September 21, 2023

Gaining Comprehension in the Czech Republic

Ahoj! That means hello in Czech. I would like to introduce myself. My name is Lukiteswari Dyah Tri Hapsari. Most people call me Luki. I am a fourth-year medical student at the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Airlangga. Such an honor, I got the opportunity to take part in the SCOPE exchange program by the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) that was held for a month in the Czech Republic. As a clerk student, I was placed at the Department of Plastic Surgery, Olomouc University Hospital, Palacky University. Through this article, I’m going to give my summary of this wonderful journey.

My journey began in August 2023. To get to Olomouc, I have to land at Václav Havel Airport in Prague. It takes 3 flights to Prague, from Surabaya to Changi, Changi to Doha, and Doha to Prague, in total estimated more than 22 hours. Also, I need to take a train or bus from Prague to Olomouc for almost 3 hours. But it is worth the long hours of journey! Olomouc is very beautiful, especially each building’s architecture. The city has an abundance of historical buildings. All architectural styles, from the Romanesque style to modern, are represented in its urban landscape.

The next day, we were escorted to the Department of Plastic Surgery. There, I met MUDr Bohumil Zálěsák as chief of the Department of Plastic Surgery, at Palacky University and supervisor during the program. He gave a warm celebration and invited me to immediately follow the department’s ongoing schedule of activities. I was allowed to observe any operations and procedures in this department. They have a clinic schedule (or they can call an ambulance) every weekday and a total of around one to eleven surgery schedules in one day starting from 07.00 am—03.00 pm. For its facilities, this department is facilitated by two ambulance rooms and two operating rooms (OR). The ambulance room is used to handle patient screening, patient handling, surgery planning, and postoperative control. Meanwhile, OR is used to handle operations that are distinguished again based on how big the case is. The first OR room, namely Opech. The room is usually used for minor operations so only local anesthesia is used. The second OR room, namely COS03. The room is usually used for major operations so general anesthesia is used. I was informed about the SOP that applies in this hospital. Starting from, when you come you must wear a white scrub uniform with white professional indoor shoes too. In addition, when entering the operating room, Opech is required to change clothes by wearing green OP clothing, head coverings, and masks. Whereas for the COS03 operating room, it is required to wear disposable blue OP clothing, head coverings, and masks.

Every day, I take part in clerkship activities according to the operating schedule given. I make observations and sometimes become a doctor’s assistant. The most common case in this department is suspected skin cancer so excision surgery is performed with the aim of biopsy. Other cases are lipografting, liposuction, mastectomy, and circumstance malformation. The doctors explain the procedures and management of disease in patients. Not infrequently, the doctors give quizzes and invite discussions about disease cases. It was a very extraordinary experience for me, especially because I felt I could gain knowledge and be involved too.

Through this exchange program, I had the opportunity to meet other incomings from various countries in the world. To be honest, at first, I was worried that the atmosphere would be awkward. But it was not! We exchanged stories ranging from stories about our respective cultures and traditions to personal stories. They are very friendly, kind, and tolerant. We respect each other’s differences of opinion. We often spend time together. We usually go to parks and visit historical places, such as the Old Town, the Astronomical Clock, and the Churches, also towers. The National Food & Drink Party activities held by IFMSA in Hradec were also very impressive. We, who are from Indonesia, cooked rendang and instant fried noodles. Surprisingly, it was gone in 10 minutes. They said they liked it. We also tried other food from Portugal, Spain, France, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and more! It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know the cultures and traditions of another country.

By Lukiteswari Dyah Tri Hapsari