Maintaining education and competency: it’s easier than you think

woman listening to podcast

Karalyn Huxhagen rounds up some of the best educational (and entertaining) podcasts for pharmacists

As the furious race to the 30.9.18 happened and we all scrambled to ensure our CPD points were up to scratch, I hope that a few of you took on a new mantra to document, document, document.

In an era of fast paced living and our inability to fit everything into a 24-hour day there are a few thoughts of how we can learn, maintain knowledge and explore areas that are outside our norm.

One of these that I use a lot is podcasts. I have several podcasts that I regularly listen to and I am sure there are many others that readers can share that I would find interesting.

My ultimate favourite is Purple Pen, hosted by Jane and Dan, and supported by SHPA. This podcast team has access to very experienced clinicians who share their knowledge in an easy to listen to format.

Some of my favourite Purple Pen podcasts are:

  • Interventions to improve analgesic prescribing with Dr Jenny Stevens
  • Codeine controversies with Dr Jacinta Johnson
  • Heart failure with Rochelle Gellatly
  • Serotonin toxicity with Prof Geoff Ibister
  • Biosimilars with Dr David Lew – a must listen if you find the biosimilar space as confusing as me
  • Antimicrobial PKPD and antimicrobial pharmacokinetics with Jason Roberts -an absolute must listen
  • Antibiotic allergies with Dr Jason Trubuano -these two episodes turn your thinking completely upside down when considering antibiotic allergy

These are just a few of the outstanding podcasts offered by Purple Pen.

To improve my competencies I have an extended listening list that assists me to underhand the terminology and notes used by GPs and discharge planners. I live in a horrid world of acronyms, short names and ‘health speak’ .

Some of my favourites are:

On the wards

  • Antibiotic allergy is an excellent appendage to Dr Jason’s podcasts above. Dr Alice Grey really explains this topic in basic language so that interns know how to assess the patient who presents with ‘antibiotic allergy’
  • Diagnosis and management of neuropathic pain
  • Delirium
  • Improving communication between hospitals and general practice-this podcast is very relevant to pharmacists working with GPs especially in areas of discharge for DAAs, aged care and primary care programs such as health care homes

The podcasts from this group are just as relevant to pharmacists as they are to interns and junior doctors which is their target audience.

The GP Show with Dr Sam Manger

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy with Prof Susan Davis
  • Cardiovascular disease -cholesterol and cardiovascular risk -A/Prof David Colquhon
  • Opioid Use Disorder and Medication Assisted Treatment Suboxone and Methadone with Dr Paul Grinzi
  • End of Life and Palliative Care with Dr Louise Welch Palliative Care Physician

This last podcast is a must listen for pharmacists. The discussion about pain management and the pathway of palliation is explained in a format that is easy to listen to and learn from.

Australian Prescriber

These podcasts give you a taste of what is in the monthly edition of the Australian Prescriber. Entices you to open the journal and read the full articles.

  • Combining anticoagulation and antiplatelet drugs in coronary artery disease- A/Prof Harry Gibbs
  • Travelling with medicines- Prof Nicholas Zwar
  • Neuropathic pain – Dr Bridin Murnion
  • Reducing medication errors at transitions of care- Prof Amanda Wheeler- a very relevant topic for pharmacists working in aged care and supported care

Some other favourites from my podcast library:

  • Evidence Based Medicine Podcast
  • Health Report with Norman Swan
  • Medical Journal of Australia
  • JAMA Clinical Reviews
  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • Med Conversations
  • SAGE Psychology and Psychiatry
  • TED Talks Daily
  • All in the mind-ABC Radio National

For fun learning I listen to:

  • Dr Karl on triplej
  • Fantastic Mr Tox and How Show
  • Hamish and Andy

I am an avid fan of podcasts as I spend a lot of time on the road which is an ideal time to listen. My walks at night are interrupted by my yelps of laughter at the fantastic Mr Tox or shaking my head when listening to the experts discussing case studies.

I am looking forward to the arrival of AJP podcasts to expand my library of easy listening learning. I cannot possibly read every journal and article that interests me so I am keen to embrace a technology that keeps me up to date.

Karalyn Huxhagen is a community pharmacist and was 2010 Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Pharmacist of the Year. She has been named winner of the 2015 PSA Award for Quality Use of Medicines in Pain Management and is group facilitator of the Mackay Pain Support Group.

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