Tuesday, January 21, 2014

4 Differences Between Chinese and Canadian Hospitals

Welcome to the hospital!
1. Showtime
At a Chinese hospital, you say goodbye to your privacy as soon as you walk in and pay your 7 yuan entrance fee. Whether you're describing your symptoms or getting examined (or both), expect there to be about 8 non-staff members in the room. Thankfully what I was in for wasn't terrible personal. but I did have a captivated audience when I popped part of my top to let the stethoscope roam about.

2. Have a Seat
Instead of wearing sneakers and dashing about from room to room, doctors in Chinese hospitals sit at desks behind computers, and you come to them. Then you go get a test done and walk the results back to him or her for approval. They also perform examinations while sitting down, so forget any tests that require straightened knees. Who needs all that looking into your eyes and ears anyways? I'm sure they're fine.

3. Quick-Acting
I'm sure that numbers 1 and 2 are factors in this, but Chinese hospitals are pretty fast. Even with a designated lunch break for all the doctors, things move along. Once you take privacy and thorough examinations out of the way, medicine can get going! For example, when you get a blood test, you don't need to get a little room and wait for the technician. You just stick your arm through a window in the waiting room, and then make way for the guy in line behind you. It's basically a blood drive-thru, and we all know how fast those can be.

4. Here's your IV
The default, go-to treatment in a Chinese hospital is administering an IV. I'd never had an IV before coming here, but now I've been to the hospital twice and both times was prescribed IV's. I have no idea what my diagnoses were, but they were IV worthy. It's gotten to the point where I love IV's.... and every time I go I'll be hoping to get one. It's nice, you relax and half-sleep while watching Kung Fu Panda 2 and the magical bag does all the work for you. Mmmmm I can just feel that cool liquid (whatever it is) working its way into my hand... I could really go for some right now.
IV selfie!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's Camp Again

This year I'll tell you about camp.
A lot of students, my teaching assistant Lee, and me.
This is my second bout of camp so far, but this time I can actually find enough time to tell you about it. For two months, July and January, myself and the other foreign teachers at my school have to work as much as actual teachers, and it always breaks me in half. There's more hours, more students, and more infectious diseases.

Now I call it "camp," but keep in mind that I'm in China, so "camp" is actually EXTRA, all-day English classes for young students during a rare break from their regular school. If you haven't heard it from me before- Chinese students are extremely diligent.
Back to work Paddy!
We're halfway through now, and this camp has been no exception to the aforementioned rules: class sizes have ranged from 25-30 students, and a couple staff members have already been in the hospital. It's a stressful time! But with this added stress comes a lot of enjoyment as well. Camp sessions tend to be less formal than our already informal regular classes, so we play a lot of games, and I get to have a lot of fun joking around with the kids in class. For example, it would be very inappropriate for me to sing while students are writing a test in class, but if they're only coloring during a camp session, it's fine for me to softly sing a song into their ear, making up lyrics as I go, about how Crime is the theme of the day. And yes, I made up that theme. We talked about theft and murder and then we made wanted posters.
Some very smart girls and me
Camp sessions also allows me to meet and teach many students that I don't have in regular classes, and I think it brings me closer to those I do have already.
So although camp can bring some good times, I definitely looking forward to what comes next: Spring Festival, going to Thailand, and getting back to our regular, lighter schedule.