A Slice of the “Real” World

Finally, I started as a speech-language pathologist in a hospital.  Like all the other first days, it was full of surprises that made me somewhat rethink what I was really trying to do with myself.

I reluctantly entered the threshold of the hospital grounds.  I walked towards the entrance slowly with some music pumping energy from my MP4 player to my ears and finally to my veins. I had a large plastic box on one hand filled with weird stuff you won’t find in most hospital here in the country. I needed to muster all my strength to stand up. It has always been my struggle.

As I entered the doorway, a guard blocked me off but after telling him my destination, he backed away and let me resume my mild steps. As I turned the knob to enter the department I tried my best to infiltrate, I was filled with apprehension and fear. For starters, this would be the first time since graduating that I would get the opportunity to handle an adult patient. I still had the flare to do it yet I seem to realize that certain information such as techniques and evaluation tools lapsed in my head.  For once, I thought I might not pull it off.

When I entered the door, I was surprised. I was confused. I was puzzled. The hallway was almost empty. The therapists were just lounging in the waiting area. No patient was in sight. That was when I was informed that they’ll just call me when needed.

I stayed there for a while. Maybe a few minutes. I just lounged in the OT room and explored some of its contents. Then decided to go back home.

A few minutes later, I was already waiting inside the jeepney that would take me home. I received a text message.  It was from the hospital imploring me to return.  A rehab doctor, the message said, wanted to talk to me. He was going to refer a patient. I promptly returned to the department.

What transpired really made me laugh.

When I met the said doctor, he promptly ushered me into his office. From then on, he started talking and jabbering. He told me about the patient. I asked if he wanted me to evaluate the patient. He laughed at me. He said he already evaluated the patient and there was no need.

What he said during the conversation was pure ego. He was telling me who’s the real boss. I was just silent. Smiling and laughing along even though for the past few minutes he was talking, none of it registered in my brain. I already know most of what he was going to say. At last, I experienced one of those doctor types who doesn’t want respect alone. He wanted control and pretended to know all. I just hope he did know what he was saying. I pity him really.

He shared to me his ego. He said he wanted respect not to tell him what to do. Man! He even wanted me to do a therapy technique with a totally twisted perception on how the technique works and what the technique is for.  Yet he tells me he knows how the “real” world works. Too bad for him.

What was really hilarious was that when I saw the patient, he was heavily dysarthric. At least he was correct in saying that the patient was globally aphasic. But his method of instruction seemed to be inappropriate for global. Ok so I’m talking jibberish, but it was really funny. He recommended something not appropriate for the patient.

I couldn’t help but wonder when I tried to talk to him and told him his error, only to be hit by more of his oozing ego. Oh well, if that is what he wanted, so be it.

Actually, the reality of the event hit me hard. Would this be the scene from this day onward? Would I be a controlled robot of this egomaniacal doctor? Would I stand up and claim my right as a team member and consultant and not as a therapist/assistant? Actually, I’d prefer the former but I really am clueless how to do it. I hope I’d get a clear mind for it.

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