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LETTER | Tough task masters a norm in essential services

LETTER | The medical fraternity is an essential service just like the police and fire brigade services in any community.

These professions on a daily basis deal with saving lives and property.

They require both mental and physical steadfastness apart from many other traits that go with the risks of the roles and functions as stipulated in the relevant regulations and their internal standing orders coupled with the expected moral and ethical standards.

It is a tough transition and thus it is normal for new recruits or employees to go through rigorous tests from the outset so as to prepare them for the reality of the tasks ahead which more often than not, involve the risk of losing life and limb, be it theirs or those they treat or try to assist.

It is the norm that their baptism of fire during training and probation is tailored to test the limits of their skills, ability to think and decide quickly, courage, endurance, stamina, patience, and more crucially the ability to make life or limb saving decisions in split seconds.

In most situations, the young recruit or employee is gradually subjected to extreme situations under the supervision and expert guidance of an experienced superior.

This is further supervised by the respective chain of command. They have to perform under extreme pressure and must get used to making tough calls even though they are fatigued.

They have to put duty above personal matters and that is not easy to attain. It can only be achieved if they have a resolute understanding of their responsibilities and that their lives are secondary to those they treat or help.

It is a total selfless sacrifice and requires extreme toughness when the going gets tough.

This transformation from their carefree days of being students to this profession with heavy responsibilities must be complete.

Cruel to be kind

Good and tough intentions can be misconstrued as bullying.

Trainers have to put on a very tough mask in order to achieve this goal and those who cannot meet expectations must be weeded out for their own sake and for those they will treat or help in future.

Negligence and incompetence can be fatal.

Most experienced supervisors have to be cruel to be kind to young interns in these essential service professions and they usually do with the best interest of the organisation they serve.

Bullies do exist but they must be clearly identified and removed swiftly by experienced senior personnel so as not to demoralise the whole culture of getting these young interns ready for the real tough tasks ahead.

The men must be separated from the boys in essential service professions and let us not be hasty in calling all tough supervisors bullies.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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