Sunday, May 27, 2007

Floral fest

Some pictures taken at Penang International Floral Festival:

Monday, May 07, 2007

3-week pile-up

These are the patient's case notes, for the past three weeks, all piled up and strewn all over the floor of the ward. Apparently, the clerk in-charge has been absent from work without any valid reason, a.k.a EL since last week.

Also, apparently this is not the first time she absconded from work, a check on her punch card indicated that she had at least 5 or more EL each month.

Also, apparently she was a 'reject' from the administration office, and she was known to have discipline problems.

By right, it should not really concern me because these are the ward manager's and the administrator's problems.

But, it really upset me because I could not trace the patients' previous old notes because they have been piled up somewhere in those big boxes.

Numerous complaints, but it never seemed to get things done.

I wonder why it is so difficult to sack her. After all, she is just a clerk.

Shame on those who sit on the top but never seemed to get things move, unless there is some public complaints in the press.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Of white coat and neck tie

MMA to ministry:No neck ties please

“The point is that neckties are not the most frequently washed apparel and there have been studies that show that neckties carry contaminants that could cause infection,” said Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president Datuk Dr Teoh Siang Chin.

“And when doctors are doing their clinical rounds, they dangle all over the place. And how many people wash their ties? They require dry cleaning and that can cost about RM15 per tie,” he said.

I must admit that I felt guilty because I have not washed my necktie for more than a year!! I guess, nobody would believed me, but it is true.

But, why should doctors wear white coats?

I used to be a firm believer of doctors wearing white coat while on duty. It instills a sense of discipline and professionalism. I used to wear my white coat for many years not until recently.

It all stemmed from my housemanship time, when many patients passed comments of myself appeared too young to look like a doctor. I had then made the habit of putting on the white coat all the time, even when I was on-call 24 hour, including public holidays.

I had been wearing my white coat, which I made during student days, throughout my stint in the district hospital. I felt a sense of confidence, and never had worried patients questioning my appearance as a doctor.

Things were in the reverse situation when I am posted to the current big hospital now. If I wear my white coat, patients think I am a medical student! This is because, only 'male' medical students wear white coat here.

However, I noticed most female doctors wear white coat as compared to male doctors. I supposed, part of the reasons is, female doctors don't have 'distinguished dressing', as compared to guys who wear ties in the ward, must 'looked' to be doctors then.

But most female doctors like wearing white coat for the purpose of keeping their personal belongings in the big pockets, and to some, to cover their sleeveless dress, and even hiding their pregnancies!.

Nevertheless, big changes happened this year.

In order to force all doctors to wear the white coats, the ministry had stopped paying us the annual RM180 white coat allowance as well as stopped supplying the white cloth.

Instead, the money had been used to pay some private monopolized-giant to supply and service our coats. The white coats are supposed to be washed daily, and a special counter is set up to collect the coats everyday.

But after few months into implementation, it seemed this did not change the doctors' attitude. Still more than 80% of doctors don't collect or wear their white coats, initiating the authority to issue warning statement.

Things may be easy said than done, but then, have anyone ever realized how very discomfort it could be to wear white coats in the medical ward where doctors have to perform procedures everyday.

I remembered when posted to the nephrology and hematology wards, I needed to removed my white coat and tie every time I was to insert dialysis catheters and performed bone marrow aspiration or administrating intra-thecal chemotherapy. This was because I needed to put on the surgical gown before the procedures.

Even then, my sweat kept dribbling onto the patients!!!

Therefore, there are pros and cons of wearing white coats. More study or survey needed be done to look in to the practicality.

Whatever it is, I think doctors should be given the flexibility either to wear or not to wear the white coats depending on the nature of their working environments.

Related MMR posting.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wireless Broadband

Trying out the Maxis wireless broadband. Quite ok for blogging but rather slow for video streaming.