Tuesday, November 2, 2010

a hectic day

Today was my first day in specialty clinical posting. Ignorantly enough, I slept at 3.30am yesterday to do some reading on paediatric dentistry (paedodontics) because I had spent too much time on Dental Intervarsity Sports night and Regional (Asia) Biomaterial Scientific Meeting 2010 . Not surprisingly enough, the specialty clinic I'm serving in today is indeed paediatric dentistry. In Malaysia, paediatric patients are those who are in need of special-care as well as those below 18 years old. There is one concept all physicians should hold to in treating a paediatric patient:

Paediatric patient is not a mini adult.

You lose their trust once, do look forward at struggling to retrieve it back. Patience - is the main player in this field. And even so, surprisingly enough, paediatric dentists are usually the strictest one among all dentist specialists. I was so glad when the clock stroke 4.30 in the evening and I couldn't present my very first patient for paediatric dentistry's case to my lecturer, Dr Zuliani Mahmood, since currently kids rarely visit us as they are sitting for examinations. Reason being I did prepare theory-wise, but no, I wasn't adequately prepared for the real clinical scenario. Yes, I remember quite a number of them - tooth eruption chronology, permanent and deciduous teeth anatomy (both are different in so many ways especially the way they react in pathological scenario), the way to fill up a paedodontic dental form, and yaddah yaddah, but since my very first patient for this specialty isn't actually a simple one, I couldn't even properly tailor my treatment plan for him especially since he's a walk-in patient - which means this is his very first visit to us. Nonetheless, I did not regret not getting to present it in time as I hate sounding too ridiculous in front of my lecturers. Well, they said, "There is always your first time for this and that and don't expect perfection from it. It is a learning process", but what I hold to is that there is a limit to everything and to be too unprepared for this one is just... unacceptable - for a person who's going for a course which demands precision and the ability to decide and act fast regardless of the scenario. The ability to do everything 'fast' should be acquired with time as the skills slowly develop, that is what I hold to and openly accept. But first thing first is always to build a foundation that is strong enough to support you till you retire, and mine is currently very shaky. Theory is theory, and it is there to some extent (although I personally think it is still inadequate even for a first-timer), but the clinical part is the one that is very weak. I hope I shall gain experience and improve rapidly with time, insya Allah.

Speaking of which, I'd like to record a few things about my very very very first patient for paedodontics. He is a nine year old Malay boy who behaves very well although his oral condition is not something a first-timer would look forward to. I think... I can do something with this kid, help him improve in many ways, with Allah's will, of course. And Alhamdulillah, I was granted a patient who has a very cooperative and caring mother. So she was eager to bring him again next week and I'm very much looking forward to this :) As I was handing his personal details form to a staff nurse in screening clinic, and as the nurse asked me, "Eh, jolo (betul ke) ko hari jadi dia hok (yang) ni?". "Bakpo (kenapa), staff nurse? Ho (ya) la, hok tu la, satu November 2002. Eh... meta (kejap)... HARI JADI DIO HARI NI LA!!! ", panic at the disco aku. Terus lepas examine dia, cabut lari keluar klinik, start enjin, terus pecut pergi beli kek kejap. Alhamdulillah sempat sedar dan sempat beli sikit buah tangan. That happiness on his face was... priceless, man. And that was his first cake for the day :')

Today, while rushing to see Encik Lah to get my car keys, I bumped into Dr Fazal Reza, a biomaterial in dentistry and prosthodontics specialist. As usual, I just don't know why, I couldn't raise my head when a lecturer is around. Then he looked back at me and said, "Yes, you". "Oh, shit, what have I done this time", I said to myself. "The event was very nice, you hosted it very well", he said. Yes, I noticed him sitting at the front-most row. I blushed and explained that there were so many glitches during the event and we tried so hard to cover everything up, not to mention that it was our first time of hosting a formal event and he replied by saying he didn't notice much glitches (apart from the video error) and thought everything was actually going well. He congratulated me. Gyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa~ Buat somersault. Praises to God :'D

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