It's actually not as hilariously insane as I might have expected it to be.
I mean, sure I had to carry a bunch of samples, which included urine and tissue from an ectopic pregnancy (or a wannabe fetus as I like to call them) in a carton that was once a carton used to store a crap ton of eggs (there was no other medium of transportation).
Sure the sample with the fetal tissue was exposed and there was a big gaping hole in the bottle, which was ultimately worrying because I kept envisioning myself being drenched in, ummm, 'embryonic tissue'.
Which , BY THE WAY, totally DIDN'T happen thank God, much as it would have been entertaining I'm sure.
Yes, my first day was disappointing.
But then something awesome happened near the end of the shift. The resident, who I'd known from my previous stint in the resuscitation room (he was serving time there as well) came up to me and asked me who was covering the mid shift (I was in the morning shift).
"A reliable guy, don't sweat it."
"You don't understand, I need a man's man to get something done for me. Do you mind doing it and staying a bit later?"
"Sure, no problem."
Little did I know, that he wanted me to do something totally and utterly illegal..............
There was a patient that was due for a C-section the week after and she had mentioned a heart problem that she had when she was 6 years old. She didn't know the specifics but she remembered having had an operation. Now, the resident, ordered an echocardiography but it came up inconclusive. The problem was that no cardiologist would see her unless she had a chest X-ray.
So the resident wanted me to get a Chest X-Ray done, on a very pregnant lady, in a hospital that has a protocol of not doing X-Rays on pregnant women. Not only that, but he wanted me to do it in the ER (because any other way would take forever)
Now a few notes I have to mention here, just in case people reading this think I'm some sort of reckless doctor with absolutely no ethical background whatsoever.
- It's alright for a woman to get an X-ray during her pregnancy. It's not routine, but if it's necessary then it needs to be done.The few rads of radiation won't hurt anyone. The problem lies in multiple x-rays and so, just as a precaution the hospital banned all sorts of x-rays on pregnant women.
- Now, there is a way to get around this, ahem, legally. You get a radiologist to sign in on the request, and he sets up an appointment for her to have her x-ray. That's a totally doable situation but there's a problem with this scenario. It takes fucking ages. As I mentioned in a previous post, the bureaucracy in our hospital is maddening, and shit tends to take a while. Time was not something we had.
- She really did need an X-ray. A C-section is , for all means and purposes, an operation, and having an operation with undetected heart problems could lead to disaster for both her, and her unborn child.
I was up for the task and told him I'd do it. So I went to her and explained the situation clearly to her. After she agreed, I told her to get dressed in her normal clothes and we were on our way to the ER. Now the only way we'd get the technician to do said X-ray was if we lied our asses off. So for 20 minutes, I had a brand new cousin who needed a Chest X-Ray. I told her that if anyone asks about her ridiculously swollen belly, she'd tell them she had ascites ( fluid in the peritoneal cavity). After getting our stories straight we arrived at the X-ray room.
I'd love to say that I had to convince the guy to do this one favor for me. I'd love to say that it took me ages to persuade the technician to perform the X-ray.
In reality, it took me all of 5 seconds. It went a little something like this:
"Hi, I'm an intern here and my cousin wants to get this chest X-ray done because the doctor at the clinic said she needed it done."
"So she's a relative, sure man no problem. Consider it your machine!"
God bless favoritism.
God bless corruption.
God bless Egypt.
PS: In case you were wondering, the X-ray revealed ridiculous cardiomegaly, which did in fact mean that there was something wrong with her. She's now being treated by the cardiologists and she's on the proper medication and hopefully, everything will work out fine.