I asked my mom once, “Do you have any idea of what we actually do in the hospital as clerks?”
She guessed, “Went on rounds?”
Well, yes. We went on morning rounds with the residents. We also had teaching rounds with consultants. But really, has she never wondered why my white uniform turns brown every after duty, and how I still manage to sleep wearing them at the sight of my bed?
Gross, yes. But my mother had no idea.
Maybe you don’t, either. So using these pictures, let me share to you about my usual day as a clerk, specifically during my two-month Surgery rotation. Just read the captions. 🙂
Early Call Time
Time in is at 6:30 am. I should be leaving by this time, but I still have no shoes on!
Breakfast in the car, while mama drives me to the hospital. Thank you Mama!
Morning conference! The residents discuss the status of each patient in the wards.
Ready for the morning rounds! On the table is our group’s wound cleaning basket, and under is the resident cat who steals our food.
We gather all the patient charts under our service. To make it easier, we put blue stickers on the front.
Clerks-On-Duty at the Emergency Room
After the conference and morning rounds, clerks on duty for the day first assume post at the emergency room. When there aren’t a lot of patients, we get to hang out and still have a lot of energy. Well, except for some…
Relatively chill because we had time to pose for a picture.
When you’re clerks, you get to act silly and play pranks on your groupmate who pass out at 2 pm in the middle of a noisy ER.
Then a fall victim will arrive who needs prompt referral to Ophthalmology for further assessment.
Cases that need suturing were not rare, so we all got to do it a lot of times. Eventually, I decided I’ve had enough and I don’t like suturing at all. As for ungiectomy cases though… AGAWAN!
But amputated fingers are NOT for clerks. This was a work-related accident.
With some of our residents! By 5 PM, clerks on duty assume their different posts..
And those assigned at the ER are left to do this. Haha. This is what a benign 3 AM emergency room looks like. A toxic one will have no picture, obviously.
Wards Clerk and SICU
Chart rounds! The wards clerk should check all charts for new orders – carry outs, referrals, pre-meds for OR, or MGH as in “may go home”!
New admissions = new clinical abstracts to type!
One of the carry outs is IV reinsertion.
Another clerk is in charge of the surgery ICU and the vital signs monitoring of the whole wards. Don’t forget urine output, neuro vitals, and JP drain output!
Chart rounds again to make sure we didn’t overlook anything
Our list of things to do in one paper. I removed my watch here, so I probably just finished washing up in a sink somewhere. The night has just begun!
Time to Scrub In!
Another clerk is assigned to scrub in on all emergency operations for the night. Ideally, the patient has to undergo anesthesia and internal medicine or pediatric clearance first, and the operation is scheduled during the day. These are called elective procedures, and the most common that I encountered was cholecystectomy, or removal of the gallbladder. The rest are emergency cases like appendicitis (with the risk of rupture), stab wounds, and gun shot wounds.
One time, there were no interns on duty so I got to play “first assist” on an appendectomy haha
Operating rooms are not THAT dark as in portrayed on TV!
Sometimes we are allowed to do the final sutures!
This is a ruptured appendix. Wasak!
And this is a clerk after scrubbing in on multiple operations without rest. Wasak din! Note the specimen bottle above, still for histopath studies.
From Duty Is The Longest
In other departments, we get to rest or just do papers when we are from duty. It is only in Surgery where we are still in charge of all the carry outs in the wards during the day. Remember, the clerks on duty for that day are still in the emergency room and will only assume post at 5 pm.
Tired, tired, tired … but still with lots of carry outs. “Plus ten kuto points per extraction! 100 kuto points per referral!”
Eventually, I got tired of my own kuto joke. There’s only one “bed” in the clerks quarters.
The next best thing is this makeshift bed. This is why we’re WARRIORS hahaha 🙁 We fall asleep anywhere.
From duty status is really the most fun because we are all on the same floor! 🙂
This is my duty group 😀 Our clerks quarters may be dingy and nasty and old, but the lighting from the single window is the best, eh?
Dead tired from duty, but still won’t say no to a night of karaoke!
P.S. This is what we do when we’re done with all our tasks for the day – watch JADINE videos and OTWOL kissing scenes compilations hahaha.
That’s it! If you’re wondering, hmmm. I admit I don’t see myself as a surgeon in the future. I had a LOT of fun (probably the most fun my whole clerkship year) and I learned a lot of practical knowledge too. (Like, between two patients with appendicitis and ureter stones, which one would scream louder at the ER?) Still, I am not that excited about holding a scalpel or feeling lumps and bumps, unlike some of my other co-clerks. That’s how I know.
As much as I don’t want to limit myself with doubts or self-depreciating conclusions, I guess it’s nice to somehow limit my options. I just honestly don’t think I’m bad ass enough for Surgery! Hahaha.
My groupmates are probably thinking, “Finally, a specialization she’s not considering!” They say that before you even know which specialization you’ll take, you’ll know first which one you probably WON’T. I’m afraid I have an answer.
Goodbye, broken bones and joints protruding in all the wrong places.