Tag Archives: difficulties

Under attack!

It was Friday afternoon like any other. 9 hours of practical training and pouring rain when walking back to the dorms. Since facebook has been full with Disney meme lately, I decided to watch one old Disney movie. I was just sitting there in front of my computer, relaxing. It was still raining outside when I noticed something flying behind my laptop. I didn’t pay much attention to it first because there is usually at least one mosquito in my room. But then it happened again and I started to notice that this flying creature seems to be bigger than those I usually see. Then one flought right to my screen and annoyed with that I raised my eyes from my movie to look around.

I’m happy that I’m not scared of insects! When I raised my gaze I realized that there is a swarm of these strange flying creatures going around my ceiling lights. When I checked there was another swarm right behind my window trying to get in. I was surprised, only my netted window was open, there is no holes in the net and somehow they still got in. I closed the second window over the netted one and looked for something to use against these invaders. I have quite an collection of flyiers of different places so I picked one of the thickest ones and went for the chase.

When you live in finland you are quite used to killing mosquitos or flyes in the summer. Especially in the country side living near horse stables. This was nothing new for me so I started smashing those little bastards. Soon I noticed that they were drawn to light so I put off the ceiling light and put on a smaller one right above one empty table. Then I just waited there and smashed those ugly thingys when they came for the light.

farmosan termite

One of the disgusting flying inviders that happend to fall into my trap

Still this was not enough. I noticed that these flying monsters had one more card to their sleeves. They could drop their wings! So instead for looking up to see my enemy I needed to look down also, for these ugly bastards were also crawling on the floor.  They were also flying inside my clothes and inside any clothes I had out of my closets.

Soon there was not many of these insects left and I wanted to open my window again. Closer look told me that maybe the insects got in under the window so I stuffed some paper under the window and smashed couple of insects just crawling there. For the rest of the evening I needed to get up from my chair from time to time to kill the ones that got out of their hiding places slowly. I think I killed the last one right after 11 PM. Or I hope it was the last one..

When I asked my local friend about these ugly creatures, he told me that they were termites and this termite problem comes couple times a year. So if I’m lucky this will be my last encounter with these insects. I searched for some info and insects here were actually someting called Farmosan swarming termites. I hope I don’t find any of these anymore!

Honeymoon is over!

That was fast! After all the great feeling about my clinical practise last week, I had some not so good ones this week. For starters I had my first patients in the clinic. Practice patients only, they were my tutors, but the way this is done here came to me as a bit of a shock. When intern here has his/her first patients there is no teacher to help. Student is expected to do the treatment from the beginning to the end by his-/herself and if there is something they don’t know, then they discuss about it with the teacher afterwards or go to check it out by themselfs (if they are afraid of asking the teacher). This includes taking the history, observing the patient, assessment, treatment and home exercise. In finland we have the teacher standing by our side and helping every time when we don’t know something or don’t know how to do something and they can also prevent us to do any harm to the patient. I have had two of these situations now and they are highly stressful and I don’t have any confidence to my level of knowledge. There is good sides too. I’m forced to think about the situations myself and try to connect all the symptoms and see through the secondary ones to the one that is really causing everything. Still, for me this is extremely difficult and I get a huge rise of my stresslevel in these situations. Again, there is also good sides. After the second one (that went a bit better than the first one) I got a huge feeling of success because I have had some effect to the symptoms. Only with my thinking and performing some treatment. Ha!

Other PT’s sometimes ask me to do some small tasks to help them out. This is really nice! I can do some simple things I know how to perform, not only stand around and watch.

In addition there is my bedside practise. Oh, how I love the bedside. I know how to perform treatment and I feel that I learn every day something. I can be relatively independent in some of the tasks and my teacher is amazing! She is also really strict and asks me to write a lot of patient data. Which is a good thing and I learn a lot, but it takes so much time! This week I have been to the library after the clinical training every day at least for an hour and yesterday I had to wake up a bit earlier so that I had time to finish my assignments. Trying to concentrate to learn over 10 hours a day is really challenging and doesn’t work out for a long period of time. At least not for me. So when my last day on the bedside was over yesterday, I felt both sad and relieved.

If I would neet to study here for the whole 4 years I think I would have a heart attack. Or a peptic ulcer. Or a panic disorder. Or all of them.. I don’t cope well with stress.

Even thought this week has been.. challenging.. I think I’m still learning a lot and I’m still enjoying my time here.

Ears full of Mandarin

Today it begun! My first real clinical practice day! I can admit, I was a bit nervous. My boyfriend will probably roll his eyes for this, because he needed to call me from Japan in the middle of the night because I was panicing. Just a bit.. Well, lets be honest, I might not have slept all night. In other hand, I must have slept some, othervise it wouldn’t have been possible to wake up so many times. I didn’t feel like the sharpest tool in the box when I started my walk forward the hospital in the morning.

kyltti

Our hospital!

sairaala

And the actual hospital too! That is the white building in the center of the pic.

Luckily just few meters before hospital door I met my good friend David (one of those local students who was in Finland last fall). He showed me where to change my clothes and kept me company for some day. Then other of my saviours arrived! James is one of the research students and he was my life line today.

We went to meet the first one of my six clinical advisors or teachers as they seem to call them here. My first expression was a bit shocked since this guy didn’t greet me, didn’t talk to me and as far as I could tell he didn’t even look at me. Just told James to show me the places. I was a bit confused and a bit scared. Would it be like this all the time? I am a person too you know.. But after the first four hours my impression was totally flipped. My teacher seemed like a really serious guy, but near the end he was smiling more and more all the time. Even thought he spoke only in Mandarin and James worked as a translater he started to aske me questions and I even got to do something small in my first hours there. I was told that since they usually have not that busy hour just before lunch, I can just tell them what I want to learn and they will provide me with lesson. My teacher also told me that my posture tells him that I might have some hip problems (and I do, my legs are not even) and that he likes to combine chinese medicine to the western way. This is a gold mine I tell you!

My first four hours were at orthopedical practice. It was a big room, full of tables and busy with physical therapists. One therapist had couple of patients at the same time and they used a lot of modalities like electricity and ultrasound. There were tables for cervical and lumbar tractio machines where patients were just put to the machine and then the therapist went to treat other patients while machine did the tractio. There were one other intern and some second year students as well. It was really nice to talk with other students and think about some problems we were given. I liked the athmosphere because it felt like people were discussing about treatments rather than just given one right solution from the teacher. James also praised my skills all the time, so what there is not to like??

sairaalanikkuna

View from the hospital window.

Other four hours were at orthopedic bedside. I felt familiar since my first clinical practice was at same kind of department in Finland. It was nice to notice that I had really learned something from my first training period and I had some selfconfidence about the treatments. I liked Matti’s teacher (mine had a meeting and wasn’t there today). She was really good at explaning everything and she provided enought info beforehand about conditions we didn’t know before.

In bedside department we discovered some unique features. All the patients we saw today had either a familymember or other caretaker at their bedside to take care of them sonce nurses didn’t have time for all of the patients all the time. And those familymembers really seemed to almost live there too! Well ofcourse it is a bit different here since they have different customs of taking care of parents and family. But I liked the feeling about it. Finland could use something like that..  Therapist used a lot of time to educate those familymembers about their relatives condition since they were the ones that were going to take care of them. They seemed to take it really seriously too. Two of them were taking pictures with their phones when the terapist showed some exercise stuff or how to for example sit down with a full hip replacement.

nohevat

Nohevat.

What else.. All the info we saw about the patients were on paper. Thay had one file per a patient and everything was put there. I don’t even know if they have files on computer. We also had to use masks all the time when we were with patients. This was more strict at the bedside than at the other department. Before this day we were also told that we should put neat clothes on (some local students even wear suits to make a good expression when they visit hospital), have shoes that don’t show toes (no sandals!) and we were given a white jackets to wear. I feel like a doctor when I’m wearing those! Our days are 9 hours long because between our two 4 hour periods we have 1 hour lunch brake that is not included to the hour count. There is no other breaks than that. So 4 hours straight without a break is a rough work I tell you.

All in all, I’m really happy about my placement at the moment. I have no doubt that this will be challenging couple of months, but it will be worth it. Even though would be easier if I could speak chinese. Today only one of the patients spoke English with me..

First week accomplished!

I left from Finland about a week ago. How I feel? Confused.. I have been having this vacation feeling because we don’t have that many classes at the moment. We have had time to see stuff, hike, walk, eat, adventure.. You know, the basic holiday stuff. Today I realized that after couple of weeks this feeling will probably go away. When the real deal starts. It is a bit scary.. It means that I have to accept that I’ll have my boring weekday routine, just like home. Actually I don’t know.. This is all just a bit confusing at the moment. I feel like I don’t want to have a routine and basic weekday stuff, but having everyday adventure for 3 monts will be a hard task to accomplish.

panda

Chiang Kai-Shek Memoriall Hall entrygate.

Am I energetic enought to change my daily routine from what I have at home? I hope so. I’m boring at home. But maybe I’m demanding a bit too much from myself. If I continue this, I will just stress about having fun. Sounds reasonable right? 😀 Well, that is me. Usually I have one or two things I stress about, without any real reason.

maisema

“the Battleship” rock from Mt. Junjianyan.

It will be interesting to see what happens!

Weather

We have had a really odd winter in Finland this year. Usually we have nicely snow and long times of cold weather. Now it is March and it feels like the end of April. Almost all of the snow have melted and we haven’t had any proper cold days in weeks. I have seen GREEN! Usually it is not until maybe end of this month when one can see some liveliness in nature.

maisema

The end of the January in Finland 2014

talvi 2013

Winter 2013 was more like a normal one.

In Taiwan at the moment we have about 15-20 degrees of celcius and humidity is something between 60-95%. In a month this place will be a sauna. I felt a bit stupid when I packed some long sleeved shirts with me. “Come on, 15 degrees! It won’t need any of this stuff!” Then I came here and realized that humidity makes a world of difference. I have almost as much clothes on as in Finland when there is -10 degrees.. I’m not joking!

While walking and being on the move it’s not that bad, but when you slow down, or worse, stop! Then the cold creeps in. This humidity takes cold to the skin and sometimes I feel that it’s in my bones too. I have even have some thoughts about buying more warm clothes.

portaat

This doesn’t look that cold does it?

In addition it raind all the time here. Well, not all the time, but a lot. Actually so much that is can be seen on the architecture. In Taipei they have rainsheds over the sidewalks. Only time you need your umberella is when you cross the street. I already broke my umberella a bit because I was opening and closing it so much while walking.

sadekatos

There are the rainsheds supported by the pillars.

Right now we have a rain season here. I heard it is called the plumrains. It should end this month. After that other rain season will start. So I went to the one place where the weather is worse than in Finland? Lucky me..

Bye bye Finland

16.00 Helsinki-Vantaan lentokenttä

We are sitting at the airport waiting for the boarding time. Half an hour to go and I’m so excited! I have been grinning for days. Only difficulty is that I have to go through customs in Shanghai. That means that I have to pick up my big luggage, go to customs and then go through check-in again. We have six hours before the plane to Taiwan leaves so I hope that is plenty of time to do everything.

heilutus

(16.05 FIN) 22.05 Taipei, Taiwan.

I would have liked to update this also in Shanghai, but aparently Free Wifi means free wifi for those who have chinese cellphone number.. 😛 I almost got nervous when one of the staff members in Finland started to wonder why we didn’t have visas to China. I haven’t even thought that we might need one for just passing by. But aparently we didn’t.

So we got safely to Shanghai and got my luggage and went to chek-in again. Only this time we were too early and we had to wait 2 hours before we could even chek-in. But couple of words about the flight. I dislike long flights, I usually don’t get enought sleep. This time we had also one screaming Chinese woman at the middle of the night and after that some really chatty teenagers right behind us. Nice.. I felt like an old grumpy lady who would have liked to hit everyone. To face. With a chair. Also our seats were right at the back of the plane, so there was always quite bright lights for the flight attendants.

I got some sleep on the Shanghai airport and more on the fight to Taipei. The flight was a bit late so more sleep to me! Our tutors found us easily and after that everything has been easy! I will tell more about that tomorrow. But I have to say, that now that I have been flying around more, I’m not that scared about the security checks (even though they always have something to ask me). It feel nice not to be so scared.