Reflection on rural externship.

She then came to the pharmacy for assistance. While observing her, I felt very sympathetic towards her and the pain, discomfort, and the sickly feeling she must be going through. What was good about the experience was that I was able to observe how the pharmacist asked her questions. Our pharmacist was very sympathetic and it helped the patient relax and be more at ease.

I was also able to note the right questions to ask a patient with fever – questions which help determine a correct diagnosis for the patient.

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Fever is a higher than normal body temperature (for most people, higher than 98.6 F or 37 C) and is triggered by an infection or an inflammation (eMedicine Health, 2010). During fevers, the body’s immune response is first triggered by pyrogens (substances which cause fever). These pyrogens often come from outside sources like food, air droplets, water, and similar substances ingested or inhaled. These pyrogens then interact with the existing pyrogens in the body and cause the hypothalamus to increase the temperature set point in the body (eMedicine Health, 2010). As a response to this hypothalamic response, the body begins to shiver and the blood vessels constrict. These symptoms were manifest in the patient.

The pharmacist explains to the patient that the patient’s fever may be attributed to a viral or a bacterial infection and further asked the patient pertinent details about her food and water intake. The pharmacist also explained that contact with other people who had the flu, cough, or colds could have triggered her fever. The patient said that her daughter was having flu at the moment. The pharmacist recommended Panadol to be taken every four hours. The pharmacist asked the patient if she had any history of problems with kidney or liver function. She replied in the negative. The pharmacist also asked if she had an allergy to Panadol or to paracetamol in general.

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