English for PTA


Ever had a situation where you thought, “I wish I had a tweezers for that splinter of wood” or “Where’s a scissors when you need one!”? To avoid this it is advisable to have a well-stocked first aid box or, even better, a first aid cabinet.

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A cabinet is ideal, mounted on a wall it can be locked to keep the contents out of reach of children. You often see them in bathrooms on TV, but the bathroom is not ideal for a first aid cabinet. Bathrooms tend to be quite warm and humid, which is not the correct storage for things, such as medication, that are included in the contents. The pantry is better as pantries tend to be unheated but not too cold, and also tend to be near kitchens where a lot of minor mishaps occur. Pharmacy customer: Guten Morgen. Sprechen Sie englisch?

PTA: Guten Morgen! Ja, I mean yes I do! How may I help you?
We just moved here from Dublin and after unpacking our boxes we realised that we haven’t got a plaster in the house! We have first aid kits in both cars, but that is not great in the long run.

Okay, so you need to stock up on the necessaries, is that correct?
Exactly! My husband, who is a first-aider, gave me a list of the items and with three boys in the house we really need them!

Right, let’s see what you need.
Adhesive strip plasters in a variety of sizes, please.

Normal ones, or hypoallergenic?
Good that you asked, hypoallergenic, please, my youngest son is very sensitive! We also need non-stick sterile gauze bandages and gauze compresses, and rolled, sterile, flexible bandages.

Here are the adhesive-strips and the hypoallergenic ones. How many of the sterile rolls do you need?
Two and a pack of sterile gauze pads, please. Oh, and do you have eye wash cups? They are good to have near the kitchen, especially when cutting chillies!

Yes, we have a box of 10 sterile-packaged eye wash cups here.
Great! Let’s see, we need first aid tweezers for removing dirt and splinters from cuts and grazes. Do you have alcohol swabs, you know for cleansing and sterilizing wounds?

Yes and we also have antiseptic spray. Would you like the spray or the swabs?
I’ll take both. You can’t believe the cuts and abrasions that my boys “collect”!

There you are. Do you need anything else?
Yes please, do you have those special heavy-duty scissors?

Just a moment, I’ll check the inventory on the computer. Yes, we have scissors for cutting plasters and bandages.
Good. We’re almost at the end of the list. Crepe bandage, triangular bandage, bandage clips, and a thermometer, please.

We have a few different types of thermometer. This one is an in-ear thermometer, it’s very quick, accurate and on special offer with a 25% price reduction.
That is a good price! I saw them online for the same price plus postal charges. I think that’s everything, thank you.

You are welcome. Do you need a bag for your purchases?
Yes, please.

You can find this article at PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 05/18 on page 92.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker

first aidErste Hilfe
splinter of woodHolzsplitter
well-stockedgut gefüllt
cabinetSchrank, Schränkchen
pantrySpeisekammer, Vorratskammer
adhesive strip plastersWundschnellverband
gauze bandagesMullbinden
eye wash cupsAugenspülbecher
abrasions Schürfwunden
crepe bandageselastische Binde
bandage clipsVerbandklammer, „Schwiegermutter“
postal chargesVersandgebühren