Thursday, 13 March 2008


Theatre Assisstant: You know what annoys really annoys me? That you have to go to a GP to get antibiotics.

Me: (raised eyebrow)

TA: I mean you have to take time off work and go get yourself a GP appointment to get antibiotics. I reckon that they should just sell them over the counter.

Me: (raised eyebrow ever further)

TA: You should just be able to go and buy your own antibiotics without having to go and see a doctor. It would be much easier that way.

Me: And then EVERYONE would have MRSA and C. Diff.

TA: Oh... Good point. I never thought of that. It's still annoying though


There are some things that I (wrongly) assume that everyone knows, like why antibiotics need a prescription. I was genuinely surprised to hear these words coming from this TA's mouth and it really brought home to me that assuming things about other people or situations can lead you astray.

This post is not having a go at the TA, after all she is not medically trained and there's no reason to assume she knows more about antibiotics and infections that a lay person. It's just that more and more, I'm realising that what I assume other people know about health and the human body is often far from what they actually do know.


Jo said...

The problem is that people don't get educated about these things - I am very aware that my 'lay person' knowledge, despite having an ex-A&E nurse for a mother, numerous medical friends, and doing first aid, is very lacking... Most of what I know about medication is from reading the labels on the packets (I like to know which side effects I'm going to suffer from ;-) ) - my GP has certainly never voluntarily taken the time to explain what medication she is giving me and why - I just get given the prescription. Yes, I can ask, and often do, but when I'm already 1/2-1hr late into my appointment, I get to feel that I'm wasting time.

(And my thought when I read the first part of your post was that if you could buy antibiotics over the counter, then people with hypochondria, and illnesses that didn't need them would buy them, and potentially make themselves ill, not about the superbugs...)

The Welsh Pharmacist said...

I spent most (well, not really, but it felt like it) of my day doing scripts for 24 ibuprofen, 21 amoxicillin, and 200ml of cough syrup for healthy people in their mid twenties.

I really wanted to tell them to grow some balls and stop bothering their doctor every time they get a sore throat.

S said...

Why didn't you Welsh Pharmasist? ... and, how do you know they are healthy?

Lily said...

If you think thats bad, i was talking to a nurse who told me that she didn't believe HIV was originally passed on from monkeys (reason given was that "not that many people could have had sex with monkeys"), but that it was used by governments as a form of genocide. She then shocked me even more by telling me she thinks that ARVs don't actually help the disease, but make sure people can't recover from it so they die slowly but think they're being helped.

I'm so worried that one day she'll encounter patients with HIV and tell them that. I was so shocked that a healthcare professional thought that, and was so vocal about it.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I was told to always assume the lowest common denominator, ie people are stupid. Proving said point I've long since forgotten who taught me that! BG