Coming from a marketing background where I was only concerned with business KPIs, it definitely wasn’t easy in the beginning. There were many aspects of the job that I was not familiar with – the types of procedures we do, the various conditions a patient may have, and the medications! I remember on my first day of work, I had to book a PAC (Port-a-Cath) insertion in the operating theatre (OT). My eyes were wide with worry when the post-it note was passed to me, with “PAC insertion @ 12pm” scribbled on. My first thoughts were "What is a PAC?"
Thereafter, I started reading up in an attempt to equip myself with relevant medical knowledge – things like port-a-cath, colonoscopy, oesophagoduodenoscopy (OGD) and Cytoreductive Surgery and Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS/HIPEC) weren’t just alien words and abbreviations anymore. They made sense! Little by little, I learnt the ropes and got the hang of it. The initial stutters of “… Day surgery or major OT?” and “To book as inpatient or outpatient?” are now few and far in-between. However, the knowledge gap that I have is wide and I still have a lot to learn – I am very grateful to my doctors and colleagues for taking the time to teach and explain the numerous procedures, conditions, and medications.
Working at the clinic has also given me an avenue to show care. It is extremely meaningful and gratifying to see patients who were once suffering from an illness walking back into the clinic as individuals who are now able to lead a better quality of life. It is heartening to hear stories of their holidays and time spent with their children, when they come back for a follow-up. I am especially thrilled when I see their faces brighten up when the results of a CT scan are clear and they have no signs of disease relapse. This is the reason why I chose to work at Melissa Teo Surgery and The Surgical Oncology Clinic.
Written by Jolene