30 May 2008

Long locks or Bra Hooks?

Imagine a very handsome guy with his locks bouncing while he's strutting on the beach. His washboard abs gleaming from the freshly applied tanning oil but once your eyes move up to gaze on his well-chiseled face, you're heart stops and your jaw drops. You try to blink to check if you're just imagining things but it is still there. You see "man boobs". You say to yourself: "Nobody's really perfect."

The above scenario kept playing on my mind when we were discussing anti-hypertensive drugs in Pharmacology. We came across this drug called Minoxidil (generic name). The name sounded familiar but I've never taken anti-hypertensive drugs nor was I aware of anyone that I know of taking this kind of medication. Then our professor told us that Minoxidil wasn't just taken as an anti-hypertensive drug but it is also used to stimulate hair follicles for hair growth.

Minoxidil is more known here in the Philippines as Regroe (brand name). It is used by people who have alopecia AKA baldness or hair loss. The drug is applied topically. It gives hope to all the people who are bald that is NOT by choice. However, datapwat, subalit, it is said that there is a very unflattering side effect of the drug for the guys using it. According to our lecture, one of the side effects of Minoxidil is that it causes a condition called gynecomastia. This is a condition for males where there is an abnormal enlargement of the breasts sometimes causing secretion of milk. I know... WTH?!?! You might be thinking that it's okay to have bigger breasts but the problem is, it's not like those that you see in wrestlers or in body building contests. On the bright side though, according to my research online, it rarely happens when the breasts grow big that is normal to a female breast. So don't worry because you won't be like Pam Anderson or something. LOL!

Question is... Would you rather go bald OR have hair but have "man boobs"? TOINK!!! If I were you guys, I'd choose the former. Embrace your baldness. I think it's sexy! :-)

28 May 2008

Pharma Finals

Last Friday, we had our final exams in Pharmacology. It was pretty hard. I had too much coffee to drink. My hands were shaking on the morning of the exam day. I was a nervous wreck! The slightest movement made me jump. The sight of our professor entering the classroom made me want to hurl. Luckily, there were a funny moments during our exam plus our professor said something funny that somehow helped me relax.

Funny moment: 10 minutes after we started answering the exam, the lights went out. The classroom was dark and it was filled first by shrieks and grunts from my classmates. There was one sound or voice that stood out and caught our attention. It was a guy classmate of ours, we don't know who because it was pitch black in the room, but all of us instantly laughed when he said in a soft voice (almost instantly when the lights went out): "Uuyy! Pakopya!" That was really funny. We're not sure if it was intentional or he didn't think his voice would be heard. Hahahaha!! Even our professor was laughing when the lights came back.

Funny remark: Our prof in Pharma isn't new to the game of cheating. There have been a lot of techniques to cheat. A lot of sign language, facial expressions and simple hand gestures have been invented just to give the answer to one's "cheatmate". As we were taking the exam, a few of my classmates, me included, started clearing our throats and almost a couple were doing their own "ahem". Our prof then said: " Hala,'ahem' ng 'ahem'. Alam ko na yan. Isang ahem, 'A'. Dalawang ahem, 'B'." Hahahahahaha!!!

If that didn't happen, I would have probably forgotten everything. Mental block was inevitable at my state before taking the exam. I am glad it's OVER.

26 May 2008


24 May 2008

During our "breaks" from our cord dressing duties, we would sit inside the DR (as instructed by our CI) and wait for any deliveries. It is at these times that I was able to observe the facilities and even the other medical personnel inside the room.

For a government hospital, I was pretty impressed when I saw the hands-free faucet that they have in the DR. I didn't know that they have it in there. The faucet is turned on using a lever that can be pushed using your knee. Not only that, even the soap (or rather betadine) dispenser is also hands-free. You just need to step on this pedal and out comes the soap from the container. This is a good sign I thought. Fabella isn't as bad as everyone thinks it is. It may just be a more "forward" hospital than other government hospitals.

My feelings of pride from the facilities quickly faded when I saw this particular medical staff (not sure what his position was but he's definitely NOT a nurse) who was transferring patients from the DR to (I think) their respective wards. He would pull down the railings of the bed and just let it fall down making a huge banging noise which in turn would abruptly wake the patient (that's been through a delivery or has undergone D&C) and then ask her bluntly to transfer to the stretcher. He wouldn't even assist the woman! It was really irritating and frustrating to see this man do his job in a really unprofessional manner. I thought the railing just slipped his hand but he did it three times.

I just hope he could read this and realize that it is not only his job to transfer the patients from the DR to the wards but also to make things more comfortable for the patient. How would he feel if his wife or sister or aunt would be treated that way. Grrr!!!

23 May 2008

Despite the fact that we were not assigned in any ward in Fabella Hospital, that still didn't help me sleep early last Sunday night. Aris and I promised that we'd sleep around 9:30 (the latest) so we have enough energy for the duty the following day. We hit the sack at around 10 (so much for promises. LOL!) but the last time I checked my watch, it was 10:45 and I still couldn't sleep. I probably dozed off after an hour or so.

So anyway, we got there an hour early, had breakfast at Ministop and headed inside the hospital 10 minutes before 6. My groupmates and I were waiting for our CI (clinical instructor) and we were all hoping for one thing. We were hoping that our CI would be nice and approachable. Thank god, she was. She even told us to go out and get some breakfast and be back after an hour. Whew!

At 7:00, we went back and was asked to change to our scrub suits. We were assigned at the CDR (Cord Dressing Room). For my non-med friends, the baby is brought from the DR (Deliver Room) to the CDR where we make the final cut on the baby's umbilical cord, give the baby his/her first bath and optic antibiotic and finally get the baby's measurements.

We were told to work in pairs, one for doing the cord dressing and the other for jotting down the baby's measurements. Aris and I volunteered to be the first pair (naks! bibong-bibo! LOL) as there was already a baby waiting to be bathed. Our CI demonstrated how it's done so we'd know what to do. I was just shocked when our CI was scrubbing the baby's body so hard and combing the baby's hair like she was trying to pull them out. But I soon realized that if they didn't do it, then the blood and other "stuff" on the baby's body would attract ants and the ants might get in the baby's ears. And I thought she was just being plain brutal. Hehehe!

After an hour and a half, all five of us in the group had 1 case each. We were getting excited everytime we would see another pregnant woman being rolled in the DR (this is where we hung out while waiting for newborns) because it meant a new case for our group. FYI, PRC requires that we each should have 5 cord dressing cases. I had 2 from my previous duty so I still have 3 to go.

There were 3 highlights of our duty and this is one of them: We were particularly thrilled when we found out that one of the mommies was having twins! It's a shame I wasn't able to handle them. I just have a thing for twins. :-) Unfortunately, one of the twins was having a hard time breathing. They had to put his head in this dome so they can give oxygen.

Second highlight of the duty was when there was a stillborn case. It was a premature birth and the baby died while still in the womb. I almost cried when I saw the lifeless baby on the table. It was a good thing our CI asked me to log our cases so I wasn't the one to do the cord dressing of the dead baby. Otherwise, if it were me doing it, I might cry and it would really be embarrassing.

I was so psyched to see the first few newborns that I totally forgot the possibility that there could also be deaths. I may not be a mother (yet) but I do feel for those moms whose babies have died. Yesterday alone, in our shift, there were I think 5 abortions (unintentional) already. Imagine carrying your baby in your womb only to find out that it's dead already and the doctors and midwives need to take it out. And what's even worse is that after that process, the doctors would have to perform D&C AKA "raspa" to make sure that there aren't any remnants of the baby or the placenta left in the uterus that may cause the mom to bleed.

Third and final highlight of our duty was to be able to witness a normal birth with the aid of the forceps. Our CI told us that we could watch it because we might not get another chance. All five of us went to the DR table and was the patient being prepped for the forceps delivery. I cannot begin to explain my shock how this was done. All I can describe is the head of the baby after being pulled from the mom's "canal". The baby's head literally looked like a conehead. The back of the head was obviously elongated. A small price the baby has to pay for a safe delivery.

So there.... you could just imagine how our day was. We all smelled like sweat, a hint of blood and a dash of lochia(click to see definition). All five of us had two cases each. We wanted to stay longer to complete the required number of cases but our time was up. I really hope we could go back and next time we do, I hope we get to be assigned in the DR. :-)

20 May 2008

For the Record

I don't believe this! I never thought I'd do it after all the things that needs to be done, I still made time to create my third blog. Despite the updates that I need to do on my other blogs, I would like to believe that I can update this on a regular basis.

This blog is intended solely to all my ramblings of being a student nurse here in the Philippines. And hopefully, it would also contain updates when I finally become a registered nurse. This will serve as an outlet for me and for anyone who can relate to those moments when you really can't do anything but smile and pretend that everything is peachy! I know, I know, you're all probably thinking that I chose to study nursing and I chose to become a nurse someday so I better deal with these stuff. But can I just say that I AM ALSO HUMAN. I am NOT stoic! I have feelings and it is with this blog that I can get to vent them. If not, I may end up as one of our patients. So bear with me. You might actually be amused and you might just learn something.

So sit back. Relax. Give me your arm and let me check your blood pressure. :-)