Thursday, November 15, 2007

Contamination

Today an HIV+ patient who also has TB coughed in my face. It was horrible. No matter how many times I get body fluids spilled, spluttered, squirted or projected onto me by patients, I will never get used to it. I know doctors who are totally blasé about it. Not me - I'm extremely squeamish for a doctor. Blood is just about the only thing I can stand. I never flinch in front of a patient, but as soon as I can I scrub myself as clean as I can. I don't wear a white coat anymore because no-one does where I work now, but I always used to wear one before - not to look like a doctor, but as protection from body fluids!

I'm super squeamish.

6 comments:

Arnold said...

We, the 'non-medical' types, do not always realise what the doctors have to face on a daily basis. It is stories like these that give us all a new appreciation for the work you guys do. Thanks.

Living Bridget said...

eeuwww!!! There is an American doctor or who works in a rural hospital. She always has a mask and gloves on. I think it's [pretty sad, but the exposure the multitude of disease on a daily basis must push some people over the edge.

Amanzimtoti said...

Arnold, this is still mild compared to other things that've happened to me or things that doctors get exposed to ;)

Bridget, that's going a bit too far. Although, if faced with a patient with probable drug resistant TB, I'd probably also wear a mask, but I've already been exposed to so much ordinary TB as a South African that I probably already have loads of TB bacilli swimming around in my body.

Amanzi Down Under said...

I recently heard of an Anaethetist in Aus that uses an LMA and HME whenever he flies on a commercial airline to avoid the virus's. So I don't think you're too bad (yet).

For the non-medical readers of this blog, sorry about the jargon. Look it up.

amanzimtoti said...

You have got to be kidding!

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