Monday, May 25, 2009

Sloth and Competence and knowing when to use them.

It's half past two in the afternoon.

I've just managed to teach my brain to communicate with my body again.

My brain was awake for an hour trying to convince my skeletal muscles that listening to what it has to say is a good idea.

Brain was saying that Skeletal Muscle should help Body get out of bed, hunt for food and evacuate the bladder.

Skeletal muscle was telling Brain to go fuck itself.

Brain won in the end, after a lengthy hour long debate.

Skeletal Muscle got it's own revenge though, and operated like a sulky teenager after being told to clean up it's room...apathetically, slowly, and with no respect.

Which is why I looked something like the illegitimate retarded offspring of Shrek and a three-toed sloth...slouching round the house half-blind, in last night's scrubs top, underwear and socks...mumbling incoherently while in search for the kitchen.

My keen sense of smell led me to the fridge - On which I pinned all my hopes and dreams for a nutritious lunch.

I opened the silver doors and the holy light from within flooded my sleep encrusted face ...

Aahhh *insert choir of angels here*

# Leftover pizza that someone ordered last night ( Score! It's mine now!)
# Crackers with gourmet prawn dip with real prawns from Woolworths.
# Zoo biscuits.
# And a jar of Nutella's spreadable chocolate.

This surely is heaven, and just reward for the shitstorm of last night. Thank you, Fridge Gods!

My call was insane. Which is why I was so tired that when I got home, I couldn't even perform my usual post call ritual of jumping in the shower and scrubbing off the evening's filth, until the top layer of my skin has washed down the drain.
I just shoved an energy bar down my gullet - took off my pants and collapsed on the bed.

The bullshit started out when the locum doctor, who was supposed to be on call with me, arrived two hours late.

While awaiting his arrival, I called the emergency contact number for the locum agency he was from to find out:

The fuck.
He was.

The middle-aged lady that picked up on the other end could possibly have been a product of incest.

Product of incest:"Oh, um, ja, who are you?"

Me: "It's Dr S from ________trauma unit. Where is the locum you are getting paid to send us tonight?"

Product of incest: "Oh yes, he called three hours ago to say he would be late. But, where is the other doctor for tonight?"

Me: "I AM THE OTHER DOCTOR. If you knew that he was going to be late - WHY HAVE YOU NOT INFORMED US of this fact timeously."

To which the product of incest replied...and wait for it...this really was her excuse..." I was in church!"

Me: "Being in church is no excuse for incompetence. You should stop using your religion to justify not doing your job properly. We'd all LOVE to be in church, or in mosque, or at home on the couch watching the Sunday night movie. But we aren't. We are here doing our jobs. "

I was too pissed off to listen to her ranting and raving that "being in church " was a valid excuse for letting us flounder in primary health care hell on a Sunday night without assistance. So I very politely put down the phone. That woman should take a good look at herself and pictures of her uncle/mothers cousin. There will possibly be very striking similarities.

When the guy eventually arrived - the tragic thing was, I realised that I was probably better off working alone as he was NO HELP whatsoever.

In total, we saw 100 patients from 17h00 to 07h00.
I saw 70. He saw 30.
He would do things like, send a patient off for a urine sample and then WAIT until the patient came back. One can see up to four patients by the time it takes a paralysed stroke victim to go to the bathroom and pee.

When a man walked into the unit and immediately collapsed while having a generalised tonic-clonic seizure, he just stood there and watched me ( 5o kg, petite female me) try to move the man onto a bed to begin treatment.
What a dick. I ended up asking the porters and security guards for help.
They were brilliant and knew exactly what to do - handing me the correct fluids and instruments for IV access.
Fuckwit doctor strode around the bed with hands in his pockets issuing instructions which I, of course, ignored. I don't take advice from brain-donor men who believe that they are automatically in charge - just because they own a penis.

The sisters and I spent the rest of the night ignoring him and swearing at him in Afrikaans. The guy was from Durban so had no idea what we were saying. They don't speak Afrikaans in Durban. Mean - but necessary.

The cherry on the top was when at o3h30 he announced that he had a plane to catch and would be leaving to get his things in order. He then asked the sister in charge to sign his on call sheet from 17h00 to 07h00 so he could get a full night's pay.

He clearly did not know about Sister CrL. She didn't sign his sheet at all. Good girl!

Can I just say - that as I am a community service officer - my rates are standard, very low and fixed regardless of how hard I work. These locums get paid more than double what I make as they are from the private agencies -so in effect I got paid half the amount and was working more than twice as hard.

Did I mention that it's five weeks and counting?

Jeez - just got a whif of myself while reaching over the table. I smell like the hospital!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHH!

I thinks it's time for that shower now...


Ketan said...

What a compliant set of muscles you have! You sure you didn't spell locum instead of locust? ;)

Some time later in your life, will you have the option of joining one of those private agencies? Do you think the private agencies could be bribing the local health authorities to keep the primary health care understaffed (by giving low salaries) to keep their business running? Or you don't want to think of such possibilities?

Interesting post! I just hope you don't feel lazy to write your blogs! :)

Take care.

Utah Saint said...

Brilliant Post, It is a shame what you have go through

Muammil said...

Want me to moer him?

Dr S said...

Hmm..Ketan - I think that that is the beginning of a convoluted conspiracy theory! However - in this place - who knows?

Utah Saint: You truly have excellent taste in blog posts. :)

MO: Moer him please. Moer hom totdat die witvleis wys.

Lauren said...

Die witvleis? Jy's aaklig!
What's the weekly countdown for?

Dr S said...

Lauren my lovely - it's five weeks and counting until I leave the trauma unit! wooooooh!

Alia said...

Dr S this is possibly the funniest blog you've written! i was SCREAMING with laughter.
ps: You may have my pizza leftovers anyday.

Ketan said...

Dr. S,

You've seen more world than me, but in my experience what appear to be convoluted conspiracy theories, only turn out to be the straightest explanations for things ;) Of course, the government also enjoys paying low salaries for sadistic reasons subliminal influences notwithstanding :)

And BTW, if you find time, do read my relatively short post--'A moral Brainteaser' and vote on the poll I've put up. I'd like to have a large sample size for the poll.


Geraldine said...

Oh crikey, love. Yet another amusing episode. Amusing yet tragic. And I think of my visit to my doctor today, who gave me all but about 30 seconds of her time, even though she has several phones, an airconditioned waiting room, nice government pay and polite Canadians to treat. Not a bullet hole or tik addict in sight.
Only 5 more weeks!!!


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