Friday, December 02, 2011

Day 14, Tuesday, 29th November, 2011

I slept fairly well in the night, and was up at about 7:00 a.m. in the morning. The working hours for specialist doctors are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the out-patient department, after which we are free to return home, except that the on-call specialist has to be available on the phone to go back to the hospital in the event of an emergency. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Shehab again today. I discussed a few issues relating to my appointment with him and then I went to the OPD to meet and join my senior pediatric colleague, an Egyptian named Dr. Yasser. I also met several other specialists at the counter where the papers are kept for daily signature. I signed myself in at about half past seven. Following this, I went about meeting Mr. Nawaf, who is supposed to take some documents from me for the purpose of generating a "mubashshera". I guess this is official acknowledgement of my arrival at my allocated place of work, and smoothens the way for my salary count to begin from the day of my arrival in Riyadh (i.e., the 16th of November).

Thereafter, I went with Dr. Shehab on a round of the hospital. They have a separate male and female ward, and a delivery area with a waiting ward of four beds. There is a nursery with several incubators, but it is not being used, and most problem babies are immediately shifted to Ta'if. I also saw (on my own) the admin offices on the first floor, the kitchen, the cafeteria, the infection control room, the pharmacy, the OPD areas, the isolation rooms in each of the wards, the OR's, the autoclave room, etc. 

Although the entire hospital area is on one floor (the ground floor), the shape of this is a perfect square, and the corridors link one area with the next, and the next, with the third, and so on, so effectively, that after a few days of this, one can readily surf from one place to the other without effort. I say this in retrospect, as on my first day of orientation, I was actually totally disoriented, and kept going to sealed doors and locked rooms instead of where I wanted to be.

Dr. Shehab submitted 2 forms to the in-charge of the cafeteria to allow me to eat free of cost for the last 2 days of November (one form) and the first day of December (one form), thereby giving me a 3-day free meals gift that is as per the law prevailing in the Ministry of Health’s hospitals all over the country for newly arrived doctors. I admired his professionalism, as he had to make 2 forms instead of one, because of the change of month.

I gradually settled into the routine of the day, and by evening, I made a trip on foot towards the city down the one and only main road. About a kilometre down the road I saw a petrol pump with a supermarket attached to it, and I stepped in to buy a few things, including a 900 gram can of Nido powdered milk (SR 35). At a local general goods shop that sold things from kitchen utensils to colour TVs, I bought an electric water-heater to make tea/coffee in my room (SR 85) and a tea cup (SR 4). Later in the evening, I had dinner in the cafeteria of the hospital, and retired to bed by 10:00 p.m.

A note here to tell my readers that the STC net connect device is proving to be worthless in this city due to lack of coverage.

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