Diary of a stressed house officer| 5 coping tips. 

Hey guys! How’s it going?

I’m currently in Lagos for just two days. 😦 I wish I could stay longer but i have to go back to work on Monday, yes I’m aware it’s a public holiday but when you’re a Doctor, public holiday is nothing exciting. It’s just another day. Especially if you’re on call, it’s pretty much like a weekend call. 

Anyway, im home and wide awake so I decided to type this post. 


Let’s get right in, shall we?

1. Prepare your mind for the worst. 

I don’t mean to scare you but it works well for me. I prepare my mind for the worst and  nothing can really surprise me anymore. Just know it’s going to be one long year and once you’ve accepted the fact that you’re in for struggle, you’ll be fine.

2. Eat. 

I really have no shame for confidently writing this because I have a terrible eating habit. I go from not eating to binge eating and the cycle goes on and on. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed with work and forget to eat. Yes, I didn’t think it was possible to forget to eat either until I started housejob. Have snacks in your bag. Work can go from zero to one hundred real quick and before you know what’s happening, it’s 8pm and you’ve not had a proper meal all day. 

3. 

Be nice but not too nice. 

I know it’s like I’m contradicting myself but I started house job with the ‘I’m going to be nice to everyone’ mentality and it didn’t take long for me to be like ‘uh fuck it’. Nigerians don’t like nice people. Nigerians respect you when you’re mean and you yell. Sadly. I mean, I’m not saying disrespect anybody but don’t let people walk all over you especially the nurses because they tend to think they know better and they always want you to do what they want you to do but if you really know what you’re doing, they can’t bullshit you into doing anything. Bottom line is know what you’re doing and stand your ground. Respectfully tell them to do their work and do yours. Nurses can be your best friend and your worst nightmare. 

4. 

Don’t forget to read. I can count how many times I’ve opened my book to read. You’ll learn everyday and it gets overwhelming sometimes but get a small notebook and write down things you see/hear/learn so you can find time to go over them. I can’t promise you that you’ll find time. From being on call and not sleeping to doing 5hour ward round to being yelled at. Honestly, all I think about is sleep. I can’t come and die. Housejob kinda makes you better at clinical skills than theory because who has time to read honestly? 

5. 

Rest. Rest. Rest.

I know this might sound like a foreign term to you but you gotta find time to rest. Even if you have to ’tissue’ to sleep. Do what you gotta do smartly. Except you’re ready to overwork yourself and burn out/collapse. I’ve heard stories from people i know and random people of how doctors faint at work from exhaustion. How sad is that? I have friends that have collapsed at work. It’s really not that deep. Do your work but try to rest. If you’re known to do your work well, no one can fault you for taking some time off to rest. I know it’s hard for some people *coughs*. I’m a workaholic and I barely rested these past few months but hey, even if I can’t take my own advice i can help someone out there! 
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. 

Want more tips? 

Drop a comment!

– TOSIN 

Life! Oh wait…..

How’s it going guys?

  • I’m currently typing this in my room and i’m on call.
  • My call has been okay. So far, so good.
  • I am half way done with my surgery posting!
  • I am almost done with housejob y’all! Isn’t that crazy?
  • I can now sort of say i’m in a long distance relationship. LOL. Hate it.
  • Well, technically it’s not that long.
  • I finally got a room to myself in the hospital.
  • It’s such a purple room. I love it.
  • I almost forgot…. I’m 26 years old now. OMG. I’m old.
  • I had a weird birthday.
  • I was kinda depressed because i put too much pressure on myself and i felt like i’m not where i want to be in life.
  • I felt so much better the day after though. I realised how blessed I am and for that I was really grateful. I mean, I have the best family.. super supportive and shit… I have the best boyfriend. Super kind and amazing tbh.
  • I wish i wasn’t on call today. I would’ve been watching a movie with bae.
  • He went without me. Imagine that?!
  • March is almost over… Where is the year flying to. Not complaining tho.
  • Hope you guys are having a great month so far.
  • I will blog about my plastic surgery posting soon.
  • I am tired of seeing wounds. It’s disgusting tbvh.

October

So, October is pretty much over and I’m just here asking myself where it went. Not complaining tho. I’m officially done with obstetrics and gynecology. 3 months of house job gone, 9 months to go!!! Whoop! I’m starting Paediatrics on Monday and from what I’ve heard, it’s terrible. I’m trying hard not to make that cloud my experience. A wise man once said ‘ Just because it did not go well for someone else does not mean it’ll be the same for you. You’re different.’

Of course the wise man is my father and of course he’ll always tell me I’m special but still I’m going to say those words to myself everyday if I have to. 

The roster is out for my first month in paediatrics and I’m already sort of depressed. I’m on call 14 times next month (pretty much alternate day calls). The only not so depressing thing about the roster is that I’m starting with pulmonology and I heard it’s one of the best units to be in. So yay! 
I already posted a tweet about my next blog post being a bit personal. 

So do y’all remember my last post about guys in general months ago (Read it here). Where I sort of gave up on humans.

Now, as you all know, my plan was to just do this one year housemanship thing and move on with my life. I had zero interests in finding or dating anyone. Little did I know that I was just saying my own. 

I met the most amazing person two months ago. I’m sure he’ll read this and be feeling himself but it’s all good. 

I remember clearly what happened the day I met him. I was on call the day before and I was cranky as hell. I walked into my ward that Saturday morning because I got a message about the unit doctors meeting up for post op round. I was already up all night and was really upset. My damn period started the night before and of course I had dysmenorrhoea and the nurses had to give me some analgesics. Anyway, so as I walked in, I see this guy sitting and writing something. I’ve never seen his face before but I knew some house officers just started ObGyn. So I asked him if he was the one on call and he said yes. Then I went ahead to complain about the fact that I was on call the night before and also the fact that I  got there before everyone else. I’m sure he was like I don’t even know you ma. ‘ Woz all dis story?’ I remember asking what school he finished from and just trying to talk while I waited for the rest of the unit doctors to arrive. 

We did our post op round and left. Obviously I went home (outside the hospital). Only for my Senior Registrar to call me and request for the two patients’ PCVs. I was like this is just fantastic. I had zero plans of going back to the hospital so I went to the house officers WhatsApp page to dig out this guy’s number since he’s on call on my ward, he can help abi?

I sent a WhatsApp message but it was just a tick for the longest time so I decided to text him. I don’t know why I didn’t just call him. Sent a text begging him to help me do it and get the results to me. He didn’t respond so I was like great!

My SR kept calling later for the results and I was forming ‘ it’s not out yet’ secretly hoping this guy had done it. 

Few minutes past 5 or 6, I get a text from him about the results and I was like ah Thank you. That was it. The conversation ended there. Was that even a conversation?
Somehow, we ended up talking on WhatsApp and the rest is history. Now, I was a bit worried about the fact that we are kind of different but then again I think being different from someone gives you a chance to learn from the person.

Long story short, I am glad we did that post op round. 😊😊😊

OMG GUYS! Two more months and the year is over. Isn’t that insane?

Wish me luck in paediatrics guys! I’ll need all the luck I can get tbh.

How was the month October for you and what plans do you have for the new month? 

Life as a house officer. 

Hey guys. First of all, I’m pretty sure my followers/readers outside Nigeria might not understand what house job is all about. 

Its basically your internship year. Your first experience as a Doctor after med school. It is also when you start earning money. 😉

We are at the bottom of the chain as the consultants here keep emphasizing. So basically, we do three months in each department (medicine, obgyn, surgery and pediatrics). 

I’m starting with Obgyn and for the first month I’ve been posted to GOU (Gyne oncology unit). I wasn’t particularly thrilled by this. I mean, who wants to wake up to see cancer patients everyday? Not me! It is quite depressing but I’m not so sad because I hated gyne oncology in med school so I guess this will give me an opportunity to learn and know it by force. 

So, during the three months posting in different units in O&G, you get to do one week in labor ward, another week in Gyne Emergency and then your one week leave. One each month. 


Guess who started with labor ward? Me. I was initially not excited because its usually very busy and unpredictable but I’ll still do it anyway and apparently to get your leave, you must have done your two weeks outside posting. 

First day in labor ward was not bad. They only allow scrubs and slippers in labor ward. I still dont understand why bathroom slippers sha. It was not as bad as I thought it’d be. I heard it was a punishment zone like if you do something wrong in your unit, they might post you to labor ward. The have the first stage area, the second stage area and then the post partum area where they stay till theyre transfered to the warda. The most common diagnosis here from my one week there is preeclampsia.  Basically, we do ward rounds with the registrars, snr registrars and consultants, review patients, fill investigation forms, take blood samples, assist in any procedure being done, assist in the surgeries being done, give IV drugs, take vital signs and deal with any complaint the patient has. Its not as easy as it sounds. I barely got a chance to just relax but the thing is its very unpredictable so it might get quiet for like an hour and next thing you know, they’re wheeling three patients in.  I was excited though. 

If you’re not on call, you get off work 5pm (5 was never really 5 tbh)  but if you are on call, it’s till 8 the next morning and you resume your normal duty. Stress. 

I did my first call in gyne emergency. Bruh. I never hexperret it. I barely slept for two hours. The emergency room here is under construction so it was just chaotic. I learnt a lot though and it was exciting. 
I’m back to my unit on Monday and I have a ward call that day. Hopefully, it goes well. 

This post is mainly for those that asked for house job update. 

So far, so good. I’ll try to keep y’all updated.

Have a good weekend! 

– TOSIN