Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lives not worth saving

A day to all the members of the Pharmacy Department in Sg.Buloh Hospital, is not just anyone's everyday.

By the way, I made this

While being in a government hospital is not exactly routine for me, there were definitely alot of scenarios, that stirred up a whirlpool of feelings inside me...

Dispensing to a patient requires more than skill and patience.
Because patients aren't always patient.

Following a common belief, people tend to think that government servants are just lazy people who couldn't care less about their jobs, whose only explaination for existence is by the government's blind generosity. I say, never judge anything, until you have personally experienced it. Throughout my internship, I have met a wide spectrum of people, of various race and backgrounds. In contrast to popular thinking, race is not measure of personality, mindset, nor attitude. I was remarkably impressed by the cooperation and spirit that spanned across physical attributes. Many may not know what really happens behind those doors but I do. In there, there are people who has dedicated their time and energy to provide the needy with medication and service, despite meagre income. They could've joined the public sector for better pay, take a few more days off, throw in a couple of odd pills and so on. I wished people would appreciate that they care enough to implement procedures and systems to improve efficiency and accuracy, and paid attention to all the little details that you never thought mattered. They use a separate spoon for HIV medications, double check your prescriptions, count the exact number of pills you have to take to prevent overdose, remind you about the side effects and dangers of your medication and so forth. Ever wondered what could happen should they have not bothered to do these?

With Yoges, one of my colleagues at the OutPatient Pharmacy Department.
Here, I'd like to wish her all the best for the unborn twins!

Besides, I think the government is really bloody generous. Giving away free medications, and treaments, even if its not entirely free, the price is a mere 0.01% of what you would have to pay for such services and products in the private sector. Oh sure, every now and then when your star's not in alignment, you meet the occasional rotten apple, or less-than-5-star service, but I think people should be sensible enough to not whine about it. When staff is lacking, supply is short, or the staff not so smiley, it's really not that big a deal. What's the use cursing and complaining about it, when everyone's on all fours already working on the same thing . Especially when the staff is bound by certain rules and regulations. Just because you think the rule is irrelevant, doesn't mean they should break it for your selfish sake and risk their jobs. It's not gonna make a god damn difference. Sometimes, Malaysians have to be a tad more understanding, and much less stubborn.

Kak Dina, and Kak Hana... very patient mentors.

Just the other day we had this insane HIV patient, who was being all "I'm right, and you're all wrong" kind of thing. He said that he couldn't collect his medication refills because he has a life out there, and that we're trying to kill him. That fucker is just plain dumb. The reason that he still has a life is because he has his medications. In addition, we have much more important things to do than to kill him. Who does he think he is? Shouting at my poor colleagues who were so very patient and reasonable with him. Asshole. He knows he has to rely on punctual and continuous medication intake to survive, and the hospital was so kind to provide him free medications that's worth an insane amount of money for life. He's responsible for his life, yet he failed himself. To make things worse, he's got all mad and angry with my colleagues. That's gonna kill alot more cells, and he's only accelerating his own death. A human which has lost his survival instincts, and denying help, is an idiot. I don't even know why they're still trying to help him. He's so unbelievably stupid, it explains how he got HIV in the first place. I would rather save the time, energy and medication for someone who at least appreciates it. Keeping him alive is a waste of resources.

Chow, from whom I swindled several meals from.
Can you believe he's 26?

On the other hand, there were patients that impressed me. I see some who were grateful for the service, and admired our knowledge. They would thank you, shake your hand, and even ask for your name with utmost sincerity. These people are the ones that makes everything worthwhile. However, the most inspiring patients, are drug addicts, no kidding. It takes alot of guts and bravery for these people to step up, confessing being an addict, but still willing to be helped to a fresh new start. These people may have threaded the wrong path once upon a time, but I guess what matters most now is that they intend to change. The programme gently weans them off dangerous drugs by substituting it with a daily dose of Methadone as a less harmful alternative. It also includes private counselling sessions to help them go through this critical stage of life, and rebuild the right self esteem. What they're about to see, is a bright new future, free from being a slave to drugs. I participated in one session, whereby I went through the preparation of methadone, as well as the counselling and feeding session. Amazingly, these people were courteous, polite, not at all the monster that we had imagined them to be. The extent of confession and very frank conversations were startling. When you witness how much they are trying to cooperate and communicate in spite of poor education, and gratitude to your efforts, you would be touched by their hope to recover from this blunder. This is what I call inspiring. Instead, I was disgusted but a certain "professional", who judged them solely by their past before getting to know them. It was a major disappointment to see one that's so shallow minded, a shame to our profession really. Maybe there are people too stuck up with their own success and achievements to realise that everyone has an equal chance of catching up at any point of their lives, should they wish to.

Sharon, our local counsellor, and fellow HockChew *grins*

Kak Fiza aka Miss Blue, whom I caught on an odd day, the only day that she's not wearing blue.

2 weeks may be short, but hopefully the bonds I've just created will last longer. The staff were so very accomodating, friendly and patient. I'm just at a lost for words to describe them more. I couldn't have asked for better colleagues, honestly. They took me in as one of them, and taught me all week. Even at times when I needed advice, they were there for me, readily sharing their experiences. I love them so so much for making my internship so enjoyable and tolerable. In the end, I can only say thank you, althought it's nothing compared to all that they've done for me. I wish there was more that I could do. But how?


Ken said...

belanja makan laaaa

Jean said...

Your internship does look rewarding(: