Today’s article focuses on a doctor’s Housemanship experience at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State.
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Hiya, Let’s skip the name part and call me your friendly neighbourhood gal. I did this one year of proper labour for money at federal medical center, Owo, Ondo state from 2017 to 2018.
Application process was printed in the papers but really a friend of the family informed me it was out and helped to drop my CV and application letter just before my induction. Turns out they wrote exam not just an interview. So I started reading for exam guess what? It was a mix of medical questions and current affairs. something that had happened in the US in the last week or two inclusive so please be in the loop of recent local and International news. I waited for 2 months and then got the good news. Housemanship was starting ! An exciting new era!
I got the text to resume a week after the message was sent. I then travelled about two hours only to realize I didn’t take my original documents to get my employment letter so of course I went back home empty handed. Returned the next day with my original documents and got my letter. The lesson here is to always go with your original documents.
Accommodation was the next big thing as I hear a rumour that the rooms wouldn’t be enough for those who were employed. I had to go see the lady in charge and someone tried to sweet talk me in exchange for a room. Let’s just say some people aren’t normal and they will take advantage of any and everyone. I got a staff member to call in a favour and also got there before it was time to start work so I could get a room. Thank goodness finally I got one . It wasn’t a bad accomodation I must say, Neat area, grasses cut, however, it would be in your best interest to paint your room. You may also have some issues with water supply so you should get drums or other forms of water storage.
Living in Owo is very affordable especially if you aren’t living beyond your means like going to Akure to watch a movie every weekend haha ! (Akure is 45 minutes away by the way).
There are also few nice places to go to have a nice meal with friends! Might cost you but You will love it. Don’t do it often else you deplete your funds, although not sure I followed my own advice lol.
Basic questions to ask before each posting :
– The responsible registrar for each specialty so you can discuss with them about rota problems.
– What units you are rotating through and when and how you will know.
– Your responsibilities as a house officer. It’s best to meet the house officers leaving before they rotate.
– Clinic register if any.
– Clinic bags if any.
– Time for morning review.
– Best time to arrive for intern ward round.
– Most recurring cases on the ward and most recurring questions in morning rounds so you can study ahead.
– The strong Do’s and Dont’s of some of the consultants
– How many presentations you have to make and how early you can get your topics.
– Practical skills others have been able to gain in the posting so you can hit the ground running.
Your basic survival kit should include:
. A summarized handbook if any (eg the guide , Oxford handbook of medicine ).
. A good stethoscope: its not hygienic to borrow.
. Prescription pad.
. Blood form requests if there is a scarcity.
– Sample bottles if there is a scarcity.
– Your own supply of gloves.
Ask ahead what your responsibilities are, your group rep or the senior registrar will split you in units : for example, Cardiology, Endocrinology , Neurology, Nephrology, etc.
Some of the responsibilities my group had were : ECG room cover, specialty clinic, intern ward round and post rounds, receiving unit consults and informing the registrar.
Do your ward rounds between 7am and 8am because there is morning review at 8am where the registrars are slayed like dragons haha by SRs or consultants, some of the harrassment might splash in your direction. Be Ready!
Always know your patients and make sure you know your investigations.
Be nice to the nurses because they are so stressed and they will stress you and expand your errors if you mess with them. Howbeit don’t jeopardize your patients health for relationship. Relationships can be mended.
You can wear scrubs for calls if you want to .
The department was split into Neonatology, Paediatric Accident and Emergency and Children’s ward. Rotation was through all three areas.
Call hours were divided into either covering A&E or Neonatology unit and ward.
This was one tough department.
Responsibilities were intern ward round, IV drug administrationM, setting lines (Neonates inclusive), early morning sample collection especially serum bilirubin (super important) and paediatric A and E.
Call hours include covering Neonatal and Children’s ward. Know your registrar and get their phone number so you can reach them.
In the surgical department you had to rotate at least 3 specialties for 1 month each – Urology, Burns and plastics , Orthopedics , General Surgery, Neurosurgery.
For Surgery, be aggressive about assisting surgeries, try to do a herniorrhaphy atleast .
Responsibilities really depend on your subspecialty : intern ward round , post rounds , chemotherapy administration , pre-op preparations including ensuring blood is grouped and cross matched, surgical pack is ready and you have looked through it to ensure its complete, it’s your head on a platter if anything is missing.
Ensure a relative will be around during surgery incase anything else is needed .
Obstetrics and gynecology
This is a posting to acquire skills that will change your life for ever.
Please try your best to take many deliveries (the midwife is your teacher here, please be humble and the registrar is your mentor and will finesse what others have taught you), Assist many caesarean sections and try to do some if possible.
It was divided into Gynecology emergency, Labour ward, Obs and Gyne ward. Responsibilities included intern ward rounds and post rounds, morning reviews and attending ANC clinics and gynecology clinics. You’ll be required to present clinical topics as well. You’d be taking calls in either the Labour ward or Obstetrics and Gynecology ward. Responsibilities included monitoring labour and plotting charts, IV drug administration.
Accident and Emergency cover
Houseofficers had to cover accident and emergency at this Hospital. I’m told this doesn’t happen everywhere.
Close early from your unit 3:30 instead of 4, change into scrubs or whatever you feel comfortable covering in blood during a mass casualty kind of call. Be at emergency by 4. Work from 4 to 7:30 or 8 and then go change quickly for ward round in your unit.
Always remember to write the conclusive list of what you need for relatives when they bring patients. They snap when you eventually remember you didn’t wrote cotton wool. I always had a basic list in my pocket and made changes where necessary.
Survival requirements : know where all the things for phlebotomy are kept, the test forms (you might want to keep some on you), the pharmacy, the basic list of patient requirement, the call room, the registrar’s call room, the phone number to the nursing desk all so that you walk around less and you are more effective.
List of lessons
– Always have your bag ready because you never know when your employment letter will be out.
– Take original documents when going to pick up your letter with a few photocopies.
– Take a few numbers of colleagues you meet when you go pick up your letter your letter so you know what other are up to before resumptions.
– Ask ahead about who you need to talk to about accommodation. In the world we live in these things won’t fall in your laps unfortunately.
– Ask what you need to do to make your room comfortable so you can plan ahead.
– Try to do your initial registration process quickly so you can be paid salary on time.
– Arrive early and do your ward rounds, know your patients or do a ward round with your summary well written out instead of brief documentation.
– Know what you need to have on you at all times.
– Know what the posting is about before the first day.
– Plan your leave ahead it encourages you and helps prevent emotional fatigue.
– Join welfare scheme; a year can fly by and you may realize you haven’t saved up much.
– Don’t be passive. Be enthusiastic and keen on learning.
– Prepare your presentation way ahead of time and show registrars.
– Relax more and enjoy the season. It’s a time you will never have back so join gyms (p.s some gyms offer discounts for groups of 5), go out for proper meals; some good hotels have good restaurants, go out for some suya and drinks too, it’s a good way to interact with others.
Very good pay, I got a lot of practical skills at this hospital. It is also a good place to engage in politics.
Kidnapping on the Akure Owo expressway. People were kidnapped on the expressway to Akure, some doctors inclusive, so I became afraid and didn’t travel but others did.
I would recommend this hospital.
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