English for PTA


CVDs are the leading cause of death globally. Of the estimated 17.9 million deaths due to CVDs in 2019, that is 32 per cent of all deaths, 85 per cent die from heart attack and stroke. Early detection is important.

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Most CVDs can be prevented by looking at the risk factors associated with them. These risk factors include smoking, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity, and harmful use of alcohol. CVDs include a long list of disorders, such as coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. One of the precursors of CVDs is hypertension. Known as the “silent killer”, many people don’t realise that they have it and it is often by coincidence that it is diagnosed. Male pharmacy customer: Hello. Do you speak English?

PTA: Hello, yes I do. How may I help you?
I have a prescription for hypertension medication. I did a series of tests at the doctor’s office as I was having health problems. I had to do a 24-hour monitoring test with a blood pressure device, which confirmed my GP’s suspicions. A blood test showed elevated cholesterol and a carotid artery scan showed signs of slight atherosclerosis. I’m a bit shocked to be honest!

Yes, it is a lot to deal with. But you should consider yourself lucky that your doctor had those suspicions! I see from your prescription that your doctor has prescribed a beta-blocker and a diuretic.
Why is that? I know that she told me what they are for, but I was so taken aback that I wasn’t really listening!

Oh, that’s understandable. The main function of beta-blockers is to block receptors for adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are released in stress situations. One of the effects of a diuretic is to block special transport systems in the kidneys, which lead to more salt and water being excreted. This in turn leads to lower blood volume and blood pressure.
You said one of the effects, are there others?

The other main effect is that potassium channels in the vascular muscles are opened, which means that they don’t constrict as easily, which also leads to a lowering of the blood pressure.
As this is my first time ever taking this kind of medication, is there anything that I should consider while taking them?

You need to keep an eye on your daily weight and your blood pressure. I assume that your doctor recommended that you come to the surgery at least once a week to monitor your progress, did she?
Yes, she did. Do you have BP devices here?

Yes, this one here is our best-seller. It’s a professional device that is also used in doctors’ practices.
Good, I’ll take it so that I can get started right away.

There you are and here is a card with our telephone number.
Thank you, you have been very helpful.

No problem. Goodbye.

You can find this article on page 72 in DIE PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 08/2021.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker

Cardiovascular Diseases, CVDsHerz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen
early detectionFrüherkennung
obesityAdipositas, Fettleibigkeit
pulmonary embolismLungenembolie
hypertensionHypertonie, Bluthochdruck
by coincidencezufällig
blood pressure device or BP deviceBlutdruckmessgerät
confirmed … suspicionsbestätigt den Verdacht
elevated cholesterolerhöhtes Cholesterin
carotid arteryHalsschlagader
taken abackverdattert
constrict(sich) zusammenziehen
surgery(hier) Arztpraxis