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Medicine, the only profession that labors incessantly to destroy the reason for its existence. (J Bryce)

September 16, 2008

Tuesday was a hectic day for me. I’d just woken up to a rather disturbing view of torrential rain outside my window in Dublin when I realized that the Celebrate and Review Day was to begin in half an hour. Cue some speedy dressing and eating that would put even competitive eaters to shame and I was out of the door before I could say ‘What time IS it?!?’  

  While running down O’Connell St in the rain, holding on my red hat and clutching a bag full of Boots products in the other, I somehow managed to rehearse my presentation in my head. I would stand up, hand out the leaflets I’d printed out the night before and, with a natural and pleasant smile on my face, discuss the topic I’d chosen for the presentation (herbal products), with a particular focus on the immune system.

     The group would sit there, riveted and intensely fascinated in what I had to say. They would find the pamphlet the most overwhelming thing they’d had to read all week. I would come away feeling calm and happy about the whole thing.

  

The reality was slightly different. My presentation was interspersed with a marching band going down the road and I got rather flustered and ended up waving my hand at the product display and pointing at the leaflets unnecessarily. I think I got my point across though and it seemed to be well received. 

I’m attaching  the leaflet/ store resource I made,  so you can see what I did. Basically I knew I wanted to do something about herbal products and that sort of thing, so I went around the store and made a list of all the natural remedies I could find and organized them by condition.  I learned tons doing it and it really helped me to understand the different uses for each product and also made me much more confident in recommending such products to the patients.

 

  Back to the Celebrate and Review day- I actually misjudged the time and ended up getting there half an hour early. I spent this time looking over my material for the exam that afternoon (pharmaceutics practical) and hoping nothing too challenging would come up.  In the Lir suite, we were welcomed enthusiastically and asked to befriend the people around us by telling each other something interesting about ourselves and also a lie….and the others in the group had to decide what the lie was. I said my name was John. That lie was easy enough to spot. Maybe I should have put a bit more effort into it,but I decided to save my energy for the presentation. After this we were put into other groups and asked to produce a large poster, provided with glue sticks and stacks of magazines. It was reminscent of primary school, particularly with the glue sticks, something I hadn’t encountered in a good few years.  Our poster was like a spider chart- ‘BEST’ ‘WORST’ , ‘ADVICE’ and ‘WHAT I LEARNED’ were surrounded by words and phrases such as ‘Feeling part of the community’  ‘becoming more confident’ ‘dealing with irritating customers’ and ‘quiet times in the pharmacy’.  

The posters stuck up on the wall, we all stood around the room in a line and each group discussed their poster. Summarized- we all learned a lot from the program, we felt more confident in ourselves, we learned how to deal with people and we learned a lot more about medicines….. 

Back into our groups again, it was time for the presentation. The time for my exam was drawing closer and I’d pre-arranged to leave early so I could make it. 

As a result my presentation was first. I arranged the products on the table and stood beside it, perhaps unwisely as it meant I was silhouetted against the window with people squinting into the light.  This was remedied by pulling down a blind and I started off talking about how natural products in the pharmacy didn’t have as much of an advertising impact as the branded products, but many were just as useful to promoting health, then I told them how  I put the project together.  The products I brought along were examples of those recommended in the pamphlet. Below each list of products was a recommendation I’d made on the basis of experience, discussion with the pharmacists and from research into the topics. I pointed this out and wrapped up by asking if there were any questions. 

       I had to go on the run again, over to Trinity and spent the rest of the afternoon in the pharmaceutics lab, marvelling at what a beautiful orange colour  Tetracycline HCl gel produced and rejoicing at the smoothness of my suppositories, so I’m afraid I can’t give any more information on that day. I’m sure one of the other bloggers will be able to provide a more indepth account of that day.  

Rowena, the pharmacist, had left us to take up a place in the Boots on Grafton St and I popped in to see her. She was hard at work but had time to say hi and we arranged to meet for coffee next week.

I had another exam on Thursday, so I didn’t return to work until Friday.   

 

I worked Friday and Saturday was my last day. The last few days passed uneventfully and on Saturday I was presented with a bottle of wine and a lovely card signed by everyone. To increase the pathos further, I was on until 7pm and was one of the two locking up the store. As it went dark, I imagined violins playing in the background and I sat on the windowsill with my Boots briefcase, waiting for my lift.  My Boots Summer Placement Program ’08 had come to an end. 

I did enjoy the wine, though.

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