Ahmad Sampang ibnu Hajiri, MD

A Personal blog by a Tausug medical student (now a doctor!) from Sulu and the stories that inspired him.
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Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

First, a friendly warning: If you came here hoping to find a helpful tip on how to survive the climb to Mt. Palay-Palay more nown as Pico de Loro ("Parrot's beak"), you are in the WRONG PLACE! Please find another travel-blog for this is just a troll post. Really, don't say I didn't warn you.

===
As mentioned in my past post: "Ready for the Hike!" me and a group of friends decided to go out of our usual comfort zones and why not climb a mountain instead. We already had one target we all agreed to climb: Mt. Pico de Loro. Most of us are beginners, and not one have traversed that place alive--I mean, alone yet. And as crazy as we may be, we are friggin' serious about it. If only we knew head on how hard it was to climb that mountain, we could have chosen a smaller one, LOL.

But enough with all the complaints, if you really decided on one thing, a real man should act on it no matter what. And so we did. With a difficulty level: 7/10 we started the climb that fateful morning of December 21, 2014... A day the world shall remember as us legends. (come on! Do you believe this guy!)


Anyway, enough trolling. let's start some serious blogging.



Mt. Pico de Loro is considered the highest peak in Cavite with an elevation of 664m. "Pico de Loro" means "Parrot's Beak" as the peak of the mountain resembles that of a parrot's beak, which I would really want to argue about... anyway, The place is about 1-2 hours from Manila, depends on where you will ride and on what day. But one thing is for sure: one can easily access this magnificent mountain with lesser expenses. For our trip we only spent less than P500 each! [See the summary of expenses by the end of this post.]

Manila to DENR Trail Camp
From Manila, we rode to Coastal Mall (P25 each) where the terminal to Cavite is. Then we took the bus to Ternate terminal (P81.00 each, P65.00 for students except Sundays/Holidays), the ride is about 40-50 minutes IF without much traffic. We went there on a Sunday so it was pretty faster. Then from the terminal, you can ride the tricycles to the base camp for P250-300 each trike carrying 3 persons. The way there is a hill-climb thus the high price, but the road is concrete and smooth, so no problems on that one. Some 10-15 minute ride and you will be dropped at the base camp.
We arrived a bit late (almost 10am) to the camp and knowing that the trail to the peak would take 3-4 hours, we hurriedly prepare our stuffs, paid the registration fee of P25 per head (you will be asked to log-in as well), and off we go!

Now if you think that hiking a 664m mountain is just a simple task, you are up to some terrible realization later. That's what happened to us. So don't you ever follow it!


"Sticks! I need sticks! Ah this will do!
Hiking means you need some sticks!" says the newbie
From DENR Trail Camp to Base Camp 1.
Our first instruction: "Just keep right when going up and keep left when going down" the woman in the registration told us, which is pretty confusing. Still, believe what she said and you wont get lost.

For the first hour and a half we hiked the seemingly endless trail. There were times that we have to climb a few then eventually go down again then climb up again then go down again. It's like being lost in the wilderness but you only have one trail to follow. Eventually after almost two hours you will reach another "settlement" with rest area (some picnic areas), a sari-sari store selling souvenirs and goods (hard-boiled eggs cost P15 each) and be surprised that you will be asked to log-in again and pay another P25.00! Midst our complaints and all, we still paid the because it's for our own "safety" they said. We rested for some minutes and continued on. The next stop is the Base Camp 1.

Just trolling around. I already told you, THIS IS NOT the blog you are looking for!
(we made this pose mimicking one of our classmates' similar pose,
but they are sexier that's the bigger difference)



Expect to find some awesome views like these
 




It took us more than 3 hours to climb because of these:
No not the observe-the-nature-moments, but the take-a-picture!-take-a-picture! ones
"Why are we going down again? Thought we're climbing?"
After another 1-2 hours of trekking and we were already feeling the toll of this misadventure we decided to take. I tried to look back but it was already pretty far to walk back down haha! So we have no other choice but to head on. Until finally, we saw the light! We heard a lot of voices up ahead the trail ad we are sure we are on the right track! It's finally the base camp!

There are a lot of tents and camps by the time we arrived. It was past 1PM already and we are starving! So after some mandatory photo-shoot, we took out our packed lunch and had some rest. There are stores up there where you can even buy noodles, soft-drinks and even Halo-Halo! 
The "Parrot's Beak", it's more of a "Lion's snout" to me though.
After lunch we were already considering tracing back our steps (such losers we are haha) but then what's a little more pain just to reach even just the peak, right? And so, after being fooled that it would only take us 15 minutes to go there (said the "settlers" whom we left our things with, Salamat Manong!) off we went to the greatest challenge of our lives. No not really, just taking it overboard here.

The Climb to the Peak
Imagine climbing an almost 80 degrees elevated plain with nothing to hold on but rocks and dry land with some grasses. Nuff said.
What awaits is something we did not expect.
But upon reaching the top, you will be met with an spectacular 360 degree view of the whole world! I mean just the lands around us. And of course the ever daunting Monolith!

It's pretty crazy just looking at people climbing that big mammoth of a stone with nothing but ropes (no harnesses, yes) and rappelling down after wards. Must be awesome to go up there... Too bad we never dared to try :( We have plans and dreams, you know (excuses) and it was already late in the afternoon! (more excuses) And maybe we could come back here some time in our lives (haha)



Another trolling. Power Ranger pose.
Note: those bags are not ours.


Wonder what it feels to be up there? hmmm

Before we start rolling like stones back down, a mandatory jump shot. perhaps the highest jump I ever had: 664 meters! Now top that!

The Hidden Waterfalls!
We may have not traversed the most challenging part of this trek (the monolith), and so to appease ourselves, we decided to really look for that hidden waterfalls and refresh our souls! The way to the falls was somewhere after the "second toll fee" and the base camp. But we missed it on our way up maybe we were too busy on things (like trolling perhaps). And how could you blame us if they have this so concealed sign board!

We missed it the way up, and we almost missed it the way back!



As a man who loves the sea, I am all ready to jump right in!

Friggin' cold, but it was really refreshing!

And after that refreshing dip in the cold water... we finally traced back our steps towards ending this adventure. We were all silent the way back, no more jokes, no more trolling, perhaps very much exhausted that our whole blood supplies are just focused on walking and breathing. 

(Oh! Don't forget to "log-out" in the two stations where you paid the P25 fees; they might start a nationwide search if you failed to sign your name as proof that you are still alive after the trek.)

We survived and (almost) conquered Mt.Pico de Loro!
(it was already 6PM when we finally saw hope: the way out)


================= Summary of expenses ========================

Manila to Coastal Mall (FX): P25 each
Coastal Mall terminal to Ternate Terminal (bus): P81 each
Ternate terminal to DENR Camp (trike) : P250/3 persons
DENR Registration fee: P25 each
Second registration fee: P25 each
DENR to Ternate terminal (trike): P75 each
Ternate terminal to Buendia (bus): P85 each
Buendia to Manila (Ermita): P7.50

Total: P410 +
Let's you have P600 and that's more than enough.
(this excludes lunch and water supplies)

Would I want to go back there? Probably yes, but I certainly have to train first. I got easily exhausted with the climb :(
And I really want to climb the monolith!


Salam Kasilasa!
Anakiluh

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

Last October 2014 I attended the "Biyaheng Panulat 2014" wherein famous Filipino writers and composers came to our campus to, well, supposedly give inspiration to those who are aspiring to be writers and composers be it in the mainstream or just by themselves. And it was just a great blessing that I had no class that day :) So I did not hesitate to attend!

I wanted to hear what those guys would say, and see if they will really inspire me (haha skeptic mode) but aside from that, I also wanted to see those guys who wrote some of the books that I have read before: Eros Atalia, Ricky Lee, Manix Abrera and Bob Ong..

==Special are for Bob Ong: *He was supposed to be the "special guess with special appearance who fooled us because it was just a special performance of special powerpoint presentation and special message read by a student officer at the back stage with some special lighting. Anyway, I still love Bob Ong's books :) And I never really expected him to appear that day. If he did, then he won't be Bob Ong anymore... now enough with that rant===

About the Event:
What I understood about the event when that dude who I think is their manager or organizer or something (He really doesn't look like it, I even thought he was just some tambay student. awesome.)  is this: they organize such event around the Metro, visiting campuses and bring together Filipino writers and meet with future writers to share ideas and ehem inspirations. They call it "Biyaheng Panulat" because they go around like a caravan for those aspiring writers for their country (the Filipinos for the Philippines... I'm for Sulu, I just went there for inspiration). last Ocotober they decided to visit UP Manila!

Trivia: Most of the participants were NSTP students required to attend the event. There was this attendance sheets being passed around, LOL. And I think I am the only one from post-grad who attended, so I pretended to be a Bio-Student. #Shameless

The Big Four: Manix Abrera (KikoMachine Komix), Ricky Lee (Playwright and novelist), Rock Star Dong Abay (composer and singer), and Eros Atalia (novelist and tabloid writer)
Master Abrera talking about his masterpiece: Kikomachine Komix. The audiences were laughing their lungs out with his jokes
Each author and composer were given some time to talk about themselves, their inspirations, their funny stories and experiences and what are their advises to the younger audiences. All the authors were really great in their speeches, most of which are just jokes. You would even think that you are in a stand-up comedy bar (though I've never been into one). Dong Abay was the unique one. Being the "rock star" as he is, he did not just talk about his story, but he sang his un-aired original song! What a treat to the audiences! His songs are really awesome I tell you, they're very moving. 



The real book-lovers waiting in line for the book-signing

Of course after that came the BOOK SIGNING! This is among the very few opportunity for fellow book-lovers like me to have their books signed. Would your books become better if it's signed? Honestly no, I agree with Bob Ong when he said:

"..."

I can't remember the quote it just says: "I don't believe in autographs. It's my style" haha He is so awesome.


Someone's really serious about this... To buy all the 10 Kikomachine Komix at once! He should have bought them frot he start if he's a  real fan. #experience



Manix my favorite Komix writer :)

And tadaa! My first autographed comic book! awesome! Astiiiiig! Hardcore!
One day in sha Allah, I will be a great writer as well, but I won't hold events like this. All my books are autographed head-on before they get published. I just want my future fans to leave me alone. (haah just kidding)

Salam Kasilasa!
Anakiluh


In sha Allah:

December 27, 2014

New Muslim Care Philippine's
Feed a Child. Touch a Life Program.

for more info please click the image or visit the NMCP's FB page.



2015

TOWARDS PEACE 2015.
Visit the FB page for more info: Towards Peace 2015
March 1, 2015 in Manila!




Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

Just to let you all know, I am auto-scheduling this post to publish later. I am writing this at 9PM of December 20 and hopefully this will be published later, early morning the next day in sha Allah. I have to do that because (1) I just published a new post, so can't publish another one--bloggers don't do that! and (2) I will already be off to a new exciting adventure by the time I need this post to be published.


So much with that unnecessary long explanation. What is this all about?

I will keep it short (I hope my long-post syndrome already subsided).

I will be going on a hike! *yipeee! Fireworks! Fireworks! Confetti! Confetti!*

Well, it was already planned months ago. Some of my friends decided that we should really explore the world and not be poor little maggots stuck in a corner reading medical books and stuffs like that (*pffft! Such nerds! I would ever do that!) And so we ended in an agreement: We will climb a mountain nearby after all our exams are done! And here we are!

So where are we going? (Dora's house? Nope)

We are going to accept the challenge of hiking and climbing the legendary (kidding, I made that up), Mount Pico de Loro (It means "Parrot's beak", Spanish?) It's somewhere in Cavite, says google maps here: Pico de Loro Trail. Some 3-4 hours travel from Manila. Here's the best site that made me more excited for this: Mt. Pico de Loro

Never been there myself. And never climbed a mountain in Luzon yet, so this would be another first in sha Allah :) My last climb was years ago at Tawi-Tawi, climbing the ever-legendary Bud Bongao. Twice! 

I have always loved climbing mountains. I just love the cool breeze of air, the presence of nature around you, the challenge of going farther, and of course the wonderful scceneries that awaits you at the peak of every mountain. I am way too excited for this! haha. 

Ironically though, I have never climbed a single mountain in mainland Sulu yet! haha. Only once in Siasi, but that was just a small mini-mountain.

And to prepare for that climb, I went searching and reading on various travel blogs on what to expect there, and boy I am getting more excited every single time I read them haha. I checked on my old stuffs, and crossed those that I already have. I already have the following:
  • Pants, socks and other stuffs
  • Camera
  • Food ( a little)
  • Backpack
  • water (more water)
  • first aids
  • Extra shirts for swimming (yoohoo!)

And I came up with the following "shopping list": 
  • Hiking shoes (cheap)
  • long sleeve shirt 
  • hats?

Actually I just needed the hiking shoes, cheap ones as I cannot afford to buy the branded ones haha. In fact any pair of shoes would do, so long as they are good for inclined, irregular grounds. And so I went to the legendary Divisoria earlier and after hours in that labyrinth, here are the things I bought... Most of them, as you will realize, are not in my only-three-item shopping list. Really, I am no good in shopping. Kai Darul? Might need your expertise here!


Just a run-down of the things I bought:
  • rubber shoes (P350)
  • Flashlight (P100)
  • Three One Piece shirts (total of P380) --they're for my brothers, I swear! And I am an avid OP fan, cannot resist the temptation @_@)
  • one 3/4 sleeve shirt (P120)

The highlights (aka not in the original list but came out the most in number haha)



This one is surely mine *Dark Doctor grin*

Lesson of the day: Do not go to Divisoria with some extra money

Okay enough for the "preparations", I need to work on some real stuffs tonight :)
We will be going to leave at around 5:30 (just after Subuh prayer AND Simbang Gabi) and might return to Manila by later in the afternoon if not the evening. 

Let us pray for our safe return. *Ameen*

On a serious note, here's a prayer when travelling on an unknown place (thanks bro-in-law Kah Ali for this :)

"Audhu bikalimatillahi taamati min sharri maa khalaq"
Which in English is "I take refuge with Allah's perfect Words from the evils of those He has created" [Saheeh Muslim (3/1599)] 


Salam Kasilasa!
See you soon!

Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

No, this is not about my first born son. We are still way too early for that! haha. This is about the first baby boy I delivered (or helped or assisted in delivery) during our 24-hour duty at the Labor Room-Delivery Room (LRDR) in PGH. 

Well, the experience was indeed something to really cherish. Simply witnessing a baby being born right in front of your eyes, and hearing his first loud cry is simply ... see? I can't even find the right word for it! Just SubhanaAllah! (Praise be to Allah!) Life indeed is an amazing gift only He can give.

The story was:

We started our duty at exactly 7AM last November 29, 2014. At first we were all clueless as what to do. We were the first group in our block to be on 24H duty. so we practically don't have any idea, until later on, we started learning things, starting doing things that are requested of us to do (I will publish a separate post about LRDR duties in sha Allah). Everything was going smooth towards the end of the day until by the tick of 6PM, there came the havoc. Literally, we were in a state of calamity! Two high-risk patients were rushed to the LR, one was a pregnant mother in Thyroid storm, she was immediately directed to the available operating room to deliver the baby. Another mother  in labor who came in was pregnant with a fetus with heart anomaly. She too, would need an intense monitoring and assessment for delivery. All these happening while we are attending to other high-risk patients as well: a 16-yr old placenta previa totalis, an acardiac twin pregnancy (a very rare case!), and a couple of ectopic pregnancies, one of them already ruptured and all of them would need immediate attention when things go down the hill. And the horrible news? We only have two operating rooms down there.


Duty, medschool, medstudent, baby, boy
My first time to deliver a baby boy (^_^)
*photo taken and published with permission from the parents
Everyone in the LRDR--OBGYN residents, interns, clerks and well, even us ICCs!--were working on a fast-paced during those critical moments. And that was when I was assigned to help on something. Of the five ICCs on duty that night, I was the third on the list. Karl already had his assist in delivery, and Meggie is already monitoring her own patient. And being the next guy on the line, I was assigned to do the "labor watch" for Agnes (not her real name) whose already been in labor for some hours already. I started helping out my Clerk-buddy (Ate Bea) at around 10PM. She instructed me on how to read the fetal tocograph, to monitor the frequency and strength of each uterine contractions, to monitor the mother's vitals and the fetal heart tones, how to resuscitate and to report when the contractions would become frequent at 2-3 minutes intervals. I thought it was easy, so I took over while she ran to the OR to help on her other cesarean case.

This is Agnes' 2nd pregnancy and delivery. I thought it wont be long until Agnes would deliver her baby because her bag of waters already ruptured hours ago, I learned. But soon I will realize how wrong I am. 

As I was doing all those monitoring every hour, I keep on observing Agnes, I would often try to engage her on a light conversations--how was her first pregnancy,  how's her first child doing at school, what's her daily activities, what TV shows she love to watch-- which she would gladly reciprocate, but only for a short time. I don't have to guess, I know... I can literally see that she is feeling so much pain and discomfort during all those times. Every time her contractions increases, I could see her face wince with pain. I could already see myself imagining that pain, and boy, I would really never know. She would at time exhale some painful shouts when its already unbearable for her to which I would tell her to just inhale-exhale, and reassure her that soon, really soon baby will come out and everything would be fine. She would nod in agreement with a soft smile what some line of tears come out from her determined eyes. To which I realized the following thoughts:

"Such are the strong determination and conviction every mother have that not one single man, perhaps even a hundred of us, could ever challenge to par with."

To avoid her seeing me going through my deep-thought-self, I would hastily pretend to check her vitals, or pretend to check her IV drips. Or sometimes, I would listen to her baby's fast-paced, tiny muffled heart sounds. rub-dub-rub-dub-rub-dub. Earlier, Agnes already told me that her baby is a boy. Listening through my stethoscope, I could already feel the excitement in his heart to come out to this world and test his untested lungs. He is about to experience the worst possible stress he could ever imagine: delivery. And I keep on saying to him in silent whispers, come out now, baby boy, don't give your poor mother another series of pain to feel. Well, not until a few more hours perhaps (hehe)

---sorry guys, my long-post syndrome is striking again -_- I just can't help myself. please bear with me---

My other group mates were already doing other many things while I stayed with Agnes' side almost the entire night (I left her for some minutes to help my group mates, and I end up being scolded for leaving my patient -_- bad. really bad). Anyway, so we (me and Agnes) were doing all these waiting until her contractions started to become more frequent. It was not until half-an-hour before 4AM that Agnes' OB declared her ready for delivery. I did a last run-down of vitals and fetal assessment, reported my findings (while the OB confirming if I'm right or not), then Agnes was wheeled to the next adjacent room (the delivery room) and we started to scrub in. The OBs are already preparing for her delivery. And I will be the one to pull and deliver Agnes' second child.

This, I have to emphasize, is my very first time.

While donning my gown, I kept on re-playing in my mind all those tidbits of infos in the books on how to deliver a baby. Honestly, I was so nervous that I had a hard time donning my gloves that well.
"What if the baby slipped! What if I break his neck or clavicles? What if? What if?" Yeah, such are the thought dwelling in my mind that I have to fight. Good thing though, my other two group mates who already delivered a baby earlier were cheering me up, directing me what to do:
 "Support the pelvic wall, pull the head carefully, restitute (kind of twisting the body of the baby), support the back, pull down to deliver the anterior shoulder, pull up while sliding your free hand to support the body of the baby, and catch! Then the Pedia people will do their job (#UnangYakap)."
Ha! How I wish I could remember all those things in slow motion, because in reality, everything up there from "pull" to "catch" comes in a one single swift event. You simply have to be ready for it! And yes that was what just happened: in a single moment, I was already holding that little boy exhaling her first loud cry, and I was like:

"It's a boy! It's a boy!" 
baby boy, success, meme
Of course it is! She already told us that!
After we delivered the baby boy, we started the other procedures: delivery of the placenta and suturing the lacerations (episiotomy). After that, I never let the chance to give the baby his first photoshoot with his "delivery boy" haha. *the photo above was taken by a friend, with permissions from the mother of course.

Before I ended my 24 hour duty that day, I went to Agnes who was then recuperating while feeding her new baby. I bid farewell to her and to her baby boy. She smiled at me then and uttered the simplest yet most-fulfilling words I could ever hear that day:

"Salamat Doc" (Thank you, doc) =)


=======================
Indeed it was an exhausting ride: from the start of monitoring the mother's vitals and hours of waiting until delivery of the baby. It was exhausting for us doctors and soon-to-be doctors, but it was waaaaaaay up the limit of exhaustion for the mothers of course. But all those stress and exhaustion are all wiped away with that single cry we hear from the baby we just helped deliver. 

Indeed every single mother in this world deserved to be in highly respected and loved for all those pain they have to undergo just for us to be born. We have no right, whatsoever, to hurt our mothers in any way, as we can never ever ever ever repay that single moment when she bore that unimaginable pain of our birth.

So go back and tell your mother how sorry you are and how much you love her. (#dictatorMode)

Regardless to say though, but I still have to emphasize: Indeed Allah is the Greatest Creator. He gives life in such an amazing way for us to learn and reflect what we have. This boy is just a tiny dot among the sea of lives we all have, and we all started from this single day when we were born: unscathed, untouched, no sins in our hands. And now here we are. What have we done with that life that He gave us? Are we using it for the best according to His commands? Or are we using it to fill our own personal desires in this world? 

Perhaps that experience was indeed something for me to reflect upon, Alhamdulillah (All Praise be to Allah). I will surely cherish this memory and learning experience: My first baby boy.

:)

Again, sorry for the long post!
Hope you enjoyed the ride though :)

Salam kasilasa!
Anak iluh







Assalamu Alaykum (Peace be upon you all!)

Our one-month rotation with the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for our ICC Training (OBGYN 250) finally ended today. It was indeed a wonderful experience, that 30-day madness trying to remember all those numbers (of what AOGs this test is requested and this condition wrecks havoc), the dragging days in the posts, and of course, the paper case protocols that never ended. Until today though. 

We had our "oral exam" earlier--which in the end turned out to be an essay-type written exam (hey! when was the last time I took an essay exam?)--then followed by the 100-item, 17-page comprehensive exam. Too long? Naah, it was actually a pretty fair exam if you really did your part, which ehem I think I failed in doing mine... anyway, enough of that.

After the 7-hour exam, we were all like:
One Piece Nakama Anime
We Survived! My dear Nakama!!!
(Originally from One Piece, all rights reserved to them :P)

So, the first semester of the newly shifted Academic calendar finally ended. And now we are having our 2-week Sem-break slash year-end slash Christmas break (for the Christian friends). Well, at least the ICCs and clerks still have the luxury of "vacations" which the interns unfortunately do not have, (poor them). And guess what? I wont be going home to Sulu this break! (due to a lot of reasons) So I have to find ways to make this 2-week vacation somewhat productive... Now I wonder how would that be realized? hmmm

For me two weeks is too short to be considered a vacation, even the past two years that passed was just like yesterday. leave alone 2-weeks right? I need a one-year break. OONEE YEAR! I'm serious! like this guy:

Library, School, Medicine, Funny



Yet still a break is a break, even how short they may be: that means no medical-related reading for two-weeks! Yipeeeey!

I am already trying to iron out my plans for the next few days. I do hope I could handle all these plans I made (in sha Allah). They pretty range from finishing my ever-unfinished write-ups, translation projects to hiking a mountain nearby. haha! talk about randomness. I will try (maybe) to post some updates if there are some "worthy" ones.

And lastly, I just want to say "Alhamdulillah!" (Praise be to Allah!)
Everything went well, and next year it's already 2015! Two more years and we will be graduating in sha Allah! (God willing!) **Optimism level: Maximum**


And to end this post, here's my block's last selfie pic with our OB-GYN Resident monitors (try to guess which of these 21 faces--except me of course--are the two residents MDs. clue: they are pretty young looking)

Medschool, UP, OBGyn, Students
This is my personal record for greatest number of people in a wacky selfie shot.

Spend your free days wisely everyone! :D
-Anakiluh, signing off!
Assalamu Alaykum! (Peace be upon you all!)

Heya! Here we go again with the usual "I am sorry it took me so long to post here again" scenario which I believe I should already get rid of (-_-) Starting today! I never even have a "Date published" tags on my posts...so no one would really know how late I am. haha! But kidding aside, I think the dates really doesn't matter anymore... If I am writing these experiences and maybe some tips for the next ICCs*, the order of each rotation would not matter: for every block (all 8 of them) have different schedules, and perhaps different experiences as well. So I will just write what I have in my journals, keep them short and concise as possible (which I am really poor at by the way), and hopefully pray that someone would stumble on this blog and read it. haha. 

Anyway, continuing our sharing of stories and learning experiences (?) as an ICC student... I see my calendar here that we are now in our 8th week as an ICC student. Cool! It's December already and we have 2 more weeks to go for the first semester! Yeay!

Which reminds me, I still have a lot of "weeks", I mean rotations to cover uuggggh! <(-_-)> oh well.

Back to our main topic for today: The ICC essentials. What is different with being an ICC Student or Junior Clerk is that you will now be more exposed to the patients. Most of your days will be spent not in the classrooms, but in the wards monitoring patients' vital signs; in the Out-patient Department (OPD) interviewing new and follow-up patients; and if lucky or unlucky, you will also be left ALONE to do your directed physical examinations. (I emphasized the word "alone" because the past 2 years we have been used to doing things by group.) And with that big realizations comes the great need to have your own medical equipment and stuffs.

Here are the important MUST HAVES as an ICC Student:

My ICC stuffs (sorry for the quality, just used my phone here)

MUST HAVE:

1) Your own Stethoscope -- No need to explain why. You just don't become a third year medical student without your own stethoscope

2) Aneroid Sphygmomanometer -- (we call it "BP App") Others prefer the digital one. Either way, it is important to have one anytime you go o duty. Just be sure you really know how to use them :) If you are still not sure, better train with your classmates first. Or here's a tip: ask your patient what's their last BP before, with that you know where you are supposed to here the Korotkoffs ;)

3) Calculator -- You will be asked to do a lot of computations: BMI, Expected Fetal weight, etc. If you are not a math whiz, better bring a calculator where ever you go. Keep it handy (not too big, you are not an accountant! And not too small that you have to use some ultra thin fiber to press on a single number!) These guys are also very helpful during exams.

4) Medical Tapes! (Micropore) -- You can't live in the wards without these! There are expensive ones (P130) and some fake cheap ones (P35) in Bambang. Buy as much as you can. You will eventually see how handy these things are: from taping IV Canulas to labeling your stuffs to even repairing ripped off papers, Micropores will sooner be your favorite thing in the world! (at least in medschool)

5) Measuring Tapes -- Ever wonder when is the time that you will use those freebies that your seniors gave you during your freshie days? Well, this is it! Those handy, pull-and-tuck tape measures will surely be put to use in most rotations as OB, Pedia, Orthopedics, even in Ophthalmology!

6) Clipboard! -- Same as above, you know you need them.

7) Paper and Pens -- Oh come on! don't tell me I have to explain this one?


OTHERS (you can borrow them from your friends, but it's better to have one if you can)

1) Thermometer -- for the constant monitoring duties. We have digital thermometers now (P50-P75) in Bambang.

2) Penlight -- After your Neuro and Ophtha rotation, you are supposed to have your own penlight. But you can always borrow if you forgot to bring them :)

3) Neuro Hammer -- Don't forget to bring this one during ROR (Rhemua-Ortho-Rehab), Neuro and even in IM rotations.

4) Tourniquet -- You will be asked to extract some blood for laboratories, or insert an IV Canula, or "line" the patient, and a tourniquet is an essential item for that. Yes, you can use your latex gloves if there are really none of these around. But I say it's better to have one, it's pretty cheap anyway (P15-20), and makes you look like an IV-lining expert.

5) Pulse Oxymeter -- Not really required and it's kinda expensive. But if you are pretty rich and you feel lazy counting those pulses by the clock, then perhaps this item is for you.

6) Handy Dsinfectants -- Be it a 70% solution of Isopropyl Alcohol or a lemon-scented Alcogel, it's up to you. If not, you can still find a lot of alcohols scattered around the hospital wards (you see them on their alcohol holders attached to the walls). And I am sure there is at least one of your classmates who have one hehe.


NOT REALLY REQUIRED (You can borrow from your friends in other year levels)
  • Ophthalmoscope --during Ophtha rotation, you will be expected to have at least 2 students sharing one Ophthalmoscope. It's a good investment if you are really planning to proceed to Ophtha.
  • Otoscope -- usually comes with the Ophthalmoscope. For ORL duties.


Tadaa! I think those are the essentials that every ICC must have (or at least have an idea of). Being an ICC Student they say is pretty "benign" compared to the Clerks, but I believe this is the year that we should never put to waste. We have to learn as much as we can in preparation for the hellish year we are about to endure next year :) So, get as many patient as you can! Ask as much questions as you can! Learn how to do things in the wards, how things work, which paper to fill in, etc. 


Hmmm Hope this post will serve its purpose :)

Salaam! Logging out!
-AIMD

*In case you were wondering what those "ICCs" are... ICC stands for "Integrated Clinical Clerkship" which refers to the group of students in Learning Unit 5 (LU5 or 3rd year proper) of UP College of Medicine. It is the equivalent of "Junior Clerkship" in other Medical schools. 

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