Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We had a 12 year-old girl with a proliferated appendix who went for an emergency appendicectomy on Monday. She had be on Nil-By-Mouth since post-op. In addition, she had an NGT (nasogastro tube), IDC (indwelling catheter), 2 IV drips (one Dextrose Saline for fluid intake and one Normal Saline with KCl for ml-by-ml replacement of NGT freeflow drainage+aspirate), a syringe pumping Morphine and 8 hourly IV antibiotics.

Today while assisting my colleague to change her hospital gown, I accidentally touched her NGT and she remarked audibly, "Stupid!"

I kept my cool and ignored her remark. Labelling the very people whom she depends on to get well as stupid? She doesn't realize the irony of her remark. Besides, unless her IQ prevails over 99% of the population, calling me stupid would mean she's even more so. Of course, she doesn't realize that too, ha ha!

Anyway, I shared about her remark with some of the afternoon staff when they came for work. Apparently this child has been rude to the other staff members yesterday too.


After interacting with many children at work, I am beginning to understand why my ward manager often cite poor parenting as the cause of lack of social grace. I would reckon that 90% of the children we get are well-behaved considering their illness. The remaining 10% often have caregivers/parents that fall into the following categories.
  • Parents/grandparents who treat the maids with poor social graces and the children copy likewise,
  • Parents who assume that their maids will discipline their children without delegating to them the authority to do so,
  • Parents who show strong favouritism towards one child over another, and
  • Overly protective parents/grandparents.
While we cannot blame our parents for our behaviour as adults, I am persuaded that the foundation is laid during our formative childhood years. It would take much conscientious awareness on our part for change to occur. Sometimes though, serendipity plays a part.

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