Catch 22 – Research Projects

When you start investigating and looking into doing research, unfortunately you will affect the circumstances that you are in.

Research has not been my strong point or forte unfortunately… I just get overwhelmed, bored, and tired of doing research. Unfortunately, as part of my residency position, I will have to complete a research project. Coming up with a project hasn’t been that difficult, but implementation and designing. Holy shit. So hard..🥲🥲🥲it’s almost been a year, yet I still haven’t been able to even start my project yet. Getting ethics has been a major road block… there are so many hurdles to jump through even before I can even go through to ethics… As a resident, my project has to go through the Education committee before going to the Research Committee, and then finally after they all disseminate my Research Expression of Interest.. then can finally go to the Ethics Committee 🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲 just too hard if you ask me.

It sucks now.. the waiting game before starting the Research.. but I suppose in a years time… maybe I will be pretty happy with where I have ended up? Perhaps I would have finished/close to finishing my research project..

WHO KNOWS

Am I going to make a difference in the world? Maybe not?

I love my project… yet I also hate it with passion. How I long to be a normal employee without all the additional responsibilities, research, and expectations… Yet, I know this is a stepping stone for something greater. Something better. Who knows

Feeling Dry

Contrary to the title of this post, Melbourne has been rainy and wintery all week. However, I am dry and dehydrated..I have mouth ulcers in my mouth, my skin is dry and bleeding, and overall I feel unwell. But, I can’t explain why I am unwell. I feel guilty that I feel sick and so so tired.

I am feeling my zest in life is slowly fading. I feel dizzy when I play badminton…I am scared that I will injure myself once again. What are hobbies again? Everything just is hard to concentrate when I feel like I need to continue working

I am aware that I am thinking about work was too much…even on my lunch breaks and at home, I am checking my email constantly. My team leader calls me before and after work…It’s just ongoing and infiltrating my life and it is mostly my fault. I always take on too much and too often, I never learn my lesson but I love the exhilaration of being on so many committees and so many projects. But spare time is no longer mine. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and let others help.

When did I become so bad for asking for help? When did I become so independent? It must be pride, arrogance, and distrust…

Things need to change, I can’t go on like this in fear that I will crash and burn.

Writers Block

Not sure why, but these days I have been unable to finish writing the posts that I started. I have like two different half-written posts in my drafts.

Hopefully, the motivation and energy will come back soon and I can finish them

So much to organise before my move to Melbourne.

😦

 

Priorities in Life

I think I have said it before, but there is a time and place for everything.

There is a time to save, a time to spend, a time to invest, a time to just work your ass off.

Everyone harps on about work-life balance, but what and who really determines what value you put on each area? Is there a perfect number? I think it is more a subjective thing and it will change through the seasons of your life.

I believe our priorities change as we grow…In high school, all I ever wanted to do was graduate and be done with school. Then in Uni, I just wanted so badly to pass my exams and to finish my course. I started working and then all I could think about is how much I missed my friends at uni and all the free time I used to have.

People my age are getting married, having kids, working and planning their life.

I suppose it comes down to our values to what we think is important and that occupies our time.

Online Live Interviews

Just finished a live online interview which is I guess the third and final step in the application process.

Was super nervous the whole day… just pacing back and forth and last minute watching all these videos on interview skills.

Some of the questions they asked were the ones I sort of prepared for, except they gave they scenarios.

They asked me why do you want to work at ______ Health and What do you know about the Pharmacy Residency Program. No matter how much I practiced this, I still stumbled and fell.

Then they gave me some case scenarios:

  1. If you got given some negative feedback, how would you go about addressing the feedback that they gave?

I honestly thought about what I would have done in a real case scenario..reflect and also think about how I can improve in the future. I would also keep doing what I have done well, but work on what I can do better.

     2. How would you prioritise your time if you had two different presentations to do, a research project, a new rotation, and also you best-friends wedding at the end of your residency program?

TBH I couldn’t really hear the whole question clearly..so there may or may not be a research question added into that mix. Again, I didn’t lie and literally told them what I do in real life, write it in my journal..and plan my time around those deadlines. I also said that I wouldn’t cancel on my best friends because work life balance is important.

3. Imagine that you have got some feedback from your preceptor about your research assignment and you have emailed him for some feedback. However, he does not reply within 3 weeks…you bump into him and ask if he has seen your email. He says he has been really busy lately and told you to relax because the project isn’t due for ages.

Again, this is a familiar situation I have been in before…and I answered honestly once again. I would try to think of opportunities outside the box, i.e. asking a colleague of his for help or looking to see if I can fix it myself. Alternatively, I would try to schedule some time with him, i.e. over lunch or after work for 15 minutes. I said it would be respectful of their time and their duties…But I guess I should have reminded them of their responsibilities as a preceptor.

omg I forgot the last question….there was four tho..

Then I asked them a question…”What kind of person are you hiring?”

Felt dumb to ask that too..lol since I should know..

They wanted to hire someone that was enthusiastic, shows excellence, hard-working, and adaptable to change.

They then asked me about my experience in pharmacy so far and whether or not I would be willing to move to Melbourne. If I am going for the interview, I guess?!!?

Apparently for external applicants, like myself..We will have a 2 week orientation to the hospital in mid August..then the residency starts in September :O… So still lots of time to prepare if I needed to move..which is good.

They will get back to all the applicants either at the end of this week or the start of next week. Referee checks will be conducted by that time aswell.

Fingers crossed!

 

p.s. I asked them how they were coping with the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Melbourne, not sure if appropriate… ><“

Do as I say but not as I do

You’ve heard that statement, practice what you preach.

But how many leaders actually follow their own advice?

I mean I understand nobody is perfect 100% of the time.

But, doesn’t it suck if you have a leader who likes to tell others what to do, except won’t follow their own advice?

It is like they are immune to the rules of the company.

Hypocritical describes it I suppose.

There are no perfect leaders, but some are better than others…who work harder than they need to.

And some who you don’t want to listen to what they say or do, like Mr Trump.

Work Addicted

I just spent like almost an hour researching something for someone I don’t know in another town, which has nothing to do with me and this is after I have had dinner and am at home. I think I have a problem switching off work.

I work in a mental health hospital dispensary, yet I get phone calls from around South Australia from people asking for advice about psychotropic medications. I would just like to clarify I am not a medication expert hot line, there are people who are paid simply to answer these medication information questions.

Yes, I might know a bit more about antipsychotics and other psychotropic medications than some pharmacists, but I am by no way close to a specialist of any kind in mental health.

When asked a question I don’t know, I get obsessed with trying to finding the answer and unfortunately there isn’t an answer as it was with this case.

I’ve just come off from 3 days of being on-call and being asked all sorts of questions that put me outside my comfort zone and made me think on my feet… So I guess an email about a question relating to long-acting anti-psychotics didn’t seem too bad at first. But unfortunately, I am not paid to just answer people’s questions all day and hence, I did it at home…not good, but at least I learnt a ton lot about antipyschotics!! Too bad it’s my last week at this mental health hospital.

Sometimes I wonder why I try so hard…

*lifts up glass of milk*. Cheers to new chapters.

How sick should you be before you take a sick day?

I woke up yesterday after a really really bad night of sleep. I definitely slept weirdly and had the start of what might have been in a really bad migraine. I took one of my new migraine tablets and waited. I would try brave the workday..my contract was going to finish soon, taking another sickie before my last week would look bad right? I don’t want to burn any bridges, in case I get another contract in the future.

The thought did cross my mind, maybe I should call in sick.. ? Or shouldn’t I? 

It was make or break. In the past, I have tried going to work despite having a bad migraine with nausea…only then to have to go home and vomit the living daylights out of me. Some days, I take some meds and try to do my job with a headache or sickness…

However, in the case of yesterday, with the new medication seemed to help and I managed to make it through the WHOLE workday mostly unaffected. I was a bit tired and a bit lethargic, but who wouldn’t be after a six-day working week?

Some people I know take a ‘sickie’ whenever they feel like they want to go to work, and they actually are perfectly fine to go to work…but others like to ‘save’ their sick days for days where they actually really really do feel unwell. I don’t think either of these options is ideal. If you save all you sick days for a rainy day and force yourself to go to work, that can’t be good for you or the company…sick days are there for you when you need it. However, taking sick days to have fun, is just something that doesn’t sit right with me…I would probably just feel guilty all day and try to make sure I don’t post anything on social media LOL. Some workplaces will require a sick certificate for every single day of sick leave taken and others might be only needed when it falls on Mondays and Fridays before or after a public holiday. etc.

 

But it would be interesting to hear about other people’s opinions on “how sick do you have to be to take a sick day?’

Being ‘Oncall’

This weekend, it’s my first time being the Oncall pharmacist for a large hospital that I used to work for.. but since then I have been rotated to another site.@@. Trying to organise getting the on-call gear to get to me was a feat in itself. I don’t know much about booking couriers or who to contact about the on-call stuff. It was also a feat trying to test the laptop gear and make sure it was connected to the network at work before I took it home. I’ve never used VPN before and holy moly is it kinda cool…but super slow and the screen is TINYYY..

For me, the anxiety of thinking about being on-call seems like more of a nightmare than actually being on-call…so far anyway.

Yesterday I got one call so far asking for something that they should have ordered during business hours. Then today I received a call from an intern cover doctor asking about vancomycin dosing… @_@ which is so complicated and my first time looking into it.

I think personally, being on-call is literally taking the stress from work home with you and everywhere you go. Basically, you have to think about work 24/7 while on call. You never know when they will call and what they will call about. Every time you go out you have to bring all the stuff with you and be on alert for the dreaded beeps from the pager or the phone ringing. The pager went off during my shower today and my heart sank, I couldn’t even enjoy my shower… 😦

I woke up with a stiff and painful neck this morning 😦 I don’t think I got good sleep…worried that I would be called in the middle of the night…

So far I’ve been a bit disgusted with the bag. It’s sooo messy..stuff is just everywhere.. I bought some plastic ziplock bags to put the different chargers, internet dongle, and parking permit cards into. I have also replaced the screen cover of the iphone with a new tempered glass screen cover I had lying around (can I claim that on my tax?)..I also might clean up the folder a bit…and see if I have a spare notebook lying around. It just looks so unloved.

This is my oncall experience so far… tmoro will be another challenge! I am will still be on-call while I am working at my second job. Fingers crossed no-one contacts me during work….eek… Shall update on my endavours with more stories surely. Oh, and someone please remind me to put this on my resume, thanks.

The end of a chapter and the start of the next

The cogs of change are changing again and life as I had known it for the last 9 months , funny how it started as a 4 week gig. When did it change? When did I stop caring, stop striving, and lost my focus?

I think I did bring it upon myself…too scared to let go of what is safe and what is familiar and immerse myself into the unknown. I am not sure if that is partly the reason why I find myself in this predicament. But then ironically, I prove myself right. It didn’t work out, but at least I have a some form of security in knowing that I have the second job while looking for something new.

It’s scary. Not knowing what my future will be like. But hey, this has been happening every few months before a contract ends. I still remember the terror and anxiety I felt when my first contract was almost ending…I was worried did I make a good impression? I’ve always worked hard and did my best to be nice to everyone. But I guess when you so hard and with no recognition, you start feeling under appreciated, tired, stressed, and burdened. Too scared to complain because you want to be chosen to stay there, yet everyday feels harder than the day before.

This good bye was inevitable. There are regrets, but there are also moments where I had a confidence that I did not have before and I am proud that this difficult situation developed that in me. Standing up for my rights and of others is something that I strive to do. I think it has something to do with respecting yourself and speaking up when something things off or wrong. Working in a mental health institution has always been a goal of mine and I have fulfilled that and believe this was be a stepping stone into something greater.

Apparently, with this company there will be an exit interview…this is not something I have done before, despite working in so many places previously. There is so many things I want to say, but I need to be careful of saying anything too bad,  because I need this people to be referees. There is never a way to win is there? Better to leave on good times than bad. I am both scared, yet also looking forward to a change of scenery. Bring on the last 3 weeks of full time work…

Stay Tuned for updates

The Breaking Point

I think we all have a limit.

A point where just one small thing can put you over the edge.

Something small that usually wouldn’t bother you.

But you have had enough.

I think you know it’s happening, even when you try to convince yourself everything is okay.

People think you are fine when you are barely holding yourself together.

You try to brush it away, pretend it is not real…BUT IT IS there and it eats away like you like an internal parasite.

The parasite is eating away at your and slowly it takes over your whole body.

Slowly you become an empty shell…Where you feel nothing, care about nothing, and do things you didn’t care about.

It’s a ticking timebomb and someday…you are gonna explode.

Then you will know.

It’s too late.

You’ve reached your breaking point.

Recipe for Burnout

Covid is a great excuse to become burnout in my opinion. Asides from work, I usually make time to go to the gym around 3 times a week for classes and try to play badminton 1-2 times a week. I would visit my elderly Aunt and Uncle whenever I had time and also visit my sister and her baby whenever I could. Due to Covid restrictions, badminton, gym, and social outings were gone from the calendar and I didn’t visit my aunt and uncle as much because I could be a risk to them. Take away all the things I did out of work, it just left me with work..and more work. Oh yeah, also study… I am almost finishing my graduate certificate in disability studies…

If anything, I had to work more hours, longer days without break. So of course, I am not a great machine that can keep going and going. I stopped working. Literally. Couldn’t work, because I had become so sick. Sick of the unpaid overtime, sick of not being able to say no to an extra shift because I felt guilty, sick of looking after sick people. It’s a real thing.. this vicarious trauma…

Due to the stress at work, I was so exhausted when I got home, but I would still force myself to do some work out. Gone were all the things that I had preached on this blog and to others… Healthy Eating habits? I craved and gave into KFC every time the migraines came back…I have never spent so much money on SNACKS and they aren’t all healthy snacks either :(. I have been so busy at work, I don’t even drink enough water because that would mean having to go to the toilet!! I am just overeating snacks… and it’s terrible! I’ve also been splurging on things I don’t necessarily need with my new credit card.. Oh..what I have done.

Anyways, I am not writing all this JUST to complain about my situation, because I know we have it pretty good in Australia. It will get better, I hope, because the situation is ever changing! Just as fast as we were put into restrictions, the restrictions are being lifted faster than I imagined too. Life will become better soon. But until then..Just keep fighting on, because it can only get better from now.  Take time to look after your mental health, have you done something just for you today?

Maybe, it’s okay, that I am acting the way I am now…As long as I realise that I can’t stay like that forever! Now that I am aware, I will be more conscious when I go pass KFC or purchase something I REALLY do not need.

How to help a Hoarder – Part One: Perishables

Happy Easter people! To those who celebrate and to those who do not. I do not, but I did go to work today. I am super guilty of relapsing in my old ways and working way too many days consecutively (again)..and it looks like my next day off won’t be till the 25th of April…which I HOPE IS NOT a public holiday..coz if it is..it means I’ll be working…and my next day off will be May.. !? ANYWAYS, that’s not the point of this post, the point of this post was to gather some tips on how to STOP hoarding. I think this is especially important during a pandemic, as the temptation is there…to hoard as much as you can! Even when you don’t need it at all and you have no space left in your fridge!!~ As a former (?) and daughter of two hoarders…I’ve thought of some ways that perhaps we can resist that temptation and just buy what we actually NEED and not Hoard. Coz hoarding is baaaddddd…

I am gonna seperate this into perishable (food/things with expiries) and non-perishable items (toilet paper). Today’s post will be about FOOD! The next post will be on non-perishables.

FOOD:

  • Buy what you need and try not to be tempted overbuy. 
    Will you actually finish that loaf of bread that is on sale? I mean, yes it looks so soft and fluffy to touch now…but like it won’t be that soft in a few days…it will get stale and hard :(. Unless you freeze it straight away… But isn’t your freezer already full of all the other stuff you have hoarded?!?!
  • Do a stocktake of what you already have at home!
    This is especially important if you have multiple people living at your home, who also go out and buy groceries. There is no point all three of you going out to buy milk, because if you do, you will end up having 3×2 Litres milk expiring in a few days plus another two bottles 1 Litre of soy milk, taking up like half of your fridge. This is what happened to my family…and the funny thing is, most of us are lactose intolerant ?! Before COVID, we usually at MOST have one bottle of milk, which often goes out of date… If you already have lots of fresh fruits in the fridge, don’t go and buy more…just eat what you already have….which brings me to my next related point.
  • Eat what you already have at home!
    If you followed the above step, you would have realised that you already have 10 cans of tuna that you bought last year! So you don’t need another 10! Eat those first before buying more…if you don’t, you will risk LOSING MONEY!!! No point buying more when you already have heaps. If something is really hard to eat (like a tastless nectarine!), try eating it with like yoghurt…icecream or something good xD….to reward yourself…don’t chuck it away if its still good (and healthy)!
  • You will save money and minimise food wastage.
    These points could have been enough to have their own dot point.BUT. Minimalisation is good?! Help stop food from being chucked into our bins, by buying only what you need and will actually eat! You will save a lot of money but using up what is in the fridge. Obviously, it is vital to check expiry dates and throw away mouldy things…But remember, there is a difference between “Best before ____” (which is a suggestion) and “USE BY ___ ” (throw it out now!!).
  • Give away what you know you won’t eat
    Whenever people give me chocolate or something too sweet, I bring it to work. While I don’t do that now (sharing germs is baddd), you can always give things in whole packets to people who you know will actually eat it. For example, my friend sent me some plum candies from Japan…Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of plum candies…so I regifted the gift to my younger brother who has a massive sweet tooth and will literally eat anything given to him. When I mean regifted, I mean I knocked on his door, and without a word..just put it on his computer table, and left. LOL.
  • Grow your own vegetables and fruits!
    Well, my mum is an avid gardener as I have mentioned…and we have a lot of vegetables that we can eat from her garden…so she used to be like “OMG we need to go out and BUY MORE VEGETABLES”…now she is like “OMG WE NEED TO GO BUY MORE VEGETABLES…oh wait a minute, NAH we good…I’ll just go pick some”. I, sadly do not have a green thumb and have even managed to kill a small cactus that I got for my birthday one year..  ANYWAYS, since this coronavirus, I have decided I am going to try raise a small plant from a seedling.  Woolworths last year gave out free seedlings to people who spent over $30 in one purchase…it’s like the predicted this pandemic would happen! Anyways, I have a seedling for some Pansy flowers…sooo I have put it into my mum’s pot, that already has some succulents growing on it. ANYWAYS, wish me luck that I will remember to water it daily…and will it grow?! Who knows… 
  • Don’t buy in bulk coz it’s cheaper…especially if you know you won’t finish!
    For example, I know being lactose intolerant I can’t have a lot of dairy at once…so having a large tub of yoghurt is a nono :(. I will open it..eat a little and more often than not, I will forget about it and it separates and becomes all watery and gross. I know it costs more to buy those small little cartons of single-serve yogurt…but it really saves me money in the long run, because I actually know I will eat them..I crave yoghurt every now and then…but I want to eat one that isn’t separated and watery!These are all the tips I can think of now… if you have any other suggestions to help stop people hoarding food, please share in the comments below.. And Remember, there is no need to hoard food because there is not likely to be any shortages of food! Supermarkets remain open during this time, so just buy what you need and leave some for others!!!

Watch out for the next post about other items that don’t expire (I thin)~!! Like toilet paper, cosmetics..clothes!

 

Stay safe and wash your hands :)~

 

JL

 

woman in white long sleeve jacket shopping for fruits
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Random Rants: Reporting your colleagues

Today was a tough day. So many challenges, upsets, and unexpected upsets…

In the past, I think I have wrote about how in my line of work I face people that have issues with drug and alcohol withdrawal. They are rude, aggressive, and partly I know the reason why they act that way. However, when today I was faced with a rude and difficult staff member, I was flabbergasted. There are times when I want to throw in the towel, give up, and swear at everyone and storm out, but do I do it? No. Because I want to keep my job and in the Chinese way we describe it “Save our face” (or dignity). As I said in my post about being a ‘Professional‘…

But wow. There was a staff member who lost it. Literally lost it. I don’t work directly with her, but I first talked to her on the phone, let’s call her “X”. She called up asking about whether some “trial leave” medications were ready. I said, well has anyone dropped off the script to pharmacy? She was shocked that a doctor actually had to write a script …I wasn’t rude to her at all, but I was explaining what is the normal procedure for a trial leave. The doctor SHOULD write the script based on how many days the patient will go on leave, they indicate when the leave will take place, and if there is no clinical pharmacist in that ward, then we ask for the medication charts so I reconcile the script to the chart. In this case it was also a Webster pack, so it was crucial to have those drug charts. She asked when it would done, as we hadn’t even got the script I said around an hour…and normally we need 24 hours notice normally for Webster packs and they wanted one on the spot. RUDE. Then she said she was going to put an incident report in…I was like…Are you going to put one in for us? Because this is not our fault that you guys didn’t organise this trial leave at an earlier date… and she said, she was going to write a report reporting everyone involved apparently. Whatever floats your boat mate.

In this case, the doctor wrote the script as a discharge script. He wrote one months worth of all the medications out and did not specify whether it was for leave or for discharge. I tried calling the number he listed on the script, and got no answer. I called the ward to clarify how many days the patient was going on leave and whether or not it was actually a discharge, because occasionally we do one week’s Webster pack (Which is a 7 dose pack that we make up so the patient can punch out their meds easily) and give the rest of the medications on discharge.  This will change how much the patient has to pay and if they have to pay. If it is leave medication, they don’t get charged anything for any of the medications or the packs. If it is discharge meds, the patient will have to pay the full cost of all the medications plus a $6.60 Webster packing fee. If the doctor just wants the patient to only have one week Webster pack, we don’t charge anything for the medications in the pack and just charge $6.60 for the Webster packing fee. As you can seem ,this is important to know as it will affect how much medication is dispensed and who is paying the cost. The person I called on the phone didn’t seem to understand this and I could hear that person “X”, swearing at us in the background, saying “Why can’t they just do their EFFINGJOB”. I was like. … WOW…so I politely asked the person on the phone, “Who is that in the background?”. She said, “Oh I don’t know their name, they are just passing by”. Obviously lies as she put me on hold while the rant in the background continued. I just want to do my job, you shouting and insulting us in the background. Does not help. Not one bit.

Anyways, I told my boss about what I heard on the phone…and she said she would send an email to someone high up and tell them that’s not how you can treat pharmacy staff. Thank you to those in higher positions than mine. I am just a small potatoe that gets bossed around.

About a half an hour later when the managers spoke to one another. The staff member X, whose name I did not know came and asked if there was a “Josie” around. I said, “We don’t have a Josie, but my name is Joy”. Hastily, she said, “I came to apologise for my behaviour earlier, I was stressed out from work.” I said that’s fine, but “what is your name?”  Because I have no idea who she is, she then says “My name is Donna, but don’t worry I have already been reported”, then she stormed out. That was the best apology ever. NOT. Obviously someone told her that she had to come apologise.

I normally wouldn’t stoop that low to do an incident report on a staff member, but my boss did. The politics at work are insane. We work in a mental health facility, but I feel like half the staff should also be patients there. The world is a crazy messy place.

I have dealt with some difficult situations before, but this was really new to me…how can you treat other health professionals in this way?  That’s beyond me.

Well I just had to rant this one out…because I keep lamenting and thinking about it…but I really need to get on with that assignment due next week .. T_T…Wish me luck..and someone remind me why I decided to work two jobs and study part-time too?!?

Not really an update…BUT..

As the title says, not really an update..but, I am going on a trip to New Zealand! Super excited!! I haven’t had a proper break from work or life since I started this blog almost 3 years ago…Go hard or go home…or go NZ.

I’ve never been to NZ so I will have lots of photos and experiences to share when I get back. Excited to see their sheep, experience their delicious Ferdburger, Paragliding, and exploring the Lord of the Ring movie backdrops… :O

Just a reminder to everyone work hard..but also remember to relax and enjoy life!! Or you will burn out like I do… sizzlee…..You only live once but you only die once too! More about this another time…

SUPER happy not to have to go to work for a week…LOL just so over it today… just let me go home!!! I still have some last-minute packing to do tomorrow morning…but other than that I am pretty much set to go…

I have packed some facemasks for the plane trip…thinking whether I need alcohol gel or antiseptic wipes…=s

I’ll update when I get back!!

Take care till then!