Part of a doctor’s life is being available for emergencies that come up any time of day or night. This week, I start taking call for surgery here at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. As with starting any new job or a position at a new hospital, the emotions inside are elevated: excitement, anxiety, fear of failure, and comfort in knowing I have excellent partners backing me up. I mentally go over my “on-call checklist”
1. Doctor’s bag (containing stethoscope, surgery cap, headlight, etc) – check
2. Keys to the Operating Theatre – check
3. Working telephone – check
4. Mission vehicle reservation for night on-call – check
5. Driver’s training – check
Yes, the list looks a little different from my list in the U.S. Note the lack of a pager and the addition of #4 and #5. Due to security rules here on station, women are not allowed to walk alone at night. We must either drive a vehicle or be escorted by a male missionary or security guard. Most of the female doctors reserve a mission-owned vehicle for use while on-call.
As far as surgery goes, I'm not too nervous because I have been in the OR quite a bit the past few days. On the other hand I am nervous that something might come in that I've never seen or treated before. But as I mentioned before, I have great back-up, a great team, and a great God who will never leave me or forsake me. I rest assured that He will see me through anything - no matter how hard. BTW, for those who were curious, my first case at Kudjip was a c-section for placenta previa. I got to help bring this little guy into the world. Seeing the wonder of new life never ceases to amaze me!