I didn't took up any part/full time job at any retail pharmacy nor did I study throughout the 'waiting period' (dari grad sampai posting). I was basically busy 'embracing' motherhood. So..yeah, I started with the leftover memories of what I learnt back then in uni and with a little bit of quick last minute research like what phone apps that'll help...teehee~
My first station was satellite pharmacy which does ward supply to 3 wards. It's relatively light in the sense that I get to take some time to familiarize with the computerised pharmacy system, medications available in the hospital and the common dosages. Oncalls starts after 1 month of working and locums starts after 2 months so the first few weeks were pretty okay (kot). The real hassle starts when you have to cope with reports, presentations, oncalls, locums, homeworks, going back late to finish PRP workload aside from being a PRP from 8 to 5 (especially when it's clinical attachment). Oh..adding to that is - household chores, mommy chores, wife chores. Maybe I'll talk about being PRP and a mom in next post.
There were overwhelmingly a lot of medication and dosage forms and dosages and calculations to remember. And there are special techniques and counselling points for some. It is impossible to know everything by heart in the first few weeks unless you're super-competent or a prodigy which I am not. I was just one little PRP overwhelmed with the amount I had on my plate to swallow. I did ask seniors how to actually know all that and their answer (which will also be my answer if anyone asks me) was that the knowledge/skills will develop with time. Some might take quite a while, some took shorter time...but preceptors won't be happy when you can't answer and you'll feel the pressure. Another pressuring situation would be at the counter screening medications with a long line of patients and you barely remember the usual dose, amount of certain prepacked medication/strengths available plus still a tortoise at calculating paediatric doses. Phew~ Again, practice makes perfect. After 1 year, I still open the Blue Book/lexicomp/ask or look around though. I forget and sometimes I never encountered and dont know. I human.
Of all things I have to do during the various attachments, I think I despise ward rounds during clinical attachment. Not because of questions or whatsoever but the physical part of it - standing for a longgggg time. Lenguh pinggang. I have no idea how everyone else remained so calm and collected sampai habis round. Me, dah suku pun dah cannot pay attention to specialist because rasa pinggang nak tercabut. Specialist tanya about NOAC pun I thought Norad (Noradrenaline) - it was medical ward bukannya ICU, dah kenapa nak bagi Norad kannnn. Maybe it has something to do with the fall I had back then when I was 13. I really had a hard time following rounds. I'd be envying the patients lying on their beds and when I saw empty beds I'd be fantasizing lying down. Yes, that desperate.
Another challenging part would probably be the "customer service" part when you have to deal directly with patients...be it at the counter or at the bedside. Customer service is always 'something' and senior pharmacists would probably have faced more and a larger variety of customer issues. The unique challenge in my PRP setting, for me (in my opinion) would be the language and knowledge barrier. Many patients came from the outskirts of town or some village far far away and couldn't speak/understand other than their native languages (as for where I worked in, it's Iban). Also,many weren't schooled hence the inability to read. Some don't recognize numbers. Some can't tell time. I'll update this part later.
PRP would probably be un-survive-able without awesome friends and kind colleagues/seniors. You and probably others too can't and won't know everything hence the beauty of helping others and getting help. I can't be more thankful to the friend that picked up my calls during odd hours to entertain questions like how to supply this med and where do they keep this med...the friend who stayed back to guide me doing extemporaneous eye drops during oncall...the friend who helped with queries...the friend who let me practice counselling on her...the friend who shared references...the friend who gave tips for the next attachment...the friend who let me use her copies of counselling leaflets...the friend who'd hear my frustrations, belanja makan, tolong tapau etc etc...the PPF who helped me counsel in Iban...the PPF who shares food...the PPF who helped out with screening meds...the senior who gave motivation & guidance...the senior who'd welcome your questions etc etc ....there's too much to list out. May Allah bless all of them.
Baru habis PRP. Baru setahun jagung. There's a lot more to learn. FRP will definitely come with it's own challenges pulak.