Hey hey it’s once again another article in the HO Diaries series in a row, lol. This phase of my life is pretty dramatic so I can’t help but write about it haha. Anyways, for a pleasant surprise, this post is something from the up-side in this line of work – I don’t just mean the free food I get from pharmaceutical drug companies conferences when they want to get us doctors to prescribe their medications lol, but I mean when you use your wit and experience to settle problems.
As an House Officer or intern doctor (there’s no such thing as student doctor here in Nigeria, you’re either still a medical student or a Medical Doctor, there’s no blurring of that line) you are the first point of contact with the patients and their relatives. You’re the one that they see practically everyday including weekends. You’re the one they relay their concerns to first (ideally, unlike some stubborn patients like I wrote about here lol). So when there’s a problem with their health care management, they expect you to solve it. Sometimes it’s things that aren’t in your jurisdiction like”my IV Drip has finished” which is a nurse’s duty, but other times it’s complicated things like the wrong expensive test getting done – and you have to get the correct test results to aid their management.
This is where your inter-person relationships tie in; along the way you should have made friends with the nurses, lab people, attendants, facilitators – all ahead of this day when you need that massive favour. The course I did in leadership and management in health called this “making emotional deposits”, and the needing of their help would be making an “emotional withdrawal” – if you’ve deposited enough over the period of time that you know the people, you just might be able to make that withdrawal when the need arises – which is what happened to me. My patient had the wrong investigation done accidentally on the part of the lab, naturally he would have had to pay (heavily) for the correct one to be done, but with a convincing phone call, he got the correct one done FOR FREE!
I felt like such a winner in that moment haha!
Make sure you make emotional deposits regularly, you never know when you’ll need the help. (Plus it’s good to be a nice person).
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo