OK, so maybe an Oscar isn’t coming my way any time soon. On the weekend I filled in fo a late pull-out as a ‘patient’ in the Pharmacy school’s Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. They’re a short practical exam for training pharmacists in their last 3 semesters of Uni, and they’re designed to assess their ability to obtain accurate information from the patient, make an appropriate recommendation for a treatment or product, and communicate it well.

I was a bit nervous at first because the role of the patient is carefully managed – I had a very specific ‘case’ to present and had to ensure I was consistent for all the students, but because they all make different decisions, it did require a bit of thinking on the go. Fortunately the examiners in the room with me were very helpful and friendly and helped me get used to it. I definitely wasn’t the most nervous in the room though – some of the students presented very professionally and confidently, but when recommending a product, they struggled to pick up the box because their hands were shaking so hard! Perhaps it was my terrifying demeanour…

I’m always keen to try new things and the day opened my eyes a bit about what pharmacists are trained for and actually do – while I had a reasonable idea that they’re highly qualified and smart, it wasn’t until I spoke to a few of the out-in-the-trenches professionals who were there for the day that I got a bit more of an insight into the practice.

Oh, and I now know (25 times over) how to instil an eye drop correctly. Woohoo!

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