Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What I am supposed to do

So... I'm back! Thanks for the warm welcome, people. I started catching up with your blogs and reading about your adventures. As for me, I'm doing fine. I had a new haircut

and got used to driving my new car, "Tempeh" (pre-bumps and scratches picture)

But what about my new job?

Well, it's been 2 months since I started working at the village. Is treating patients as rewarding as I thought it would be? Well... no. Am I missing the good ol' Mytilene days? Um... yes. Have I regretted staying here and throwing a perfectly good job opportunity away? Hmm... no. Not just yet.

To be honest, being the village doctor hasn't turned out to be exactly what I had imagined. But before I can share stories from my everyday life, it is necessary to talk a little about where I work, what I am supposed to do and what I am actually doing.

We are sharing a practice with one more village doctor (actually a fellow student of mine from the university of Crete, who applied for the same position as me by sheer chance!!!) and a nurse. Each doctor has her own office, with a desk and an examination bed and there is also a small kitchen, a toilet and a waiting room for the patients.

Things we CAN do at our practice:
  • Measure blood pressure (and deal with an emergency hypertasic crisis) and blood glucose levels. Also, perform a urine stick test to diagnose or rule out an infection, for example.

  • Perform a clinincal exam and treat illnesses that are not life threatening, such as a common cold, a mild pneumonia or a case of gastrenteritis.

  • Give CPR in case of an emergency, stabilise and monitor the patient, until an ambulance arrives and takes him/her to the hospital.

  • Do stitches and perform minimally invasive procedures, such as change a bandage/dressing, a permanent urine catheter or treat wounds/burns.

  • Give vaccines when indicated.

  • Refill resident doctors' prescriptions.

  • Inform the village population on various topics (for example, what the swine flu is and what measures should be taken).

  • Verify death and write certificates in case of natural causes.

Our practice is open from 08:30 to 14:00. After that, one of the three available doctors is on call (the third one doesn't work at the practice in the mornings, but at the local mental facility) and the other two get to leave. Being on call means that your mobile phone number is available to everybody, and they can call you in case of emergency. So, if something urgent happens, you have to open the practice and examine that certain patient, or go to his/her home if he/she is unable to move or to the site of the accident if something like that happens.

Things we CAN'T do:

  • Give Xrays and blood exams. No such equipment is available.

  • In cases of chronic illnesses, prescribe medication for the first time. If a person suffers from asthma or high blood pressure, for example, we are not eligible to plan their treatment. They should consult a specialist, who decides the drugs the patient should get. After the treatment is set, we have the right to refill the patients' drugs when they run out. But again, if changes should be made to the initial medication, only specialists have the right to make them.

  • Deal with life-threatening illnesses, such as meningitis, severe pneumonia or pulmonary embolism.

  • Prescribe drugs or give vaccines to children - a pediatrician should be consulted.

  • Give death certificates if cause of death is unknown.

All of this does sound pretty neat. Basically, our role is that of general practicioners. Taking in mind that villages mostly consider of elderly people, who are unable to travel long distances and go to the hospital at Mytilene, we are there to help them.

Or so we thought when applying.

To know what really happened, stay tuned for my next post! I wouldn't want to bore you with more medical stuff for now, plus I got a call for a patient, just when I had put my pajamas on.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Look who's here!

Hey, remember me?


You do, don't you?
Well, if I seem even remotely familiar, it's me, Gracey. The crazy Greek girl who is trying to become a doctor, a cook, a friend and a normal person in general - and not always with success.

The Internet gods temporarily managed to keep me away, but ha ha ha! (insert satanic laughter here) I'm baaaaack! All set with a brand new wifi at home, and full of stories. Interesting stories (mostly), funny ones or thought-provoking. But they are my own stories, they're all true, and I wanna share them with you.

So if you're out there, and you are so weird that you wanna hear more from me, just say the word.

If you can't figure out who the hell I am and what I am talking about, you can ignore me or get to know me better through my posts.

Oh, and one last thing:

I missed you, guys. Each and every one of you. A LOT.