Oh Byungchul kept shaking his head, glancing at Suhyuk.
He carried out all the work he was instructed to so. Nothing he could not accomplish.
Oh felt all the more need to test him.
There were not many patients, and he had some free time.
At that moment, a patient with a wry face was taken to the emergency room.
Oh signalled his eyes to Suhyuk, “Can you take care of him?”
Suhyuk’s eyes became wide. No resident has ever let him take care of a patient before.
That was only natural because he was an intern.
It was like giving up a patient to let an intern treat him or her.
Suhyuk understood that he would normally not be asked to do such a thing, but the opportunity now came along to him.
He has been waiting for that kind of instruction all this time.
With a short answer he approached the patient sitting on the bed.
Oh shook his head once more at his attitude.
‘Thank you? Isn’t it normal for an intern to get so nervous or tremble just like an intern?’
Besides, his eyes seemed to twinkle.
Oh followed him because he wanted to prevent him from making any trouble in advance.
A man with a wry face. He looked like a man in his early 20s.
Anybody looking at his behavior could figure out immediately that he had pain in his hand.
For he was supporting his right hand with his left one as if it were a splint.
Suhyuk opened his mouth, “Did your hand get hurt?”
He nodded his head.
“How did it get hurt?”
“When I fell, I supported myself on the ground with my left hand. I wonder if the bone was fractured.”
“Let me briefly take a look.”
Suhyuk held his hand cautiously. No signs of swelling.
“Were you okay in the past?”
“Yes, I think it hurts because I fell down.”
Suhyuk nodded. He had no symptoms of edema.
This time he examined the figure of his hand. Given that there was no distortion, did he have a fracture?
“Can you move your fingers?”
His trembling fingers moved.
“Just turn your wrist.”
The patient’s wrist turned with effort. Given his grim face, it seemed he barely managed to turn it.
Saying so, Suhyuk pressed on the back of his hand with his thumb gently. When he pressed on one area, a painful moaning came out from the patient’s mouth.
It was the area of anatomical snuffbox, a triangle-shaped concave seen when one raises his thumb with the palm open.
The name of a disease came to his mind. ‘Scaphoid fracture.’
Where there is a scaphoid fracture, one feels a pressure and ache on their anatomical snuffbox, an area that connects the carpal bones. Whenever one uses their wrist, the scaphoid supports it. Because it is used constantly, it receives a lot of stimulation. Fractures can be common when one falls with one’s hand supporting one’s weight or when one’s wrist is broken
Suhyuk opened his mouth, looking at Oh.
“Looks like it is scaphoid fracture.”
A dubious expression was formed on Oh’s face. How can he determine it’s a bone fracture just by pressing the patient’s one finger?
“Are you sure?”
Suhyuk nodded his head.
“I guess so.”
“Take an X-ray shot.”
At his instruction, Suhyuk took the patient to the shooting room, and then he came back to the emergency room and showed Oh a shot uploaded on PC.
Oh closely looked at the shot. He could not figure out anything though.
At that moment Suhyuk pointed to one area with his finger.
Oh opened his mouth immediately.
Suhyuk nodded his head slowly.
He could understand easily what Oh could not figure out.
A scaphoid fracture is so small that even an X-ray can not catch it.
Ironically, an intern was generous enough to understand the sorry circumstances of a resident.
Of course, Oh could not know it even in his dreams.
Suhyuk spoke to him still fixing his gaze on the PC.
“Fortunately, he had no displaced fat pad. As his fracture is not severe, we can fix it with a plaster.”
If one is seriously injured, it is difficult to recover from that injury, and if the blood circulation is not good in the scaphoid fracture, it can lead to the bone disintegrate. Accordingly, one diagnosed with a scaphoid fracture needs to go to the hospital quickly.
“How did you see it?”
At Oh’s asking, he pointed to the X-ray shot.
“Don’t you notice it here?”
Oh shook his head, and murmured to himself,
“Maybe you’re right…”
Then he was speechless.
Two weeks were passing since Suhyuk had been assigned to the emergency medical department. He was hectically busy during that time, and sleeping only three to four hours a day, he stayed there. He deserved it because it was his actual clinical practice. Oh stood by him faithfully, though. Though he trusted him, Oh was a bit worried. That’s understandable because the label ‘intern’ accompanied Suhyuk. However skillful he was, a human being was supposed to make a mistake.
Suhyuk actively roamed around the hospital like a fish in water. As time went on, he looked like a superman. It was because of his way of speaking to and because of his glaring eyes at the patients, above all.
Three to four hours of sleep per day might have made him pooped out, but once he saw patients, he received the patients warmly as if they were his family.
However, when he spoke to himself, he could not be icier. He was like that from the beginning.
His attitude is still the same, and especially so when compared with his attitude towards patients.
1am. Bending his knees, he was matching his eyesight with that of a 9-year-old boy’s.
Such an attitude showed how kind he was to patients.
“Do you still feel hurt?”
The boy, with watery tears in his eyes, nodded.
“You said the name of the dog that bit your fingers was Poppi?”
“If she bites you again next time, bring her here. Let me punish her, so she can never do it again.”
Suhyuk stroked his hair several times, and talked to his parents next to him,
“As you said she is a pet and she has been vaccinated, I didn’t give him a preventive shot against rabies. I’m afraid though that he will lose a fingernail. You don’t have to bring him here anymore because you can do disinfection easily at home.”
When his parents nodded, Suhyuk waved his hands at the boy.
And then Suhyuk said, with a scary expression, “Don’t get hurt and come back here. Okay?”
As if he understood his remarks, the boy grabbed his mother’s hand quickly.
Watching them, Oh just shook his head because he looked like the boy’s real older brother.
Did he tell the boy not to come to the hospital? A doctor would tell him to disinfect even a little wound and come back again to the hospital, because it would lead to monetary gains for the hospital. Can he say the same thing when he opens his own clinic later? Maybe not.
Suhyuk waved his hands at them leaving the hospital.
Then Oh came close to him.
“Let me tell you again, man. You should not overwork yourself. You’re clearly doing this because you love it.”
Other interns are so anxious to take a break, but he would come out even if he was not asked to do so.
“I’m alright,” said Suhyuk.
“You don’t look alright to me.”
Actually his eyes looked drowsy, as if he would fall asleep instantly when he closed his eyes.
Like he said, Suhyuk was so tired. He felt his mind would clear if he could sleep for just one hour. But he could not. What if a new patient comes in during his sleep? He could not sleep, otherwise he would not be able to treat the patient.
“Hey, Oh Byungchul.”
At someone’s sharp voice Oh turned his head to the side, and Suhyuk too.
He was the chief of the emergency medical department.
Approaching Oh, he made a frown, and then he looked at Suhyuk standing a short distance away.
“Even though you’re so busy, how could you let the intern take care of the patients? Are you crazy?”
Actually the chief could not take care of the interns because he himself was busy. Then he heard a strange rumor yesterday. It came from the nurses: an intern was treating patients in the emergency room. It turned out that the instruction was given by Oh, and the intern was Lee Suhyuk.
“In my eyes, he was so smart…”
At his words the chief’s voice became even sharper.
“What? Are you going to take responsibility if he makes a smart mistake? Huh?”
At his screaming Oh could not raise his head.
Suhyuk approached at the calling.
The chief was staring at him sternly.
“An intern is only a trainee. An intern has a long, long way to go when it comes to learning. Then…”
“Who is raising their voice like this in the emergency room?”
They turned their heads. He was the professor at the emergency artery department. He was Prof. Kim Jinwook.
The chief bent his head and bowed. So did the other two.
At Kim’s asking, the chief looked at Suhyuk.
“I heard this intern consulted with patients and even treated them.”
Kim, looking at Suhyuk, nodded his head slowly.
“Consultation and treatment… So? Did he cause any medical accident?”
“I don’t mean that, but an intern’s untrained action might cause the patient…”
Kim asked Suhyuk, “What kind of patients did you…”
He scratched his head. He treated so many patients to the point that he could not remember well. He spoke about one that came to his mind first.
“A patient with pseudoaneurysm…”
“Ooops, it was you who sent the patient to our team? I’d forgotten completely, but now I begin to remember it. How did you find the cause of the disease? As the patient doesn’t feel pain usually, it’s hard to find its cause.”
“He was involved in a traffic accident. He had light bruises, but I had an X-ray taken of him, and found it out then.”
Kim nodded his head, “What a strange chance that patient met!”
An aneurysm was a very dangerous disease when the treatment timing was missed. Because the patient does not appeal of any pain, doctors often missed it. Since Suhyuk found it out, did he not turn a coincidence into a strange chance?
Suhyuk and Prof. Kim were on speaking terms already, so the chief could not cut in.
Kim’s glaring eyes were as if he were looking at gold bars.
Kim, while looking at Suhyuk with a laugh, said to the chief,
“Mr. Lee. This man is quite capable. If someone can treat a patient, regardless of rank, is it only right to assign him to actual clinical practice?”
“Still, professor… what if something wrong happens to the patient…”
“Well, let me take responsibility for that. I’ve known Mr. Lee for very long. Right, Mr. Lee?”
Suhyuk nodded his head, while the chief and Oh opened their eyes wider.
When they were being surprised like that, the nurse watching the patient’s condition touched her cell phone, and thought to herself, “He told me to contact him when Prof. Kim approached Suhyuk.” She sent the text message to him.
In no time at all did another professor arrive at the emergency room, fluttering his white gown.
He was none other than Prof. Lee Mansuk.
At his appearance, Kim smiled bitterly. How did he know to come here?
“I haven’t seen you for a while in the emergency room,” said Prof. Kim.
At his words, Prof. Lee made an expression as if he did not understand it all.
“Well, I’ve come in and out of this place often for a long time,” said Prof Lee.
Prof. Lee then looked at Suhyuk and said, “You’re having a hard time late in the night. Have you eaten?”
“Not yet, sir.”
Prof. Lee and Prof. Kim replied at the same time, “Let’s go.”