Being a Pharmacy Resident

Someone asked me today, is it worth becoming a pharmacy resident? Well here are some pros and cons.

Pros:

1. Your contract is usually longer than everyone else’s. A residency is usually two years long, so your contract is basically the same.

2. It looks good on your resume that you completed some sort of “qualification” during this time. It can detail that you are sort of well rounded in the different areas of pharmacy, for example we all do a stint in operational pharmacy, surgical, medical, and an elective rotation.

3. You are appointed an “official preceptor” whom you can ask for help whenever you need in each rotation. Usually it’s the same person that id your Team Leader.

4. You get to be involved in a lot more things whether you like it or not, for example you are part of committees, take it in turn to look after quality boards, conduct presentations and can put your hand up for extra training as a resident.

Cons:

1. People might talk behind your back or judge you for getting one of those ‘coveted residency’ positions as they are far fewer than the normal advertised contracted roles.

2. You have to conduct a research project AND it is basically all in your own time as well. So week nights, lunch breaks, weekends, any free time basically. I absolutely detest research after doing my honours project 😰😰😰.

3. The support that you thought you would get wasn’t actually as good as you thought it would be unfortunately.

4. There are so many extra things you have to do as an resident… as mentioned earlier, not only do you have to present in each rotation, you also have to participate in the committees, do assessments during work, get people to do surveys about you… Basically, a lot more on your plate than the average worker.

I am almost mid way through my residency, and in summary… despite stressing so much my hair falls out, I really did get an opportunity to learn so much while doing this residency. My eyes have been open to so many types of medicines and procedures I haven’t heard about before. In my old hospital, I asked so many times if I could learn clinical pharmacy and they always gave me the same excuses, your contract isn’t long enough to train you up. Etc, etc.

And that’s why I stayed back twice this week until 8pm doing ‘residency’ stuff.. since we are in lock down anyways, it didn’t really matter… it’s almodt like I locked myself down haha…

2021 Bucket List weekly progress

1. I went to a trial class to learn the Japanese instrument the Koto. I honestly was inspired to learn after accidentally stumbling across the track ‘Tenkyuu’ from the anime ‘Kono oto omare”. You should listen if you haven’t! If you know me, I get easily moved by music, anime, and art… and it really spurs me on to try and do different things. It was only a 30 minute lesson and I was nervous as hell, so much technique and quick thinking is needed. However, the music sheets are easier to read than I imagined! We go off numbers (Japanese numbers) and there are still 4 beats ro a bar. I love how music and magic seem to go hand in hand… I am excited for my next lesson on Saturday, but I need to think how I will practice?? I don’t own a koto… and renting one.. where am I going to put it ?? My studio apartment is tinyyyyyy 🥲🥲🥲…anyways, other costs that are involved is the picks that you need to put on your right thumb, right index, and right middle finger. These need to fit onto your fingers properly to allow the clear sound… I have to say the sound of the koto is as beautiful as it is through my phone. I feel like, I am entranced by the sound that comes through. It’s different to when I play the guitar, and I am mostly strumming to sing…

2. Post koto lesson, I decided to also start on another goal in my bucket list for this year. Ot learn to play a new sport…not really new, but I haven’t played in ages, I classify it is new. TABLE TENNIS. I bought my own racket guys! It is a small start?!?! Now to find a social to join to play…I’ll keep you posted… it was $45 for the racket and the rubbers. So basically, I asked for a beginners racket, and they said there are ones where they already have the rubbers stuck on , but its mostly for kids. The better ones and more expensive ones are the ones you buy the blade (wooden part) by itself and then you buy the rubbers separately. The rubbers are coloured red and black, apparently they MuSt be different colours, I wasn’t sure exactly why..?!?!? Some rule from table tennis?!!? Anyways, the dude in the shop was like I will stick the rubbers for you and also stick something on the sides and provide a clear film that you have to stick on the rubbers after you clean it after playing. I always see my mum having the plastic stuck on her rubbers, I always thought she just didn’t want to throw away the plastic 🤣 who knew she did it to protect her rubbers?!?!

A country bumpkin at heart

Can’t believe I am almost hitting one year since I moved to Melbourne! I am almost forgetting what my life was like back in Adelaide.. what did I do at night? Where did I go on weekends?

I went to the biggest shopping centre in Melbourne today, and it was super busy… sooo difficult to find a car park :(. I didn’t remember it being this hard to find a park last time! I can’t remember when I last went… but it took me a good 30 minutes to find a park… and I took photos of where I parked just incase I forgot.

I was in a rush because I thought that the shopping centre would close at 5pm, as it does back in my hometown. However, I have since learned that it does NOT close at 5pm, but rather at 8pm on weekends. Amazing. They have learnt the secret that humans love shopping until late… it sounded surreal to me! Literally, all stores except some grocery stores close at 5 pm in Adelaide…

It still feels like a dream living in Melbourne 😌😌

Working at Covid Vaccine Clinic

Today was my first shift at the covid vaccine clinic! My role was to support the people who were drawing up the doses from the multi dose vials for the Pfizer vaccine. I labelled up the syringes with their expiry dates which is calculated from when the syringe was taken out of the fridge. Each syringe can be kept out of the fridge for 6 hours at room temperature.

It was a bit mundane at times, but it helped having a nice team of people to chat to and having background music played by one of the pharmacy students.

It was really nice to do something different from my usual Monday to Friday job in the hospital where it is high stressed, fast moving, and stress+++. This job possibly could be done half a sleep, but it is still an important job to do.

They were very careful about exactly how many vials that were used and all vials and syringes had to be accounted for at the end of the day. It was amazing to see so many people turn up for vaccines, I reckon collectively we prepared and administered around 2000 covid vaccines today.

Today it was a day that nurses and pharmacists actually worked together to deliver another successful vaccine day.

An additional perk of working at the covid clinic was that they were well stocked with snacks, drinks, instant soups for us. There were single wrapped kitkats, biscuits, cheese, and I loved the little packs of fresh apple juice (just like the ones from the planes).

I am not sure when my next shift is, but I am looking forward to the free snacks 🤣and that i can do a job that doesn’t stress and age me too much, but still get good pay. 😌

All the Reminders of the Memories

Now that you are gone, all I have left is fragments of moments in times that are embedded into my memory.

There are so many triggers to the reminiscing that takes place.. It can be a smell, a song, an image, a place.. everything reminds me of you

It’s like the world doesn’t want me to forget you, but I NEED to forget you. How can I move on when I am constantly living in the past?

I hope these feelings of sadness will not last.

Did the bed always feel so cold? Was food always so tasteless? Was life always this mundane?

You lighted up my bleak world with colour, flashing lights, and bells… but now it is quiet once again.

I can only move on when I make fresh memories, try new places, meet more people.

Does a place exist where nothing reminds me of you?

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.

Melbourne Car Accidents

I just had my final probation meeting today for work, happy to say, I passed! 😍😍😍 Good to know that I am able to carry out my 2 year contract..

I can’t believe its already been 6 months since I moved to Melbourne, time flies. Feel like I’ve been here forever, yet every time I go somewhere new , it’s so exciting and fresh.

I am still looking for a place to buy.. so close yet so far away…

Also, as the title of this post alludes to, I saw two car accidents on a Friday afternoon after work. That day was a weird day, we got a whole heap of hail on the floor, making it almost look like snow! I will put a picture up! So amazing! But also, makes the roads quite slippery. It was my first time getting stuck in a highway due to the accident. It is not only painful, but also dangerous as they had to close half of the lanes ….

The last post for 2020

2020. What a year. So much has happened…so much also …didn’t happen. So this is going to be a bit of reflection of what happened in 2020 to me. The good. The bad. The sad. The happy. The whatever.

  1. Feb 2020: I finally fulfilled my dream of travelling to New Zealand for a trip! It was an awesome trip in which I caught up with my good friend living in Brisbane…we did a lot of hiking, horse riding, running, and also went on a boat trip! New Zealand is such a beautiful place and I would highly recommend it. I am also extremely lucky that I was able to go overseas before the borders to Australia has closed.
  2. March 2020: I finally saw my ALL time favourite band, ONE OK ROCK. Having missed out on seeing them when I was in Japan for exchange, I can finally say I have been to my second J-Rock concert. However, this time I actually knew and could sing a long with their songs! I also paid for the VIP tickets and also got to meet them, exchange a few words, and get my photo with them. The night was surreal and it was a great memory I will treasure for many years to come.
  3. Later in March 2020: The lockdown of Australia began as the Coronavirus made it way uninvited into all of our lives. You couldn’t escape it. No matter how hard you try to close your eyes….everyone was talking about it, the supermarket shelves were bare with no toilet paper or hand sanitiser to be seen. Gyms, pools, indoor/outdoor sports, cinemas, schools, universities, and shops, restaurants were closed for dine in. Social distancing was the new norm, everyday we were wiping all the surfaces we touched…everyday I would follow religiously the numbers, the tallies, the hotspots…what rules were changing…The hardest part of all was not being able to see my family and friends…I wasn’t able to see my nephew for the longest time and I was so worried he would forget who I was… It was also during this time that I began spending a lot more time with my family that still lived at home. Yes, we got on each others nerves at some stage…but because there was no where to go and nothing to do, we were just at home. My mum began planting and gardening more and more flowers, fruits, and vegetables…I began learning how to work out at home…For my brother and dad, nothing changed much for them…They usually just stay at home anyways. Skype calls were the best, and I am so grateful for technology that keeps us together, but nothing beats the ability to spend time in person with people.
  4. June 2020. The rules has started to relax in South Austraila. We were finally allowed to have up to 10 visitors in our homes! That meant we were able to gather as a family again and to eat out in restaurants with friends! This was the 1st birthday of my nephew…unfortunately because of the restrictions, my sister only invited the immediate family to celebrate….then they broadcasted it live to their other friends via zoom. My little nephew was sooo spoilt with soo many gifts from family and friends! He got Gucci branded shoes, a small ride on Mercedes, and sooo many toys. June was also the month that I found out that my full-time contract job was not going to be renewed…It was not entirely unexpected, but still a shock to hear it. It meant I had to job hunt all over again…and during a pandemic, that was depressing and a very stressful time…there was not much up for grabs in Adelaide in terms of Hospital Pharmacist positions, so I widened my applications to interstate hospitals. I had 3 sets of interviews for a position in Melbourne and that how I ended up where I am now!
  5. July 2020: I found out that I got the job in Melbourne and I would have to start planning my move…Where was I going to stay? Can I even go there during the pandemic? My aunty and uncle helped me immensely in looking for suitable places that I would inspect when I got there. I also had friends help me plan the trip to Melbourne and what I needed to do to make sure my car was okay. Then there was catchup after catchup with all the people I would be seeing for who knows how long? It was more like a one way trip at this stage…once I went to Melbourne, Adelaide would close it’s borders to me…they would see me as an outsider…I wasn’t sure when I would be able to see my family again…This was a really sad realisation and something that made me so anxious and sad. I would be heading to the city which was undergoing the second wave of Coronavirus…and was in stage 4 lockdown, a curfew, and mandatory masks everywhere. I was going into a virus striken city and working in one of their hospitals that have Covid- positive patients…as someone who hates germs, it was a big risk. Saying good bye to my family was the hardest thing, especially my sister whom I am closest with…I hadn’t cried at all at any of my other farewells, but saying goodbye to my sister for the last time was so hard.
  6. August 2020: I made the long ass drive with my car full of lugguage, toilet paper, and stuff to Melbourne. I was not welcomed with any police or officers at the borders, but it wasn’t the same the other way round. South Australia was quite strict with who was able to enter their state…Melbourne however, didn’t give a hoot and still doesn’t. After staying with my aunt for a few days, I found a place pretty quick and moved in on the same week. Then began the journey of living solo and managing to not live in a pigsty. I had to figure out what I needed and what I wanted…money didn’t grow on trees unfortunately… Then I started working at my new job and that was incredibly tough at first because of all the competency standards that I had to meet to prove I was worthy as a pharmacist.
  7. August-October: So basically nothing happened. I may have took Gamsat…but other than that I rarely went out. I think the lockdown was still ongoing, so there was no house visitors allowed and everything was Click and Collect or buy online. I think I did a lot of cooking…and buying stuff for my house. The video calls with my family and friends in Adelaide continued…We did group chats, group games, and I played ‘Amongst Us’ Once… lol…. I also did a seminar entirely online at home for work…that was interesting, but also made me extremely sleepy.
  8. Nov 2020: Somehow we managed to have 60 days free from Community Transmitted Covid- Cases! The city slowly opened up and restrictions eased in a gradual step by step process. Restaurants were finally open for dine in, but for limited numbers…Retail shops were allowed to open again! Gyms, schools, universities…and most importantly BADMINTON RESTARTED!!!! This is what I missed most (Asides from family and friends in Adelaide)!! Was the desire to hit a shuttlecock! I write this as my whole body hurts from a great baddy session yesterday night….
  9. Dec 2020: My sister messaged me and told she was coming to Melbourne and that we should catchup !! I was so excited!! I wasn’t sure if I was able to go back to Adelaide as they have stricter border than Melbourne, but if my sister could come and go back, surely I would be able to? In the heat of the moment I quickly looked up how much flights would be to Adelaide and back…and it was pretty reasonable! Then I remembered I have a whole bunch of Frequent Flyer Points which I was hoping to use to go to England (dreams crushed this year) and I used those points to pay for the return fare in its entirety! It also included checked baggage both ways! BONUS! I was so happy that I was able to come back home to Adelaide and spend Christmas with my family and to see some of my friends! It was a rushed 4 days…as I hadn’t booked any extra leave I was only there over the public holiday and weekend. Adelaide itself hadn’t changed much, but the people had changed…a bit. Since I left, a friend had a baby, another friend told me she is moving to Brisbane for a new job, two friends had broken up with the long-term partners, and I think that is it?
  10. Dec 31st 2020: The last day of the year 2020, I slept in! Because…I can :)! I had a day off today! It was an accrued day off that just happened to land on the last day of the year. Lucky me! I met up with my sister and her family for lunch and did a bit of window shopping in Melbourne city. A friend told me about a special Free parking voucher that could be displayed to park for free in Melbourne city…Then I came home, cooked the last meal of 2020, and did my last round of laundry for 2020…had my last shower, called my mum for the lastst time, emptied the trash for the laste time, and now I am typing the blog entry for 2020 on here. So many last times for everything. Oh, did I mention that the annual firework display for NYE has been cancelled for both Mellbourne and Adelaide? The Sydney famous ones are still going ahead, however they will not allow people to watch it from the shore. Also, sadly in the last few days we got a few cases of local transmission and now we have some restrictions reinposed, i.e. maximum 15 people in a house at one time…so the Family New Years Lunch is cancelled for tomorrow sadly…

    Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope fingers crossed that 2021 will be a better one!! Stay Safe, Wash your hands, stay 1.5 metres a part, and wear your mask!

Living Alone vs Living with Family

Having lived alone for a month so far, I decided I will reflect on the perks of living alone versus living with family or other people.

Living Alone

The good things:

I believe promotes growth. Promotes independence and the ability to time manage and to plan ahead. You need to have a grocery list before you go shopping. You also finally understand why people froth at the mouth when they talk about knives or stainless steel pots. You start noticing why it is so important to be able to sharpen those knives…and how much easier it makes for cooking with a sharp knife.

The not so good things:

It is lonely however, especially because we are still in stage four lockdown in Melbourne… sooo technically not allowed visitors..I think because I live alone I allowed one visitor. Then again, I am so tired all the time, I barely can keep awake during a conversation with someone, especially at night. Also, it sucks when I cook, I cook a lot at a time because I am too lazy to cook often. But, I never finish all my food…but I also don’t like freezing the food…coz I like to eat it fresh..HAHA so I end up throwing away so much food… 😦 No one to share my food with or to help me finish my food.

Living with Family

The good things:

Hmm basically the opposite of the things I said for the perks of living alone. It doesn’t promote independence, because you always have someone to fall back on. Your parents do everything for you or most of it. Bills, groceries, cooking, cleaning, managing problems. You can always count on your parents to help with any problems that come up. Oh, they also can look after your pet turtle when you are away. You always have company if you want someone to eat with.

The not so great things:

There is no privacy. You can’t bring someone over that easily…otherwise they will be interogatted by your parents and there is no lock on your door. You share one bathroom with three other peopleand so you have to put everything back after you finish using it. Your mum complains your hair is all over the shower…your brother complains that you didn’t flush the toilet properly after you used it. Your dad complains that the dishes you washed are still dirty to spite you…coz he is notarious for not washing dishes properly. I can’t stand how dirty and crowded the house is…there is too much hoarding going on. Don’t get me started.

Is it being lazy or being efficient?

Today I managed to do a weeks worth of cleaning in one day. I was recording in a voice message to my mum what I did today.. and it was a lot (imo)..!

Woke up. Had breakfast. Then took the first load of laundry of undergarments downstairs. waited half an hour or so then took the next load, work clothes -on delicate mode- and put the undergarments in the dryer. Repeat x5. As I was hanging up the work clothes I get a call from my Aunty who was checking to see if I was alright…

After the call I try to do some study.. but I am hungry again :(. So it’s time to cook from all the left over ingredients I bought last week! So today and tmoros menu consists of frozen eel (soo delicious), frozen fishballs, frozen mixed veggies ( so colourful), fresh bokchoy x3 (coz its cheaper), 2 onions, half a garlic, half a box of smooth tofu, left over noodles…and voila! 4 or so meals are done. It tastes good too. You can’t really go wrong with these ingredients. I left of mess after cooking (and eating) as per usual.

So I started wiping down the kitchen bench.. then I realised the floor was dirty.. so I got out the good old two in one mixed head mop.. sprayed some disinfectant and water. Well, one thing led to another… I had the spray out already.. should I just clean my toilet and shower today instead of Sunday? It means tmoro I can just relax… hmmm anyways. So I ended quickly cleaning the bathroom too.. I don’t think I did as thorough as the week before.. but I’ll survive🤣🤣🤣 always feels sooo nice to have a clean toilet, clean clothes, and clean kitchen bench. My sink is still full of dishes tho 🤣🤣🤣…

Some of my colleagues are horrified to hear how I only clean once a week…but hey I live on my own and the mess is my own. If I can live with it, then it’s fine right? As long as no one else is affected 🤣🤣🤣imho.

Stages of starting a new job

Night before first day: *Can’t sleep. Too excited/nervous/omfg. (Also can’t wait to start so you can start earning some $$ again )

First day. Wake up wayyyy tooo early. Sleep deprived. Wear a cake of make up and do your hair.. then you remembered you have to wear a mask.. and ruin face. Dress nicely in your freshly ironed clothes and clean polished shoes. Paid for expensive AF visitor parking for a short orientation. Get a mugshot of you taken as if you were a criminal on. your badge. Try to remember the names of all the people you met…then later realise u forgot to ask about how to use the staff carpark.

Week 2: You learnt from the first week that you don’t need to do makeup on your whole face. Just half will do. Clothes? They don’t need ironing right? They will become wrinkled anyways… you bond with the other newstarters.. only they seem to understand your pain and stress from being the “Noob” at work .;(.

Week 3: Let’s just do the eyebrows… everything else comes off anyways. They won’t notice if I wear the same thing twice in a week… right? At this stage you have made some friends, but also some enemies at work. Avoid those who hate in you and just remember it’s alright. You sort of know what you are doing.. kind of. You’ve made a bit of a routine at work. What snacks to get.. the free coffee and tomatoe soup. You got this :0

Week 4.. ? To be continued

Treating yourself Kindly

I find that I am the harshest critic upon myself… when faced with uncertainty, I often doubt myself.. my qualifications and my ability to get the job done.

Amongst other things, I am quick to compare myself to others and hence, usually feel bad for myself. 😔😔 But what for? Everyone is different, unique, and has their own journey. There isn’t any point comparing your journey to someone else’s. That’s what I SHOULD think.. but anyway, other people will do it, even if you don’t.

But you just gotta drown that thought out and don’t pay attention. Just do your best! That’s all you can do. 😊

Week five of our stage 4 lockdown… we are due for review on September 13th.! Fingers and toes crossed we will have some restrictions lifted ✌️✌️🤞🤞🤞

Podcast Updated!

Super tired today.. but thought I would let you know I’ve updated my podcast!!! Yesterday night none the less.. may explain why I am exhausted today. Mondayitis. It’s a real thing.

https://anchor.fm/matoko-matsumoto/episodes/Working-in-Melbourne–Part-2-eisa4e

^ click above

Covid-19 in the Hospital

So I just read an email that was sent this morning to all staff at my hospital…Apparently a patient who had been in a normal ward for 6 weeks has tested positive for Covid-19. Prior to that he had already had 3 negative tests…So they are investigating how he got it and they have to quarantine all the staff that have been near him during this time. Since I have just started, it is extremely unlikely that I was exposed. But it makes me wonder, am I really safe at work?

I like talking to people and socialising at lunch..it’s great to make friends…but who knows…would the person sitting across from me be positive for Covid?

To help myself feel better, I do remember to scan the QR code that each break room has and I register what time I was there. I wear my mask in the hospital..I am constantly cleaning and sanitising my hands…But who knows?!

I am sure I will hear more about this tomorrow… so far no one in Pharmacy has tested positive as of yet, but I think there are some staff in precautionary quarantine until they get their results back.

What a ‘unprecedented‘ time we live in. (ALWAYS wanted to use that word since hearing it so much these days lol ..XD)..

Stay safe~ and wear your mask!

ps. It makes me feel better that I am living on my own and am at no risk to anyone around me. I haven’t been allowed to see any of my relatives since I moved out. I guess that’s all that I can be grateful for :)!

pps. Can’t wait to be able to play badminton again T_T..I am getting fatter each day T_T…oh yeah I met a colleague that plays badminton! Super excited…..