I’m having a bad time.
This week I stabbed myself accidentally on the needle that was already used. I got panicked. One day had to pass to get a bit of false relief and to convince myself that I knew who was that patient, although I knew nothing actually about her.
I stopped thinking. There’s no need to. If it’s my time – the be it.
Other thing I’m facing during my volunteering is again, inequality and lack of protection. As a volunteer I must listen to present doctor, who’s only 3 years older than I am. In return, I get 0% support from her side questioning some professional issues.
There was one older doctor who went on a vacation and let me finish the treatment of one of her patients. The patient came last week, although she was quite distrustful towards me. I explained her that there’s nothing to worry about, although I’m young, I’ve done those things a lot. I did the first step in treatment, and scheduled her for another one. The next time she came she made a complaint about me to another, present doctor, the one who’s a bit older than myself, to tell her how her head and neck are now in pain regarding to tooth therapy I applied, because she’s neck discus injuries. I tried to explain to her that teeth has nothing to do with head or neck pains. It never happens because of the teeth, so she should see another therapist who deals with this kind of symptoms. BUT. BUT. BUT. I was rudely cut off by my older colleague who said: “Well, she’ll do it faster this time!” just to shake her off. She didn’t step on my side, trying to explain to the patient the real situation, but by that way accepted all what patient has said as true and put me in a bad position as a person who doesn’t know what she’s doing, beside she’s the one who actually mistreated the patient.
So, I finished my part of the job somehow and there was just cavity left to be filled. But at some point of this week patient comes rudely telling again that her tooth is in pain because “a student did it” and that she’s demanding another appointment for the cavity filling, since her ear is in pain also. Then my colleague doctor said: “OK.”
This answer had several meanings. OK – we’ll do what you say, although we are therapists and you’re a janitor in a local school. OK – you’re right, my younger colleague really doesn’t know what she has been doing and no one’s monitoring her. OK – we’ll listen to you and we won’t try to explain it to you in the manner you’d understand it. It is normal to feel some kind of discomfort to pain sensations in these situations, but my older colleague never wanted us to bother with her or her to gain our trust…
Although, the RTG said the tooth I treated was in a good state, filled and non – vital. The patient kept telling that her ear is in pain because of it. My colleague just didn’t want to listen. And I’m in a position where I MUST listen to her… She let patient leave without exploring what is the real problem that is bothering her. Again, it is another confirmation of my bad practice…
The pain patient suffered was real. It originated from some other structure, such us ear, temporomandibular joint or – another vital tooth from the opposite jaw which had pulpitis – inflamed pulp (nerve).
During this week patient visited another doctor who took out the filling I’ve put in that tooth. She took out the material and work I’ve put in it and she doesn’t even know who am I. It didn’t bring any relief. She came back to our dental office, still accusing me of mistreating her. My colleague said nothing in my defense. Absolutely nothing. Patient started practicing her own medicine so she’s put onion in that tooth because she’d heard that it’d help. Also she started taking anitbiotics by herself. My colleague took the treated tooth out, under the compassionate explanation that “she doesn’t want to molest the patient since she really understands what she’s been going through”. Which means that I screwed. I molested the patient. She’s the life-saver.
The tooth is out now. Nothing happened. Pain remained.
But, this patient was also a psychiatric patient… We saw that in her medical record the last time she visited us.
So the situation is like this – a psychiatric patient mislead two of my colleagues in a wrong treatment direction and both of them passed over my opinion so easily, so as my skill and presence. Although the lady wasn’t quite right, she gave them enough information to distinguish which structure is in pain, or better said, which one isn’t.
When I asked my colleague why did she take the tooth out she gave me no reply. She was quiet. I deserve no explanation. No apology. Even if I were wrong I deserve to know where I made a mistake. If I were right, I believe one small act of reasonable communication would be enough. At least. She gives no **** about that patient. Me neither, but I care about my work. I’ve done it and I’ve put an effort to do it right.
It is not about them, those two colleagues, or about me. It is about professionalism. We should be all united under the same goal and treat all the patients same, no matter if they’re insane or not. By listening to each other we keep our profession high without other, laic interfering.
I hate subjectivity. They all think it is about them. That they are important instead of what they do.