Posted by: Ayla Atalar21 MAY 2011
Exams are almost over, and needless to say, my fellow pharmacy peers and I are all starting to smile again. As mentioned in my previous blog, UEA pharmacy students had the worst exam timetable ever. And this is not an exaggeration. The stress, worrying and fear of failing made me think that perhaps there should be a regulation for exam timetables where there is a limit to how close exams can be, especially for a degree like MPharm. As pharmacy is a degree that consists of virtually everything patient, medicine and human body related, there is definitely a lot to learn and having enough time between exams, even a day, would make a big difference and allow us to gain the best results we can.
A module I had to revise for was ‘infectious diseases’, which contained two lectures on HIV and HIV therapy. For the sake of me, I could not remember the names of the HIV drugs and I hope I am not the only one struggling with this. However, I found it of great interest that very recently, there was a breakthrough. If antiretroviral drugs are given early on in a HIV diagnosis, there is a 96% reduction in HIV being transferred to their partners. Antiretroviral drugs are usually given to patients when their CD4 cell count drops, but if given before this, HIV transmission can be prevented. Hopefully this could play a huge step in reducing the number of HIV transmissions.
During my seemingly never-ending revision, I had countless cups of tea and also hit the coffee. While procrastinating one day, I ended up reading a newspaper and read that drinking four or more cups of tea a day increases the risk of arthritis by 78%. I was devastated. I am a huge tea lover and I can never stray too far away from a big mug of tea. It was also found that drinking any amount of tea increases the risk by 40%. Coffee had no effect on arthritis showing it is something in the tea, or the way tea is prepared. From revising rheumatoid arthritis, I learned that woman are three times more likely than men to develop arthritis and so, as a tea obsessed woman, I sadly thought to myself that the amount of tea I have really needs to be reduced even though it was recommended that drinking habits should not change due to these findings.
But where can people go to get more advice about the relevance of certain findings like these? Pharmacists should all be aware of recent findings and explain the risks and benefits to their patients. It would lead to less people searching the Internet to find health scares, and instead lead to confident reassurance that is relevant to each specific individual. It should to be made more aware to the general public that pharmacists are there to not only dispense medicines and council patients, but also to give general and specific health advice.