Friday, October 16, 2009

Lessons on Impatience from my Patients

OPD day again. As always, an OPD day should start early, so that this struggling Cardiology fellow can cram all activities into one 24-hour day, 8 hours of which, should be dedicated to pure, undisturbed sleep. There were conferences to attend to, consultants to talk to, the leptospirosis epidemic to take advantage of (research-wise), students to deal with, referrals to see, residents to get mad at for the unnecessary referrals (oh, i wish i can do this!). And there's OPD.

Despite my resolve to start early, my post-duty status hampered me from accomplishing my planned daily schedule right on time. A consultant suddenly wanted to go over our pile of TET reports that has been waiting for his corrections for the past 5 months, so I had to take this opportunity and not allow the moment to pass. I suddenly had a surge of inspiration to create my data-collection form for my emergency ECG changes in leptospirosis study and I had to grab that chance too.

So at 11 AM, I was already one hour late from my OPD responsibilities. I called up the nurse and told her to instruct my patients to have lunch. I'll be there in 30 minutes, I told her.

So I typed and I typed and after 30 minutes, I was still in front of my computer, with my data collection form near completion. Suddenly, came a barrage of text messages:

Patient 1: Gud PM dra alcobar. san na kyo? dami nyo psynte dito antay sayo. gutom na kami. bilisan nyo na punta na kayo.

Patient 2: Dra. psensya na. Paubos na oxygen ni inay. bilisan nyo 11 na leyt na kyo.

Patient 3: Pupunta k ba bilisan mo dami dito antay syo

Ahhh ganun. I was so tempted to send these people text curses. Worthless, impatient, good-for-nothing, ingrates! Just who do you think you are? You don't pay me a single cent and here you are commanding me to come to my own OPD clinic! Darn you, people!

But I told myself, "Hey, be patient to your patients." I was able to keep my cool and walk to my OPD with my composure intact.

Almost three hours later, after several apologies, and smiles, and unnecessary explanations for my tardiness, I was able to finish my OPD with my patience intact.

Then another text message came. This time, it was from a patient I was trying to help to have his mitral and aortic valves replaced:

SMARTAlert: 09215419288 is requesting you to Pasaload P5.

I was just stunned. And then came that warm fuzzy feeling. Whaaatt?!?!? WTF?!?!?! What do these people think of me?

But then of course, I had to be patient. After all, perhaps that's why they're called patients. They probably have every right to teach their doctors a lesson on patience everyday.


The Commuter said...

Pasaload from doctor to patient? That's something i never experienced. Prob because i learned from mentor mother NEVER to give out my contact number to patients, i always gave the generic cell # of the section. It's true though, patients will always try your patience... Even when they pay you.

will said...

agree, they can be annoying like that. di bale sana kung nagbibigay ng PF kahit sandwich or itlog na pula.

Reena said...

pwede ba magpa-pasa load din dra? hehe. jk..

maybe the're a reason why the word patient is spelled that way. hehehe... to remind doctors to be patient! ang deep no? :D