Sunday, June 26, 2011

And onwards

I have finished our second rotation of the year, and this was the one I dreaded the most - surgery. I like the idea of surgery and I can appreciate how some people love it, however I am not one of those people.

I know what I like and surgery isn't it. I prefer taking my time with patients, having reasonable starting and finishing times and access to cups of tea and chairs when appropriate (yes, this is a little facetious, but it is the little things, right? ;) ). I like the sunshine, and I like vitamin D. I love seeing the patient as a whole person, and while there is a possibility for doing this in surgery, many of your relationships start and end within the space of a few hours and you get to say good-bye to the patient, having fixed their issue to the best of your ability.

I met some absolutely lovely patients whom I felt very privileged to spend time helping. One of the wrenching things about working in a hospital is that you get to see a lot of terrible things happen to lovely people. You need to find some a healthy way of dealing with this.

I don't think I realised this so much before now, but the staff at the hospital do get attached to their patients and many come to genuinely care. I have seen staff at every level get emotional away from the eyes of the family and patients when then need to. It is a part of being human and I never want to lose it. Of course, excessive attachment is bad and scary, but it is normal to form some sort of bond with people you spend hours looking after every day, particularly when they are with your for weeks or months.

I will also miss the staff I have worked with. A lot of the surgeons are good fun, most of the nursing staff are helpful and really know their stuff, and I will really miss just how helpful our ward pharmacists are.

I'm just not a fan of working in surgery. Fortunately I got the opportunity to do so with some really caring and helpful people, who made it all bearable. In the end I got through, and I think I did a good job while I was there, which in the end is what really matters to me.


Sarah said...

i have to say, as a fifth year surgery resident- all the things you mention about disliking surgery are the same things i dislike.

there are days i would pay a thousand dollars to sit down. there are evenings when i haven't eaten in 12 hours and been to the bathroom and longer. and i definitely miss being able to have good long chats with patients at times.

BUTTT, let me tell you sister, operating is awesome! doing surgery is the part that attracts most surgeons, and we cannot imagine NOT doing it.

that being said, it isn't for everyone!

The Girl said...

If I loved operating, I might feel the same way. I don't have the attention span, the patience for details in operating or, frankly, the co-ordination.

I seem to love psych the same way that other people love operating, and it is wonderful that there is a place for all different interests in medicine. It is fantastic that you are so passionate about what you do. :)