Community Pharm, Day 1

Today was probably the closest to a culture shock day that I’ve had since I’ve been here. Just one of those days where I really had to take a step back and say whoa, what in the name of goodness is going on here? Then try to remember that while I am in a modern country, I am not in Canada, and the roles and scope of practice and standard of care will vary here. 

I think the hardest part is the different expectations, as to my role as a student and what a student-preceptor relationship should be. I’ve been really lucky over the years to have the sort of preceptors who have morphed into mentors. The kind you can text random questions to out of the blue, and they are genuinely invested in learning with you. Canada has done an incredible job of fostering a culture where students and preceptors learn from each other, so that the relationship is mutually beneficial.

Unfortunately, while all the preceptors I’ve encountered so far are absolutely incredible at their jobs, this mutual learning thing doesn’t seem to be so ingrained. I think it would take me a full degree again to work out where I fit into the healthcare system. 

We did start our day today with a walk with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, down to the jetty, which was lovely! The whole community is really curious when they meet us, and very friendly. 

Our main role here will be participating in a study regarding chronic kidney disease. The idea is picking up on risk factors out in the community, to encourage earlier and more frequent screening by GPs. It creates a great opportunity for dialogue on blood pressure and diabetes management. Everyone so far has been pleased as punch to spend 15-30 minutes having a yarn with us, and that is just such a pleasant surprise. We felt like we were running clinic, and that we actually knew what we were doing, and it was the best feeling. We even had a successful smoking cessation intervention! Say what?!

The sunset over the harbour was gorgeous, and I think there’s a salmon farm out there. You might barely be able to see some black nets in the picture. I’ll try to remember to ask a local about it tomorrow. 


Now back to studying!



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