Young Doctor Programme Series: 3rd Posting at Nuclear, Oncology and Radiotherapy (NOR)

Greetings to all.


Today, I release the third part of Young Doctor Programme Series, and sorry for release it a bit late. For those who still not read the first part and second part, you can do so by checking previous post.

The third posting was conducted on second day. Please enjoy your reading.


It was second day of Young Doctor Programme. We arrived early at the HUSM. The weather also very good today. After we arrived at HUSM at 8.00 a.m., all of us moved towards Dewan Rufaidah to gather before we were starting our next posting. While waiting the time to 9.00 a.m., Sister who in charge us asked the students to come in front and told their experience on their first and second posting. The stories were very funny and also a little bit sad.

It was exactly 9.00 a.m. when we were moved. Once again, I was transferred into other new group. I was the only boy in that group while the others were girls. Luckily, all of them were my classmates. They were Atikah, Khadijah and Aziani. We were guided to NOR department which was situated in front of Dental Clinic. At the time we entered this department, only a few patients were there. We sat for a while to wait for Dr. Ismail, the doctor who worked in Nuclear Unit. We released our breath when we saw Dr. Ismail. After knowing each other, Dr. Ismail gave us an overview about NOR. Nuclear unit was working on treatment and investigation of cancer disease. In the other hand, Oncology Unit was where the patients can see the Oncologists and the Radiotherapy Unit was involving in treatment using radioactive ray.

First, Dr. Ismail brought us to Registration Counter and pointed to a board showed the activities at NOR on that day. NOR held about ten activities on that day include daily check up. Then, we followed him to Nuclear Unit that just behind the Registration Counter. He gave to us some information about radioactive.

Radioactive is unstable molecules. So, safety are very important at NOR. One of the radioactive that always been used is Iodin-131 that used on thyroid cancer patients. This molecule also can be use to treat other type of cancer. Iodin-131 used to diagnose cancer in human body. Half -life of this radioactive is eight days and it is 364 keV. Once the Iodin-131 was put into body by injection, suck the gases or drink in the form of liquid, Gamma Camera is using to check the present of that radioactive in the body. This unstable molecule will draw together at the place where abnormal human cells were grown. Radioactive also can be use to check problem at our heart. The technique was called SPECT-Single Photon Electro Cardio Technique.

After giving some general information about Nuclear Unit, he brought us around. There were six rooms. One of the rooms was for a patient who having radioactive treatment session. This room was very special. The wall was very thick to avoid radioactive ray from harming others. While brought us to ‘Bahagian Sedia’, which was a room to measure and prepare the radioactive element. Dr. Ismail said the maximum a people could be expose to radioactive ray was only 50mSv per year. There was a scale in this room use to the radioactive ray. This scale will make a loud sound if the radioactive ray reached the limit. He also brought us to a room that placed Gamma Camera and showed the picture taken by that stuff. All of the information taken by that camera will be stored in a computer to analyse the pictures.

Linear accelerator

After an hour we were at Nuclear Unit, Dr. Ismail sent us to Radiotherapy Unit. There were about ten patients when we reached there. At the counter, the workers were concentrating on their duties. There were three televisions to monitor patients that been given treatment in a room that placed ‘Linear Accelerator’. We got a chance to enter that room and see what was inside it. The patients who been given treatment, need to cover their part of body that should not involve in the treatment with a block that that made of steel. When the treatment was done, this room will be closed to avoid gamma ray from exposing to other person. We also met a Radiotherapist who was ex-student of MRSM Pengkalan Chepa. She told us some stores about our school at her schooling time and her job at Radiotherapy Unit. She said, before a patient was taken into Linear Accelerator Room, the patient will be sent to ‘Bilik Simulasi’ to prepare the patient before exposing to Gamma Ray and to recognise part of the body for the treatment.

As the clock showed 10.30 a.m., we asked for permission for a break before we continued our posting. We spent half an hour at Dewan Rufaidah while talked with friends and told out experiences.

11.00 a.m.. Khadijah, Atikah, Aziani and I started to move to NOR Department once again to continue our third posting. We went directly to Oncology Unit and waited for a minute before Che Adida, the Sister in Oncology Unit appeared. She started to give a briefing about Oncology Unit as quickly as she had a lot of job to do. She said, Oncology Unit was a placed where cancer patients could take their medicines and met the Oncologists. There was a room, called ‘Day Care Room’, provided for the patients who taken chemotherapy treatment so they could easily observed by the staff nurses. As I already known, Che Adida said that chemotherapy could give negative effects to the patients like nausea, vomiting and lethargy. Chemotherapy was not to cure the cancer completely, but to reduce the size of tumor or cancer, so it would not harm the patients’ body. When we were in ‘Day care Room’, there was only a patient with six beds provided. We leaved this room and took a seat to rest for a couple of minutes.

Then, we got a chance to meet with Mrs. Noza, a tutor at NOR. She gave to us some information about cancer too. She said cancer can be found in form of solid and liquid. The solid cancer was happened to every human cell except for blood, which was cancer of liquid. She added, there were three ways treatment that conducted by HUSM. They were surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The patients who had cancer disease will have that for a whole of their lifetime. The meaning of cured for cancer patients were they can survive for more than five years. Deep in my heart, I hope I will never get this sickness. Mrs. Noza continued by giving some motivation to us. She wanted us especially the girls to become the oncologist because at HUSM, the Oncologists were men. We finished our session early at 12.15 p.m.. We thanked to Mrs. Noza for her information. Once again we leaved NOR Department to go to Dewan Rufaidah four our lunch and prepared for our last posting.

beliamuda: pictures here are only for decoration purpose…

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