I have a friend named Khánh Huy, we’re from the same college, but different departments. He studies Nursing, and I’m a student of General Doctor. We also came to VinUni at the same time (Cohort 1), but for some reasons, I’ll graduate 4 years after him, instead of 3 like usual. In other words, while I still have to “diagnose” and “treat” patients on paper, he already is in hospital, treating real people.
Our talk is usually about two things: Kendo and Medicine, but the post today is not about Kendo. He tells me a lot of stories of his internship in Hospital, about the patients he’s taking care of, about the funny things happening there, and, as a good friend, continues to roast my lack of knowledge and inexperience.
The story that I remember the most is the story of his first time at the hospital. He came really early that day - if you’re a med student, you’ll know an unwritten law that you should…no, you must come before the morning meeting of doctors, because it’s the best time for you to learn. Remembering that his professor will see him at the Inpatient Department of Vinmec, he came there, and waited for about half an hour but still did not see her, even though the appointment time had passed.
That was when he realized…What do you think? Doctors are the type who cannot manage their time well?
Nope. Actually, it was the opposite.
My friend realized he was in the wrong department.
In fact, the Inpatient Department was not one “department”, but a type of hospital unit that every division needs to keep their patients overnight. Where his professor was appointed was the Inpatient department of the General Internal Medicine (GIM), and where he was sitting was the Inpatient department of the Women’s Health Center.
And so, my poor friend had to put his leg on his neck and run to the GIM. Thank goodness he got to the hospital early, so he barely made it on time.
_ The most funny thing is, I sat there the whole day, but no one said anything. They just looked at me, then walked away. What am I, a ghost? :)
_ Maybe they were too shy to ask?
_ Introverts? Vinmec nurses, introverted?
_ Which law said introverts cannot become nurses?
_ Then who takes care of patients? :)
_ …Ah. :)
Anyway, since that “wrong address” event, Huy had spent about 3 months in hospital, with different situations and mixed feelings. According to my friend, before becoming a nursing student, he did not have any experience with nurses, and didn't even know about their work. He decided to become a nurse because he wanted to help this society and the people around him, and he thought this job will give him the chance to take care of everyone. To me, that was a very pure and beautiful dream, as expected from a medical student. I’m a med student too, but my target is the license, not taking care of the patients, so I admire him a lot.
However, after he took his chance to be an intern in hospital, I remembered seeing him more in a burned out state.
Nursing people is hard work. Huy had lamented with me many times that he had to run around the hospital all day without rest, and when he could sit down, his boss came and scolded him: How dare you lay there while everyone is working?! Or, when he reports a patient’s medical history to his professor, they would find fault with the smallest details that he missed to ask, making him feel like he screwed up. Both of us know that’s their method to help us improve our skill, but Huy, damn you, that’s not the reason for you to screw me too! :)
Returning to the topic, besides all the difficulties, Huy also told me about the fun he had during his internship. He told me about his senior nurses, about how they are too burned out to remember why they choose that job. But, to Huy, his reason is very simple.
It’s the smile of patients when they can be discharged from hospital.
Just like the happiness when your project is a big hit, the moment when the patients he took care of are healthy again and come to thank him, he forgot all the tiredness and felt inspired to work more.
I can understand a bit, but not all, because I have never taken charge of any real patient. Maybe I’ll tell you about it when my internship comes, but now, let’s appreciate Khánh Huy and the other nursing students for their hard work.
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