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Occupational English Test













Read the case notes and complete the writing task which follows.



You are a pharmacist at Newtown Hospital. An elderly patient who has been treated for a fractured femur is being discharged. You are writing a letter to her carer (her daughter) to ensure the medication regime is followed when she returns home.

Patient History

Name: Mrs Alice Ramsey Date of Birth: 4 January 1925 Allergies: Nil

Current Medication:

On Admission: Zantac (ranitidine) (for GORD): 150mg bd

Lipitor (atorvastatin): 20mg mane (on empty stomach) On Discharge: Zantac (ranitidine) (for GORD): 150mg bd

Lipitor (atorvastatin): 20mg mane

Heparin low molecular weight (LMWH) (anti-coagulant): 7500 bd – to be continued until mobile Panadeine Forte (paracetamol & codeine for pain relief): 500mg 4-hourly/prn

Durolax (to prevent constipation): 10mg nocte

Maxolon (metoclopramide) (for side effects of codeine): 10mg tds/prn Penicillin (prophylactic: ↓ risk of post-op infection): 250mg qid 2/52 Drug Information: Adverse Drug Reactions

Ranitidine Adverse: headache; GI upset; rash; CNS disturbances (rare)

Atorvastatin Adverse: Serious: rhabdomyolysis, myopathy, myalgia (0.2%);

GI upset (1%); headache (2%); rash (2.5%); flu-like symptoms (1.5%); raised LFTs (1.3%)

Heparin Adverse: haemorrhage, easy bruising, nausea, vomiting

Codeine/Paracetamol Adverse: constipation, stomach-aches, nausea, vomiting;

Rare: dependence, tolerance; CNS disturbances incl. impaired alertness


Penicillin Adverse: Rare: sensitivity reactions; haematological effects; nausea, vomiting, mild diarrhoea;

allergic skin rash or hives Social History:

Pt normally lives alone. On discharge, staying with daughter. Pt non-driver. Public transport.

Relevant History for Surgical Procedure:

Height 168cm; Weight 75kg; BMI 26.8 Non-smoker

Dentures – upper & lower

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) – controlled by medication Hypercholesterolaemia – controlled by medication

11 July 2010

2:45pm: Pt brought to A&E by ambulance. Knocked down by car in Garden Nursery car park (buying plants) – landed on bitumen. Driver failed to see her in rear-view mirror → reversed into her. Not run over. Fell on R side on femur.

Presenting symptoms: pain – post fall & difficulty standing or walking 3.00pm: Pt seen by Dr Hogarth. Pain relief: pethidine (opiate)

X-rays of affected femur – anterior-posterior & lateral views Repeat films with hip at 15-20° internal rotation → MRI 5:30pm: Transferred to ward

Pt booked for surgery 12 July am – nil by mouth from midnight

Full pre-operative general investigation: LFTs, platelet count, WBC count, WBC types, RBC count, RBC indices, Hg, haematocrit, blood smear, ECG & chest X-ray

12 July 2010

Open reduction & internal fixation (ORIF) performed

GA given: induction – propofol; sevoflurane, fentanyl, midazolam, suxamethonium, ondansetron

Heparin – thrombus prevention

IV antibiotics – penicillin – continued for 24/24 post surgery Immobilised with spica cast



• pressure sore prevention & care of pressure areas; wound care • pain relief • fluid balance & blood loss monitoring: IV fluids + penicillin • nutritional management: oral protein supplementation • thrombus prevention: low dose, low molecular weight heparin, & mechanised compression stockings • lower limb circulation & sensation • early mobilisation & weight bearing on injured leg

24 July 2010 Transferred to Rehab Unit 8 August 2010

Due for discharge home – appointment made for 22 August 2010 for removal of cast Letter to carer/daughter (NB: heparin to be continued only until mobile)

The patient is being discharged to the care of her daughter.

Writing task:

Using the information in the case notes, write a letter to the daughter, Mrs Holly Kerr, 3 Rose Avenue, Springbank, outlining her mother’s medication regime, any potential adverse effects to be aware of, and when to seek medical advice. In your answer: • expand the relevant notes into complete sentences • do not use note form • use letter format The body of the letter should be approximately 180-200 words. 4





1 Mrs Holly Kerr 3 Rose Avenue Springbank (Today’s date) Dear Mrs Kerr

Your mother, Mrs Alice Ramsey, is now being transferred into your care following her operation and it is important that you ensure her medications are taken correctly.

On admission, she was already using an anti-ulcer drug, ranitidine (Zantac), twice daily to control her acid reflux, and a cholesterol-lowering medication, Lipitor, one tablet on an empty stomach. The main side effects to be aware of with Zantac are stomach upsets, headaches and skin rash. The most serious reaction to Lipitor is muscle pain; any occurrence should be reported to her doctor.

Since hospitalisation, she has been prescribed several additional medications. Panadeine Forte for pain relief, is to be taken as required (not more than every four hours). It can cause stomach-ache, constipation, nausea and vomiting and drowsiness/sedation. To counteract any nausea, Maxolon (metoclopramide) can be taken up to three times daily as needed. The penicillin (four times daily) is to prevent any infections, while a blood-thinning medication called heparin will prevent clot formation due to the surgery or immobility. This is to be continued while your mother is immobile, and you will need to be alert for possible bleeding or bruising. If this occurs, you should seek medical advice from your doctor or community nurse.

I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Yours sincerely


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