Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Blank Stare

Today was my first day at the hospital. No one called me yesterday after I got to Kijabe to tell me when and where to show up or who to meet. When I arrived at 8:30am and found my way to Godfrey's office, he seemed to think I was arriving just on time and in the right place. Mind reader? I think so :)

That was until I was initiated to "the blank stare." It kinda catches you out of nowhere and even though I'd been warned by others that I would encounter this, for some reason I never thought it would happen to ME. I was down in the operating rooms trying to figure out my time schedule for if I should come back to assist on the last c-section of the day. I thought I asked a simple yes or no question but all I got in response was a blank stare. Soooooo..... that's a yes? Or a no? Did she not understand my question? Should I repeat it? Does she just hate me? Do she want me to go away and never come back? Do I have crap stuck in my teeth? WHAT!? What made it even worse was that she was in a surgical mask so all I had to go by were her calm and steady eyes looking directly at me with absolutely NO social or behavioral cues to help me. Now, I always thought I had a pretty good sense of reading people and understanding their feelings just through body language. But this intern had me stumped. I still don't know what I was supposed to do. In the end, I raced through my stuff and went back and did the C/S anyway.

Perhaps I will get better at interpreting the blank stare. But perhaps not. Maybe it's an invitation to make my own decision? We'll see how that goes... I just hope I don't piss anyone off more than I already have by never knowing what I'm supposed to be doing or where I'm supposed to be. It's like going back to Day 1 of MS3 year only I'm actually responsible for patients, don't speak the language and can't even find the grocery store. Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure of it. At least I have a plan for what to do when I encounter the inevitable blank stare :)

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