How to avoid the prescribing police

On completing her prescribing course, haemophilia nurse Trish Bell was moved to compose a new opus, which you can read below. But before you do, we’d just like to add that on 24 September, Trish will be taking the plunge to swim a mile for The Haemophilia Society. Trish has pledged to raise £1000. HNA members and Haemnet readers who wish to help Trish make a splash for this worthy cause can make donations at by searching for Trish Bell. So if you like the poem you know how to show your appreciation…

The hardest module!

Every Thursday I go to university

To learn all about pharmacology

My patients all know to where I disappear

I’m doing this for them, to me they are dear


I sit and consume my early morning porridge

Then cycle up the road and soak up some knowledge

I mingle with students someone’s son, someone’s brother

And think to myself I could be their mother


So, what of this course I find I am doing

The science, the terminology on which I am stewing

I’ll remember, if I find myself hesitating

To quote, this medicine is for modulating!


So what have I learnt in the lapse of 8 weeks

Multiple prescriptions may need a few tweaks

From an angry pharmacist you may need to be protected

If you write on a prescription “take as directed”


Don’t give to a child an intramuscular injection

And don’t overprescribe antibiotics for infection

Base your practice in studies based on evidence well told

And don’t overprescribe for the young or the old


Base your rationale for prescribing on results from the lab

To avoid for your patient the mortuary slab

And don’t let your colleagues from industry lead you astray

Or the prescribing police will put you away


When using the BNF you may feel quite lost

Don’t prescribe on the efficacy – remember the cost!

Tell your patient always the administration route

For suppositories don’t swallow, up your rear end please shoot


If you are a prescriber, an AHP or a nurse

Just take one thing home from this little verse

Remember your own professional accountability

And only prescribe from your personal formulary.