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There's a time and a place for laughing at yourself

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These holidays I have been lucky enough to snatch myself a summer placement from the hoards of pharmacy students across the land. I have currently been there approximately a week now and I am already so tired it is untrue, I feel this is a sign I'm getting to old to keep up with the student lifestyle of constantly burning the candle at both ends. But this blog post is not just another rant of mine, no its purpose is to inform.

The information I am so eager to impart is a lesson I learned today whilst on my placement. And it is this, that, for a pharmacist, a self-deprecating sense of humour should not be used when talking to patients. I have an example of why it doesn't work that I shall share.

Today whilst giving a patient their medication I used the phrase 'you would hope so wouldn't you' in reference to the general prescription service. I must emphasise that I was joking during small talk about myself and no one else, as I would not wish to insult their integrity. However, the look I received from the patient was one of doubt and uncertainty, which caused me to back track and say 'of course I'm only joking' to which they smiled and shuffled away a bit baffled. 

The conclusions I have drawn from this experience is that I not only need to practice small talk and possibly think before I speak but that don't joke about the profession at all — ever. Because it throws doubt into the patient's mind about your capabilities and their trust in you and your colleagues. And for future reference definitely don't do what I did.

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From: Tomorrow's pharmacist blog

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