Tuesday, June 02, 2009


On Friday I ended my tour of duty in the radiotherapy unit pharmacy, which is just a nicer name for a pharmacy dealing with chemo drugs and dispensing to cancer patients.

It was not a fun place to work, considering the fact that all the patients I saw had an uncertain future in front of them.

I had seen concerned son and daughters standing outside the chemo room for hours, peering through the glass door as their aged parents underwent chemo infusion inside. I had dispensed cancer drugs to mothers who had their young children in tow, and heard crying relatives. It was not a pleasant experience but nevertheless, an enriching experience.

As a pharmacist, I believed that we should sometimes try to think from the side of the patients. What do they expect from us? How do they perceive us? How should we show empathy, to show that we care even though the time we spend with them is limited by how busy we are?

During my stint in the out-patient pharmacy, I wrote a short story from my perceived viewpoint of the patient, which I titled “On opposite sides”.

Now that I had finished my radiotherapy unit, I came out with another short story written from similar viewpoints. Just scroll down to read it.

From tomorrow onwards, I will be posted to the Satellite Pharmacy. Hopefully it will be another good learning experience.


changyang1230 said...
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changyang1230 said...

Just wondering, what kind of chemo drugs do we give to people in the government hospitals? I always heard that only the older drugs are given as the newer drugs are too expensive so the government is not paying for them.

Phiaw said...

dont worry, we got rituximab (MabThera) and transtuzumab (Herceptin). Also Glivec which is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor + all the standard ones like cyclophosphamide, gemcitabine, irotinecan, pacitaxel etc etc