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Practice Pearls

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  1. 15/05/2006

    AusPharm's Pearlcaster Peter Allen says:

    Victorian PSA members received a flyer this week announcing that the wonderful Merck Manual, one of our desert island references, has a new edition, costing members $110. They point out that it is mandatory to own the textbook in Victoria. It probably is in all states, and if not, ought to be.

    Well, in a way it is. But not exactly.

    Once when the Pharmacy Board inspector visited, she asked to see my copy. I showed her where the full text was made freely available to everyone on the internet, and more...More... premium

  2. 27/04/2006

    Q. What does an agnostic dyslexic insomniac do at night?

    A. Lies awake wondering if there is a dog.


    Long ago, Dr (of Psychology) Bob Montgomery had a regular radio session in Melbourne, where he would talk on human behaviour. Far from 'pop' psychology, he was always adding, '... the literature tells us...' because Dr Bob is a behaviourist. I knew him as a local practitioner before he moved up to Bond University as an academic, and he read all the journals. For an explanation of that, and more than you thought you needed to know on just about anything, go to . He talked a lot of common sense...except you probably hadn't thought about what he said, until he said it and made it seem reasonable. He had one pearl that I took on and have used with success in counselling people who are having sleeping problems, especially in getting back to sleep in the middle of the night.

    Put a penny in the slot and read on... More... premium

  3. 24/03/2006

    Do your feet smell? Does your nose run?

    Then you must be built upside-down. *Boom Boom*

    Not very funny if you're afflicted with the feet of death. Worse even if you live with someone whose sox walk all by themselves, seeking a like-minded smelly cheese. Not very funny at all, I suppose. But sweaty and smelly feet that 'run in the family' is a common enough symptom in community pharmacy, and their sufferers will put you in their will, if you can fix them; they think it is a lifetime affliction. It's not, you CAN actually cure those feet. No sweat.

    Read about mankind's frequently pathetic use of CBW (Chemical and Biological Weapons) and WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) against alien invaders. Everything is Chemistry: let us explore the historical use of poisons both gentle and nasty in the service of man. And the survival of the footest.More... premium

  4. 10/02/2006

    You've made up a bottle of Wondermycin antibiotic mixture for young Eponee Ray and you just can't remember the name of her mother; Is she Kath or is it Kim and she is one of your regulars. It's on the tip of your tongue and she'd expect you to know her name...

    More... premium

  5. 18/01/2006

    Your young nephew is staying over; you know that he is allergic to peanuts and accidentally he's eaten some of your child's peanut biscuit.
    What can you do?
    You have in your house a bottle of Demazin, an old Ventolin puffer, and an out-of date Epipen that was left with you some time back 'just in case.'

    More... premium

  6. 22/12/2005

    Years ago, a client on the new wonder-drug Tagamet / cimetidine acid blocker reported a strange and beneficial side-effect. He sais, "Now I'm on these for my ulcer, if I go out boozing, I don't feel as crook the next morning."

    So a Blue Card was filled in -- when in doubt -- and that was an end to it. Until later, when mentioned to the rep from Smith Klyne & French (anyone remember them) he said, "Oh yes, all us reps know about that we pop one before a night out."

    Why is it so?

    More... premium

  7. 14/12/2005

    You have a patient asking for Rectinol, and the doctor has cleared that there is no tumor, They have been on a course of strong analgesics. I sometimes start off with an ice-breaker: "A pain in the neck, right?" Not showing embarrassment is important -- even if you feel a little coy. People pick up on your vibe, which affects them, so be quietly confident. Here are two standard tips plus some mind-reading magic and an analogy to use from our regular pearlcaster Peter Allen.

    More... premium

  8. 24/11/2005

    "Start low, go slow" for safety, right?

    You probably know about the paradoxical sedative effect of one particular anti-depressant, but have you seen it in practice?

    More... premium

  9. 08/11/2005

    Puff the Magic Dragon - elusive, but well worth catching & correcting!

    Is this the person with the world's worst asthma puffer technique? A new Practice Pearl has been published on AusPharm today, courtesy Peter Allen.

    Don't you feel a bit of a goose when dispensing your hundredth Ventolin for the day and asking, "Do you know how to use this" because you know they ALWAYS say "yes." Using one magic phrase, nobody feels embarrassed and you may rescue somebody who has been doing it all wrong for years. They are out there.

    More... premium

  10. 25/10/2006

    Whenever you dispense a tube of ointment for a rash, you likely add on the label: "Apply sparingly; Just a thin smear" ... which is what most of our dispensing software systems suggest. What is very wrong with this?

    More... premium

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