NYSC is about the least earning phase in the life of most Nigerian doctors. The drop in earnings by nearly a half ushers most young doctors into a daze that they are seldom prepared for. The desire to make ends meets often force some into canvassing for high-paying states and institutions or working multiple jobs.
“I have never been a house officer. If I have, I wouldn’t be asking you!” I yelled.
“Are you raising your voice on me?” he demanded.
“No! I am only telling you how I feel,” I cried.
I was exhausted. I had come to the end of a long thread that held my stretched emotions together.
Guys!!!! I had to write. And you need not say, I know I have been off this space (and social media) for a good while. I missed y’all. Did you miss me too?
I blogged about my new job here, and mentioned how housemanship can be stressful and time demanding, and even queried how often my showing up on the blog would be afterwards.
My first two weeks were hell! Literally. I barely had a life of my own. I was either in the ward, in the call room, in the theatre, in the laboratory (checking results) or seldom in the kitchen trying to grab dinner – call food.
In your final year as a medical student in Nigeria, while you prepare and are being prepared to make the transition from medical school to medical practice, one of the goals of your teachers is to equip you for your first day on call as a house officer.
You will often hear case scenarios like this: “It is your first day on call as a house officer in the accident and emergency ward. A 25-year-old lady is rushed in. She is anxious, in painful distress and bleeding per vaginam. Her pulse is weak and blood pressure is 90/60 millimetres of mercury. How will you manage this patient?”
Your teachers need to be assured that you can be trusted with the lives of patients. As a house officer, you are the first doctor on call, that is the one whom patients come into contact with first. This is the reason every final year medical student must be armed with initial resuscitation and stabilization skills.
I have often wondered what my first day as the house officer on call would be like and prayed to have a good one. Today, four doctors share their experience. Enjoy.