Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The pharmacy and the pharmacist :-)

Lynn, Miriam and Tatiana -  I am in awe of your job and definately wouldn't want to do it for real!

Since arriving back I have been working in the Pharmacy -best imagined by the idea of working in a big cupboard with many shelves jam packed full of stuff. While the hospital has been closing down and packing up the Pharmacy has still been busy, especially as Miriam is the only Pharmacist since Tatiana left a couple of weeks ago. In fact I am amazed they ever get any work done the number of interuptions and queries (and that is without the hospital being in action!), but maybe that is why they usually have two pharmacists. 

The most important job (in my view) was making sure the seasickness pills are packed ready for crew. The most important job according to Miriam, who actually knows about such things, was to make sure that we had all the drugs on the Mandatory Sailing List stored in the right places ready for the sail so that we are obeying the law. The pharmacy is still open for crew while at the same time has been receiving drugs back from the wards, dental team, palliative care team etc. The boxes of returned drugs seemed to be multiplying faster than the drugs could all be checked and entered back into the pharmacy stock. We have had to destroy any drugs (that have not been able to be donated locally) that are expired or about to expire as we will not be running a pharmacy in South Africa. This seemed a little painfully slow, having to empty all glass vials, scribble on all drug labels going in the general waste and tear drug boxes, but all in an effort to ensure our waste is not turned into a dodgy business by someone who gets their hands on them! This is Africa after all, and all the waste is rummaged through regularly. That all done things have now been packed up and the tedious process of weighing every item before the sail has commenced. Fortunately many hands make light work and last week we had the help of some Mercy Team folk, and this week help from the lab and palliative care. Once this is finished we lock them all up, brace the cupboards for the sail and get ready to supply the crew with sea-sickness pills.Well, Miriam does :)

So to finish, it is eye opening how much goes on in the big cupboard, I wouldn't fancy working there all the time, but it is fun to play down there with pill bags, syringes and weighing scales for a while at least.
Oh and Happy Birthday Miriam and Tatiana!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for this blog! interesting that pharmacies exist as cupboard in other places too!!! I am glad you were able to help Miriam. Is there another pharmacist coming soon?
hope all going well with you all, lots of love Lynn xxxx