TVMC Family Get together 2011
Are you ready to see your friends and get more gossips
about TVMC and NHS?
We are meeting soon
Book your place
Venue: Community Centre: Woodlands, Winthorpe,
Date: 14/05/2011 Saturday
1200 to 2100hrs
Good food, entertainment for kids and family,
Games for boys and girls, Disco for everybody
GET READY, BLOCK YOUR DATES AND FURTHER DETAILS
PLEASE FORWARD TO ALL UK TVMCns YOU KNOW.
FOR FURTHER DETAILS GENERAL: R SRIRAMAN 07740594686, DRRSRIRAMAN@GMAIL.COM
FOOD: RAMESH SHANKAR 07960511427
ENTERTAINEMENT: RAGHAVAN, 07813003636
GAMES: BAVANA 07515817209 INDRASUJATHA 07859358558
From : http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/article1574365.ece
“Statutory warning: Getting prescriptions over phone is injurious to health.”
A phone call can become an acid test for one's language skill. Even though my wife doesn't rate my linguistic skills highly, I was thinking so. The first thing she does on receiving my romantic messages is to correct them. Of course, no man is hero to his wife.
Once, a school teacher received his wife's suicide note. It said, “As there is no love between you and me, I am going to commit suicide.” He immediately responded: “You should have written you and I, and not you and me. Me should be used as an object.”
Coming back to phone calls, so many times we are in a situation, having to spell some words on the phone. Be it our address, email ID, or website, spelling matters much.
Once I went through the ordeal of answering the customer centre of a bank. The honey-tongued girl asked me to spell almost every word. When I mentioned my degree as M.D, she asked for the spelling. When it comes to alpha-numerals like PAN, the confusion never ends. There is always the confusion whether it is zero or the letter O.
Just like for Radia-friendly politicians, a telephone conversation might become a nightmare for both the doctor and the patient.
Medical terms are neither tongue friendly nor telephone friendly. Many times, my relatives or friends would read a scan or laboratory report on the phone. Out of curiosity, they would spell every printed word, right from the scan centre's name to the reporting doctor's name. Of course, there would be terms like salphingo-oophoritis in between. By the time they finish reading, my hair would have grown two more inches. Nowadays, I ask them to e-mail them. Phone calls can never become a better alternative to personal appearances.
But there are things worse than this. As a doctor, I sometimes have to spell the names of drugs on the phone. I always discourage this practice. Of course, there is no remuneration for a phone consultation. It so happens that the drug that I have prescribed might not be available in the pharmacy and I could not be seen in person. Usually I ask the person to hand over the phone to a nearby pharmacist or doctor. Sometimes, you have no option other than spelling the names.
You cannot simply spell a drug name like “ASPRIN” and get away with it. The person at the other end usually wants to be very sure and immediately asks “A for?” or “P for?” It is only then I start experiencing word-finding difficulty. I have difficulty with at least 25 alphabets.
For some letters I use to think hard as if I were Samuel Johnson but only to remain clueless. Words with a silent first letter cause confusion like when I say “K for knight or T for tsunami.” Due to a lack of words, I sometimes give many phonetically funny statements like “B for bee” (a spelling bee question?) or “Q for queue.” Once a person asked, “W for what, sir?” I had to reply, “Yes! W for What!”
The final blow came one day. While I was spelling the name of a drug, I was searching for a word starting with the letter N. Neptune.. Nebula ..Nest.. not even ‘Nothing' came to mind. Suddenly, I said N for Nayanthara! The caller was an old religious man. I didn't know what he thought of me. But he never turned to me again. Maybe, he expected a Narayana from me or probably he is a Trisha fan!
In psychiatry, we use a test called ‘FAS' to test verbal fluency. It tests how many words a person can tell in one minute starting with these letters (F, A and S). I never dare to attempt it on myself.
With the advent of the mobile phone, now I have the option of sending an SMS. But, at times, I find my daughter's alphabet book handy. Never forget your basics!
From : http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/article1574291.ece
In many of the celebrity writer Dan Brown's novels, the famous Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon would be summoned to decode a symbol, the meaning of which only he can unearth on earth. But he too will meet his Waterloo deciphering some of the doctors' prescriptions.
Why do doctors pre-scribble? Handwriting itself is on the verge of extinction. But we find that most of the prescriptions are handwritten if not hand-scribbled. A prescription usually has two parts. The first part contains some notes about the disease and the patient .Next come the names of drugs per se.
Doctors usually like to keep some facts about the patient secret even though the latter fully deserves to and, invariably, is curious to know them. Of course, the doctor and the patient never tell each other the whole truth.
Once I worked under a doctor a decade ago. He used to write something like EO or AOO in his prescriptions. Even after referring to many international medical journals, I was not able to decode them. So I dared to ask him and came to know that the secret code stands for his fees. Alphabets represent numbers and thus EO becomes Rs. 50 and AOO, Rs. 100.
Many times doctors write something mystically to mask their limitations. I have heard patients saying that they suffer from a serious disease called NYD fever or NYD chest pain while, in fact, NYD stands for Not Yet Diagnosed!
Regarding drugs, essentially they have to be written in capital letters and any ambiguity can create serious problems. Unfortunately, some write in such a way that only a particular pharmacist, usually attached to the same hospital, can understand the drug names pre-scribbled. Probably, the doctor might have a noble ambition of getting his name included in the Forbes list of billionaires.
Some are too busy to spend time on writing legibly. But that cannot be taken as an excuse when it causes damage to a patient's health. But some are habitual poor in handwriting and they can better switch to typewriting or hire a ghost writer. Once, a pharmacist, failing to understand the name of a particular drug, substituted it with another drug. On cross-checking with the doctor, the patient was informed that it was not the name of a drug but was his own.
All doctors might have the experience of being woken up in their sleep and scribbling something in a trance-like state. Such somnambulistic errors may cause the danger of sending the patient to unwakable sleep.
A study by The Royal College of General Practitioners found that 3-5 per cent of doctors' prescriptions contain errors mostly harmless (grade D) but sometimes lethal (grade A). Stringent guidelines have been laid down but they need to be followed more vigilantly.
Interestingly, a doctor wrote a romantic letter to his lady love. It was the pre-email era and hence was handwritten. The poor girl could not identify even a single word. But she was very clever that she went to a pharmacist and got the letter read though at the expense of their privacy.
There are many ways of taking care of a patient, and prescribing legibly is certainly one of them. Luckily, I just have to e-mail this article, instead of writing!