I woke up at about 6am, just before Uncle John came over to wake me up! I had a shower and went upstairs to have a bit of breakfast before Aunty Jill dropped me off down the road at her friend Jean’s place. Jean was already waiting in her car for us on the side of the road, so I quickly jumped in her car and we were off! We travelled across the city and she parked outside her work, which was just on the other side of the intersection that was adjacent to Christchurch Hospital. Fortunately the weather in the morning was only slightly cold and foggy, but not rainy! In fact it didn’t rain at all today! I even caught a glimpse of the sun through the window during lunch!
I got to the hospital half an hour early, so I just wandered around the ground floor amongst the shops which sort of looked like a little village. Eventually by 8.30 I went to the pharmacy department where I had to wait a while before the staff meeting was over. As I was waiting, Joanne, the University of Otago pharmacy student I would be working with for the week arrived. She’s a Malaysian and she is pretty friendly and easy to get along with so that’s good.
We first met Nigel, one of the pharmacists who first took us on a tour around the pharmacy department. They have around 30 pharmacists in the department! I’ve never seen so many pharmacists in one area!
We got to see the dispensary area, the cytotoxic room, the sterile room, the compounding area, the controlled drugs room and the office.
Nigel then took us up to the gastro ward where he showed us what he usually does when he reviews a patient’s notes. He looked through them to check that all the doses were correct, the legal stuff was there (like dates etc) before we followed him to watch him check some medication with a patient.
That was about all the time there was for that ward before I had to get back to the pharmacy department at 10am for…my pharmacy intern job interview!
There were three pharmacists interviewing me. One of them was going to be taking us to the paediatric ward straight after! They started off by telling me all about the pharmacy department and the intern programme. Then they each took turns asking me questions!
They asked the standard questions such as why I chose to study pharmacy, why I wanted to work at Christchurch Hospital and what is my long term career goal. However, I also got asked a few questions I hadn’t thought much about before then, such as what was my most and least favourite subject (to which I said most favourite = pharmacotherapy…obviously! Haha and least favourite=law! Just because it’s annoying having to find the right page with the right law on it!). I also got asked if I could remember an example of a stressful time during which I had to communicate clear information. I couldn’t think of one off the top of my head, except for my oral exam! That wasn’t a particularly good example. Another question they asked me was if they were to ask my friends about me, how would they describe me? I just said they’d think I was loyal, hard-working and trustworthy! What would be the bad things they’d say about me? I was trying to think of an answer that wouldn’t make me sound too bad and all I could come up with was…that I sleep too late!
At the end when they asked if I had any questions, I asked when we’d be notified of the outcome, to which they said by the end of the week. I’m just hoping it’s after I’ve left Christchurch so I can have time to discuss it with my family if I do get in, or so I don’t embarrass myself if I don’t!
After the interview, one of the pharmacists who interviewed me took Joanne and me up to the paediatric ward. We didn’t get to interact with any of the patients unfortunately. We just mainly watched the pharmacist review the charts before we came back down to the pharmacy department to fill out our workbooks a bit more before going to lunch. Joanne was going to have lunch with one of the interns originally from Otago Uni, so I joined them as they went to the staff cafeteria. We just ate some lunch, and I ate the lunch Aunty Jill had kindly prepared for me!
We had to be back at 1pm (an hour later). Our next activity was to visit the sterile lab, where we just had a look around as the pharmacist told us all about it. After that, we checked out the cytotoxic room which would soon be decommissioned by the end of the week which was a little sad for some of the pharmacists working there.
After those two tours, we got to meet Cherry our proper preceptor, who took us on another tour of the department before taking us up to her ‘baby’, the ACAU – Acute Care Assessment Unit! She asked us a lot of questions. Fortunately she wasn’t too strict, nor did she mind my crazy answers which turned out to be correct half the time!
She helped us look at bus timetables to get to the other hospitals in Christchurch over the next few days before we went back to the department to finish for the day. Joanne and I just did a bit more work in our workbooks before walking to the Bus Exchange together. We had a little walk around the streets nearby where all the shops were located. We also checked out Cathedral Square with the iconic cathedral. That was pretty cool! By not it wasn’t too sunny but it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t too cold either which was good. Joanne showed me the bus to take – route 3 to Sumner.
I was told to get off the bus outside the New World Supermarket in Redcliff. It was amongst the second lot of shops after Countdown. However, I came across Countdown and thought I’d get off at the bus stop there, and walk to New World! I couldn’t find New World though so walked back to Countdown and waited for Uncle John to pick me up from there! It turns out New World was a lot further away from Countdown than I had realised! Oops!
When I got home, I met Alice for the first time which was pretty cool. We ended up talking a bit throughout the night. We had lasagne for dinner which Aunty Jill had cooked (nice as usual! She even offered me seconds!). Alice let me try some of the carrot cake she had baked for her dad’s birthday which was on the exact same day as my dad’s birthday last Wednesday!
After dinner we watched a bit of TV before starting to watch a movie that Alice had randomly chosen. Aunty Jill and Alice ended up going to bed halfway through the movie, before I left not too long after.