BALLARAT Base Hospital is constantly buzzing – and some of the hospital’s newest recruits are immersing themselves in life on the hospital ward.
Intern Wei Lun (Alvin) Kong always saw himself as a city slicker – but three months at Ballarat Base Hospital have made him appreciate life in Ballarat.
The University of Melbourne graduate spent the first 10 weeks of his medical career on a surgery round.
The work was challenging and intense.
Chief medical officer Dr Jaycen Cruickshank said one of the biggest challenges for new doctors was dealing with the challenge of fatigue.
He said many doctors found it difficult to adjust to a full time job with shift work.
“(Another challenge) is learning to deal and communicate with different people,” Dr Cruickshank said.
He said it was essential that young doctors developed relationships with nurses and more experienced doctors to develop the required manner.
Dr Kong said he had learned a great deal about communicating with patients and other staff during his first few months.
“We see between 15-20 patients, the first few weeks were really hard,” Dr Kong said.
Dr Kong aspires to become a general practitioner.
“I like the idea of continuity of care, seeing all of the patient presentations,” Dr Kong said.
“The challenging aspect is my favourite thing, as is working with people. I have also been people-person since university days.”
Another newcomer is neurologist Dr Ramesh Sahathevan.
The experienced doctor hails from Malaysia and has previously worked in Canberra.
He arrived in Australia last year after spending more than a decade working in specialist teaching hospitals in Malaysia.
Dr Sahathevan has a particular interest in cognitive dis-function and stroke related neurology.
“My pathway is in stroke, in cognitive dis-function and dementia,” Dr Sahathevan said.
“The way we treat stroke is changing, now it is all about timing.
“The idea is to get somebody to hospital ASAP. (Sometimes) there is a possibly that we can dissolve the clot or is can be fished out.”
Doctors increasingly work collaboratively.
A hotline connects hospitals to other doctors, so that if there is no neurologist on ward they can get in contact with a specialist.
“There is a huge collaboration … we may not be able to have resources here, but it’s about piecing together the best from across the state,” Dr Sahathevan said.
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