Friday, 16 September 2011

Learning from experience

During my 17 (ahem) years as a pharmacist, I can definitely say I learn something new every day...and most of what I learn helps me to be a better pharmacist.

Much of my learning comes from what my patients tell me from their own experiences and the rest of it comes from personal experience.

When I had a wisdom tooth extracted and the socket became infected, I found I became much more sympathetic towards patients with tooth ache. It REALLY hurts by the way. The sort of pain which doesn't go away and makes you unable to think about or focus on anything else.

Before I had my son, I thought I gave pretty good advice to pregnant ladies and new mums. Now I know what they really mean when they talk about the pain of breast feeding and the experience of spraying the walls in your local cafe with breast milk because you can't quite wrestle newborn to nipple and maintain modesty when you've only had three hours sleep. I can also add retained placenta, indigestion, piles and sleep deprivation to the learning list thanks to pregnancy and childbirth.

So on Wednesday morning, when I left the house with my small son to walk him to nursery before I went on to work, I didn't know what new experiences I would be able to add to the list. I am fairly sure that getting knocked over by a taxi whilst crossing a road wasn't the first thing to spring to mind!

So what have I learnt from this experience that will make me a better pharmacist?
  • Paramedics, A&E staff, hospital midwives and the Sick Kids in Edinburgh all do a brilliant job at picking us up and putting us back together again.
  • A parent's first and over-riding instinct is to protect their child - even if that involves shoving them out of the way of harm.
  • Getting hit by a ton of German engineering really doesn't hurt much at the time!!
  • Arnica works for bruises.
  • Getting hit by a ton of German engineering really does hurt a lot after 24 hours.
  • Paracetamol must be taken regularly if it is to properly help with pain
  • Getting hit by a ton of German engineering hurts even more after 48 hours.
  • Being pregnant means only being able to take regular paracetamol. That doesn't cut it!
  • Avoid coughing, sneezing or laughing if you have cracked ribs.
In future I will try to look for easier ways to fill my CPD record and maintain my registration as a pharmacist, but I hope my patients appreciate the lengths some pharmacists go to in order to be able to expand their learning.


  1. Ow ow ow. Hope learning curve mercifully shallow.

  2. Good blog! you must be on the way to recovery if you are able to write amusingly about a pretty traumatic incident. But it could have been worse, thank God it wasn't. Swift and complete recovery hoped for. Mxx

  3. Oh my goodness! Hope you are okay!!!

  4. Thanks Erica. I'm fine and feeling much better. As you say M it could be much worse.
    Ow ow ow indeed Ellen. Coughing and sneezing not good at the mo