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Hospital work experience: honey, surgical wards and pharmacy trolleys

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I shadowed a pharmacist on a ward round. On one drug chart we noticed that honey had been prescribed and the pharmacist told me that it can be used for necrotic areas of skin. As it is high in sugar it causes osmosis which can help in the healing process. A difference between the hospital I was working in and others I have been in was that the pharmacists and technicians used trolleys when on the ward which allowed them to take everything with them that they needed. It also meant they could be based around the patients instead of having to take the drug charts etc. into a clinical room, thus allowing more communication between the patient and pharmacist. The pharmacist said that a frequent issue on drug charts is prescribing paracetamol in the regular medication section as well as in the as required section. If this is not amended by the pharmacist to paracetamol being in one section only overdoses would be common. The pharmacist also said she had to be aware that on the ward eye drops have an expiry date of seven days after they have been opened as a form of infection control.

I spent some time shadowing a pharmacist on a surgical ward which was different to other wards I have visited in that they have always been medical wards. The main difference the pharmacist said she has noticed is that even if she sees an issue with a patient’s regular medication doctors are reluctant to change it and follow her advice because their primary concern lies with the surgical interventions. The best thing she says she can do in these instances is to at least document her recommendations in the notes so there is a record.

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From: Tomorrow's pharmacist blog

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