After the outpatient consultation ended, as if emerging triumphant from a battle, Huo Congjun treated Doctor Liu to a meal outside. The other doctors scattered like birds and wild animals.
Nowadays, people from the same department were not allowed to gather and eat together, and no one was stupid enough to break this taboo, either.
Doctor Zhou quietly dragged Ling Ran away and quickly left the office.
After he walked down the corridor, Doctor Zhou kindly explained to Ling Ran, "I'm worried that you would have said the wrong things in the office. If you were to stay inside, there would definitely be people who would ask you all sorts of things." He added after thinking for a while. "Even though you have already said quite a lot of wrong things."
"Did I say anything wrong?" Ling Ran revealed a puzzled expression.
Doctor Zhou glanced at Ling Ran, smiled for no reason, and said, "You must speak less when it comes to topics such as medical procedures, as it is not our turn to talk about those things. As for doctor-patient relationships and so on, you can discuss those privately, but do not raise those topics for no reason. Everyone is very sensitive about that."
"Okay." Ling Ran nodded.
"Huh, don't you want to ask why?" Doctor Zhou was rather surprised. He had educated many rookies in the past, and all of them had a lot to say regarding this topic.
"No." Ling Ran's reply was unusually clear-cut.
Instead, Doctor Zhou became a little flustered from holding back his words. He had thought of a lot of things that he wanted to say. Now that he did not have a chance to say them, what should he do?
After thinking for a while, Doctor Zhou said, "Come on shift with me tonight."
"Okay." Ling Ran still replied in a very clear-cut manner, and Doctor Zhou really did not know how to react anymore.
It was the worst thing to be on shift. It was the most vexing part about working in a hospital, second only to doctor-patient disputes. Shifts usually go on for as long as twenty-four hours, and unlucky doctors may even have to be on shift for thirty-six continuous hours. This made it hard for doctors to avoid getting rid of their laziness, ruining their health and destroying their marriages.
However, medical students could not be measured by conventional standards. Doctor Zhou could not see any changes in Ling Ran's expression and could only say, "You will know how brutal it is when you are on shift tonight."
The doctors who were not on shift left one after another. The fact that the chief physicians and associate chief physicians had left made the atmosphere cheerful and lively.
Yun Hua Hospital's Emergency Department was a lot bigger than that of ordinary tertiary grade A hospitals, with a total of six doctors who were either chief physicians or associate chief physicians. The doctors in the department were divided into five treatment groups with a resident doctor from each treatment group staying on at night as first-string doctors. Together with an attending physician on duty, there would be six first-string doctors every night.
The other chief physicians only had to be on duty as second-string doctors.
The number of first-string doctors and second-string doctors every night in Yun Hua Hospital was already comparable to the total number of doctors in the Emergency Departments of many hospitals.
Of course, the number of patients they received at night was also comparable to the number of patients the Emergency Departments of other hospitals received in a day.
Doctor Zhou first walked around the observation rooms with the plain and ugly resident doctors before going to the on-call rooms and introducing them to Ling Ran. "Our Emergency Department has four on-call rooms in total for the doctors. Two for first-string doctors, one for second-string doctors, and another for third-string doctors.
As he spoke, Doctor Zhou opened the rooms for Ling Ran to see.
First-string doctors were mainly composed of resident doctors, housemen, and a small number of inexperienced attending physicians. The on-call rooms allocated to them by the department were small quad rooms. There were washrooms, but they could not use those to shower. They had to sleep on bunk beds, and the rooms were a little shabier compared to most university dormitories.
The second-string doctors were mostly experienced attending physicians. Their on-call room was just like that of first-string doctors, but it was only meant for two people. Instead of bunk beds, there were two single beds, which made the room look less cramped compared to the ones with bunk beds.
The third-string doctors were comprised of associate chief physicians and chief physicians. Even though their on-call room was still a double room, it was a lot bigger, and its facilities were comparable to that of a standard room in a budget hotel. However, their washrooms were not equipped for them to shower as well.
After showing the three roomswhich had a strong sense of hierarchyto Ling Ran, Doctor Zhou said, "The beds in the on-call rooms are not allocated to individuals. All doctors on night shifts can sleep on them. You just have to take your personal belongings with you the next day."
Ling Ran asked, "How about the sheets and blankets?"
"The nurses will change them along with the sheets and blankets in the wards," Doctor Zhou said.
"Sometimes when they're too busy, they'll put the new sheets and blankets beside the bed, you can also change them by yourself." A resident doctor, who looked so ordinary that other people could not even remember his name, let out a few good-natured chuckles and sincerely shared his experiences.
"Actually, you often don't get a chance to sleep when you're on night shift in the Emergency Department. There are quite a lot of emergency cases at night." As the resident doctor spoke, he pouted and said, "But Doctor Zhou might be able to sleep well."
"Bah... Don't jinx me." Half-jokingly, Doctor Zhou stopped the resident doctor from making predictions and said, "Whether I'll be able to have a good night's sleep depends on all of you. When the patients arrive, all of you diagnose and treat them first. If you are able to handle them, I won't need to go into action. Similarly, if I am able to handle them, we won't have to wake the second-string doctors up and THEY will get to have a good night's sleep. Of course, all of us must be earnest, and it's important not to trouble the third-string doctors. No matter which chief physician or associate chief physician goes into action, they will definitely scold other people."
The resident doctor nodded frantically. "Even the chief physicians who don't usually scold other people will start cursing if they have to come at night.
"Another thing. Ling Ran, you're not allowed to work on your own. You can only work when there is another doctor with you authorizing you to work." Doctor Zhou emphasized this piece of advice.
"Alright." Ling Ran was not allowed to carry out medical procedures alone as he had not obtained his medical license. There were plenty of doctors who could authorize him to work during the day, but at night, he would have to go out of his way to look for one.
"If the first-string doctors can't handle a patient, they'll look for the second-string doctors. And if the second-string doctors can't handle the patient too, they'll give the third-string doctors a call. There are a lot of drunk patients at night, and you must pay them special attention. Pay attention to both the patient's safety and your safety. Hide yourself first if anything happens. Our doors are all reinforced, lock yourself in and call someone. Don't be ashamed to do that. Your life is more important."
As Ling Ran was inexperienced, he acknowledged what he heard.
Once he heard this, the plain, ugly resident doctor said with a laugh, "It's not so scary. I've been here for three years and there were only two cases of people blocking the hospital. Most of them only yelled and made noises."
"Isn't one case of people blocking the hospital a year enough?" Doctor Zhou looked at him and said, "Even those in the army might not encounter as many clashes as we do. Okay, just be careful in everything you do. Go and get busy."
After chasing Ling Ran and the plain, ugly resident doctor out, Doctor Zhou returned to the on-call room for second-string doctors and closed the door. He leaned against the chair with his legs propped up and turned on the news broadcast. He was extremely comfortable.
For a striving doctor, becoming an attending physician was the beginning of a dream. If he was lucky, he might not have to go into action the whole night and would still get a night shift allowance which was a few times that of a resident doctor.
The nurses' station.
The young nurses on night shift were pleasantly surprised to see Ling Ran. Even Nurse Liu who was older, was rather happy when she saw Ling Ran. She poured him a glass of water and said with a smile, "Starting your night shift, Doctor Ling?"
"Thank you very much. Today's the first day." Ling Ran took the glass of water. He sat down on a chair with a backrest, which the nurses offered him, and started to look left and right.
As he observed his surroundings, the young nurses around Ling Ran observed him too. They quickly lowered their heads when he looked over.
"Doctor Ling's skin is so good," a young nurse said bravely, and the other nurses instantly agreed. Someone else immediately asked, "How do you take care of your skin?"
Ling Ran thought about it and said, "My facial cleanser and soap came from my mum. She gave me my facial cream, too."
If a guy who was not handsome were to come up with the same answer, he would definitely be called a mummy's boy. However, the young nurses who were dizzy with excitement did not find any problem with Ling Ran's answer. They exclaimed in unison,
"Mrs Ling is so trendy."
"Fortunately, Doctor Ling's mum knows how to take care of skin."
There was even a nurse who whispered to her friend, "My mother-in-law seems easy to get along with."
Nurse Liu who had two blue stripes on her hat was already married. After admiring prince charming for a while, she coughed a few times, stopping everyone at the scene in their tracks, and said, "Doctor Ling, you don't have to stay here. We'll inform you if there are patients."
"How about the observation room?" Ling Ran asked.
"There are also nurses on duty keeping an eye on the observation rooms. There aren't that many patients right now, you can sleep first." Nurse Liu paused for a while. She then remembered that Ling Ran was an intern and asked, "What symptoms are you interested in? If there are patients with these symptoms today, we can reserve them for you."
"Flexor tendons lacerations," Ling Ran immediately replied.
He tried out the M-Tang technique he had just obtained on a pork leg tendon in the simulation training space, in private. It went quite smoothly, but because he did not have field experience, he still needed to try it out on real flexor tendons.
Rather taken by surprise, Nurse Liu noted it down on her notebook. "Anything else? You're not interested in patients who require normal suturing anymore?"
"There's already enough of those during the day." Ling Ran's answer was very straightforward.
Nurse Liu nodded in understanding.
This was how doctors were like. They always cared most about doing something for the first time. After that, as the number of times they perform the same procedure increased, it would feel less new to them, and they would feel bored.
Their improvement when it came to medical skills was not linear as well. Their improvement would be the most obvious during the first ten, twenty, and then fifty surgeries. Any substantial improvement in skills after that would require participation in hundreds of surgical cases.
All of Ling Ran's time in the Emergency Department these few days had basically been spent on the debridement and suturing of wounds. He treated around fifty cases on the day he handled the most patients. On other days, he treated around thirty cases. With the number of cases he had handled, it was true that he did not need to stay up at night to suture anymore. After all, he had encountered almost every type of injury found on ordinary people that required suturing, and had obtained field experience in treating them. If he were to improve his skills further when it came to treating this category of patients, he would have to encounter patients with relatively special anatomical structures, or patients who sustained relatively special injuries.
Theoretically, Ling Ran could try to obtain another wave of 'sincere gratitude' achievements. However, the following day was a Friday, and he was not sure whether Department Director Huo would make any kind of ward rounds. Moreover, 'sincere gratitude' achievements came a little too randomly, and Ling Ran did not like that.
He liked rewards, that was certain. When he thought about rewards, Ling Ran recalled the Specialist Level Interrupted Vertical Mattress Suturing Technique that he had never used and said, "You can wake me up too if there are any patients with a lacerated scrotum."
"Erm alright?" No matter what, Nurse Liu was considerably experienced and knowledgeable with the affairs of the world, and because of it, she did not reveal her bewildered expression.
The seven or eight young nurses sitting at the nurses' station took the opportunity to feast their eyes on Ling Ran.
A kink? It would not exist. If someone ugly liked something strange, it would be called a kink. The fact that prince charming liked something strange only meant that he was of noteworthy conduct and had independent character.
"Let's go back," Ling Ran called out to the resident doctor who had arrived with him.
The plain, ugly resident doctor did not receive any attention even though he walked back and forth on the corridor in front of the nurses' station, poured himself a glass of water, showed someone the way, helped someone fill up his form, dragged a chair, and even went in front of the computer to look at the cases. When he was called by Ling Ran, he quietly went back to the on-call room with Ling Ran.
"You should grab every opportunity you can to sleep. Someone will come and wake us up soon." The resident doctor laid on the bed, fully clothed.
Ling Ran thought about it and agreed. Even though there was a total of seven people on shift including himself, Doctor Zhou was a second-string doctor and could dawdle around without going into action. If the remaining six run into a lot of casualties involved in a fight or an accident, then they would find themselves run ragged to the ground because they would have too many problems to handle.
As he thought about that, Ling Ran drifted off to sleep. In his dreams, he could vaguely hear the door being opened and closed. He seemed to hear people saying things like, "why are you waking me up again", "there's no suitable indications", and "let him sleep for a while more".
He slept well through the night. It was already early the next morning when Ling Ran woke up.
Out of habit, he went to the bed stand to look for water to drink. He noticed with surprise that there was a bottle of sealed, purified water. There was also a mug made of thick porcelain and a set of unopened toiletries.
There was even a note on the set of toiletries:
[Doctor Ling, there were no patients with symptoms such as flexor tendon lacerations yesterday. I didn't wake you up because I saw that you were enjoying your sleep. The mug had been disinfected under high temperature, please use it without worry. You still have a long way to go in your medical journey. Please make sure to strike a proper balance between work and rest. ^_^]
The door to the on-call room was pushed open. With disheveled hair, the plain, ugly resident doctor dragged his feet as he entered the room and tumbled head-first onto the bed. He began snoring a few seconds later, only stopping for a moment whenever his body convulsed with anxiety.