Thursday, 4 October 2012

CPR..... in Hindi

Does anyone know the Hindi word for CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)...... well... me neither. How about the Hindi words for "stop" and "start"...... eeehh , I am blank too. Well, that has been my life these past couple of weeks...... drawing blanks. The hospital is really good but with one major shortcoming... they speak Hindi - aaallllllll the time. Morning lectures are in English but the rest of the day is in Hindi. When they (residents and consultants) are discussing a patient, they will do it in Hindi. Never mind that you might also be in that gathering and willing to contribute. Its like you don't exist. This has caused me real turmoil these last two weeks. "Is it that I am black?", "Would it be different if I was white?" " Is it that these guys don't really want us here?" are some of the issues I have been dealing with. Then I wonder, " Why let me come if I am not welcome? Why is it that when I ask a question, I get answered very well and do not sense any negative vibe coming from them?"  What is it with all these contrasts. Its like playing a game of she likes me, she likes me not.

Then comes the light bulb moment. I am in the cath lab observing a procedure when a nurse comes to the door and says something. The operator suddenly stops, tears off his gloves and heads off in the direction of the adjoining cath lab. A patient had just collapsed on table and CPR had commenced. There is pandemonium as instructions are shouted in Hindi. Luckily, some words like Laryngoscope have no Hindi equivalent so when I heard that word, I knew they wanted to put a tube down the patients' throat to assist his breathing. I decided to assist in doing chest compressions. I get up there and begin with all gusto. I hear someone shout something in Hindi. I continue with the CPR, suddenly, everyone shouts "stop stop stop!".... so I stop. After a pause, the consultant says something in Hindi, I am still pausing, suddenly they all go "start, start start!". Had it not been a life or death situation, I would have rolled down in stitches. Imagine this, the consultant shouting the instructions is standing right next to me, he knows I have "no Hindi" yet he speaks to me in Hindi in that situation.

I have therefore come to the conclusion that this is Rome. Though learning medicine in Hindi is proving to be quite tasteless, like eating salt less food, never the less if one is hungry, even salt less food with satisfy and with time you begin to consider it a low salt diet.

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