Punch and dignity

It was a winter night in 2001. The emergency room where I was on duty was very tense.

Tua directly only three doctors, with two elderly nurses and some young students shoots. I was in charge of the third pole so I was under all pressure. All patients were urgent and stressed, so I had to prioritize, classify serious illnesses to handle and issue appropriate orders.

The patient was very crowded in the hospital. Sometimes, there are people who are disappointed with the long wait. Some people become violent and violent. In order not to be attacked, I had to take short steps without appearing impatient.

More than 23 pm that I still have not eaten. A father took his 10-year-old son to the hospital because of a bloody scalp tear. I have examined and explained that a scalp tear will cause a lot of blood to leak out, but it is not as dangerous as patients with internal injuries, so the nurse will perform a first aid bandage and waiting for us to have time to solve But her father does not agree.

The father after a question, intimidation, and cursing; He reached out and punched me in the face, spat a spit at the center of my face, and threatened to kill my whole family.

At that time, my heart was heavy. All the patients, the patients' families, the two old nurses and the young students, everyone turned to me in awe and no one dared say a word. I have never been humiliated in my life. At that moment, I had only two options, either to sit there to continue being beaten with saliva beaches, or run out to avoid intimidation and shame. I want to disappear!

And I ran out with dead feelings. The father chased after me, grabbed me by the neck, threw me in the trash and threatened. I never imagined humiliation and shame like that. That was the moment when I felt the most lonely. It leaves emotional scars that will never be lost on me. My dignity has been stripped and my self-worth destroyed.

All the next developments are really bad. In the days that followed, I occasionally received a threatening message. I feel worn out physically, psychologically and emotionally. Phobia cannot name, but I also see insults, baseless allegations, humiliation and isolation.

I choose to live in silence. Everyday professional work I try to mechanically improve it, but it's hell that becomes familiar. Feelings of shame and guilt immersed in the darkness of the secret.

The wound in me is always easy to swell again, especially when a colleague is hit, it will make me suffer more and feel like being humiliated in front of people. And I kept imagining, one day the story would be repeated to me, shivering like that.

I am trapped in a psychological trap that no one can help. I tried to get out of that trap, even thinking of quitting my job, or worse. But the more I thought about it, the more I was in a panic, even though I took a long vacation to go somewhere trying to forget everything.

I cannot share difficulties with anyone. No one knows how hard I got hit. No one would have imagined I'd heard cynicism and intimidation, and spit spit straight in my face.

No one knows that every day on the road, I have to look first and see if anyone is following me, and then I have to change my phone number constantly because there are strange messages threatening to kill the whole family.

Finally, after nearly a year of living in fear, I decided to do something about it. I was too tired. I no longer want to continue those days.

And I have written an application to transfer. I knew that if I continued to be a surgeon with a scalpel, something I'd longed for during my six years of college, I would have to face many of those punches and threats. I knew that if I continued on the path I had originally chosen, then to go to glory I would have to go through a lot of dark journeys.

The wound in me is so big, that I can only fix it by moving out of my previous job, to a safer field where I will have both career and life. Less face the dangers.

I went very far and started looking back. It took many years for me to repair soul damage. I'm not bitter and resentful, I forgive my angry father who beat and threatened me, but I don't want myself and my colleagues to fall into such situations, don't want anyone deprived. self-worth and honor.

Physical violence is dangerous, but the psychological consequences are lasting. Every day, I still receive phone calls from my colleagues, saying that they were shocked when family members threatened to claim the doctor's life. In those moments, I understood very well that colleagues were desperate and needed sharing. But who can help them, or all of them fall silent and let the doctor find a way to heal for years like me.

Medicine is a difficult job. But the violence that will make our work much more difficult. If the law continues to treat medical violence as street conflicts, it is the silence to support violence development.

Yesterday, a colleague of mine was punched in the middle of the face, right at my hospital. And like so many other times, I read discussions, ideas, and maybe even some policy proposals. But perhaps like me 17 years ago, everything will stop at the comments - and the doctor will suffer the wounds that punch caused.

Tran Van Phuc