Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hospital Placement

When the placement first started it was groans and sighs about early mornings and long days. Towards the end its all too short and the end came too quick.

Yet another one of those little paradoxes of life.


Me at the entrance of the main Austin Hospital.

My 3-weeks placement in Austin Hospital was educational if I am to summarize it in one concise word. It was the most intense 3 weeks where I got to really scrutinise and conceptualise all my medications knowledge gained over the past 3 years in Uni and deploy them in the real world.

Knowing things for exams is different from knowing things in the real setting. You have to literally think on your feet, trying to answer questions on the spot when asked by some pharmacists or even worse, doctors. I was on a ward round once - where the consultant, junior doctors, interns, nurse, pharmacist and a hoard of students from various disciples visit patients one by one. I was trying to look competent, scribing some doodles on my notebook when the consultant asked me a question out of the blue. Try having to think when a few pairs of eyes are boring into you expecting an answer. The pressure was tremendous. 


The repatriation hospital where I spent one week of my placement.

I spent my time in 3 different wards: renal, geriatric and orthopaedics. I got to follow 3 pharmacists with different styles of teaching, but nevertheless managed to derive substantial amount of knowledge and experience from them. There are also various tutorials where I got to make capsules and dispense medicines and do info search, as well as actually counselling and interviewing patients.

I got a taste of what hospital pharmacists do and found out that hospital is not as dull a place as what I initially perceived. They are all sorts of different patients with weird diseases and combinations of medications. I got to analyse the medications they are taking and it is always exciting when you find out that there is something wrong with the medications.


Me with other pharmacist wannabes at the hospital .

It was indeed an exciting and memorable experience. I felt like a real pharmacist for the very first time. Hopefully being a hospital pharmacist in Malaysia is as interesting and rewarding as a hospital pharmacist here.

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