The temperature today suddenly surged very high, it’s now 50 degrees Celsius in Doha, Qatar! For my work experience, I kept my fast for the month of Ramadan and as Qatar is a Muslim country, many doctors also fast hence I decided to ask if they ever find working more demanding or difficult during Ramadan. Their responses were honest as they admitted that they do get slightly hungry but they are able to remain completely focused. Moreover it doesn’t faze them since they explained that a lot of people have it much worst, for example the construction workers laboring in the heat. Before setting off today, Dr Anizan explained some more graphs as we were going to observe patients on spirometers, thus needed to know the correct terminology. Thankfully this related directly to my A level Biology course, as he spoke about tidal volumes, respiratory rate and vital capacity. Therefore I was very keen to learn how this data is used in a medical setting and which patients require the test.
Neonatal ICU: Our first station for of the day and the department was huge! Dr Anizan pointed out the CCTV in the department and security to ensure that the premature babies were always looked after correctly and in a clean environment. Before entering the bay we were told to remove our lab coats, wash our hands thoroughly and wear green vest coats. This high level of precaution is very necessary, because if the premature babies contract an infection or disease it can be deadly, for instance a common cold virus could result in the loss of an organ. We entered the bay for babies born 28 weeks or below and they were adorably small. All the incubators were covered with blankets so no light can enter (like the environment in the womb). The babies were fed directly to their stomachs and were on special ventilators that give very accurate and small proportions of air at a time. The incubators were made to accommodate these machines, for example hooks on the roof of the incubator held the tubes for the ventilators. I was so inspired by the doctors at work in this department as these patients were so vulnerable and for them it was a privilege to be caring for such early life. Their enthusiasm and attentiveness was genuine and this is certainly a trait I want to present as a doctor.
Allergy & Respiratory:
- Allergy Skin Prick Testing: We were shown around by a consultant of the department. He explored with us the many fridges of allergens used to pin prick the arms of patients for allergy testing. Below is an example of the allergens they test, for example many species of grass.
- Pulmonary Function Tests:
- Spirometers were used to perform the pulmonary function tests. There were two main spirometers in the clinic, one recorded residual volume also, whilst the other did not. Here we were able to observe patients with symptoms such as phlegm-y coughs use the machines by breathing normally at first before inhaling as much as they can and exhaling as much as possible. The computers were then able to calculate statistics such as residual volume, vital capacity and respiratory rate. The sheet above details other inferences they can make from the test. During my stay in this department, a variety of people of different ethnicity and therefore different mother tongue, entered. Thankfully there was always a staff member who spoke the correct language hence there is not much need for translators. Since I speak urdu also, I was able to understand the language barrier in some instances but it was never a serious problem.
My second stay at the hospital and it was brilliant. The doctors were very willing to teach me and my fellow work experience peers! I really admire the stamina and resilience displayed by the doctors as they managed to keep working hard whilst fasting and remain optimistic for patients. Therefore I have learnt not only the medical perspective of the hospital but in fact the characteristics of a reliable and responsible doctor. A day remains of work experience in respiratory therapy before I transfer to emergency!