains to try figure out what the hell this is, there will always be a social who will want your help in getting drugs, you will do 3/4 or even 5 c-serian sections at night not forgetting its Friday or Saturday and there are 2 MVA’s awaiting you in Ward 4 and you still need to take blood samples to the lab because no one else can.
There are nights you are on call, but your phone doesn’t ring and you will call everyone just to make sure that your phone is working. When you finally accept that it is working and its one of those good nights and allow yourself to enter bed the good hospital will remember you and call you a second before you enter REM and your head weighs a tonne but the good ol’ ambulance is waiting to pick you outside the house.
Your phone, your phone having no charge suddenly becomes more of a night mare and when it rings you first get palpitations hoping its not the hospital. It is officiallly public property and your favorite contacts are suddenly the hopital, your dept mate, the second on calls and of course your life Saving CO who always comes through no matter what!
BUT WITH ALL that its fun, its a daily learning experience from everyone and anyone. You pick up things from conversations, dosages start making sense, heck med school starts making sense and this title DAKTARI actually means something. Theory becomes Practical and things you struggled with in med school pale in comparison.
Responsibilty weighs on you and it reaaly does, when the husband of a lady you’ve been mannaging comes from Nairobi to talk to Daktari about his wife’s management and it dawns on you that this is their frist child and you want everything to go right. or having to explain meconium aspirations to mothers who are so scared that their child is in NBU and not with them. First time mothers come to you to ask you how much lonmger will the pain last and you answer them knowing you have never been in labour before so alll your knowledge is very theoretical. But it gives them hope to keep rubbing their backs and not scream.
It’s quite the experience and I count myself lucky and blessed and i am ever so grateful that come the end of this year I shall be a better person, mentally, physically and professionally.
To all interns out there, internship lasts one year, enjoy it, keep the faith and make the most of it and when the going gets tough …remember it, like all things, will come to an end.