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English for PTA


It is the time of year when midges are looking for likely victims and wasps can be found buzzing around the garden table spoiling the enjoyment of eating outside.

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Aside from the fact that insects are a nuisance, they also pose a potential threat to those of us who are allergic to bee sting and wasp sting. Depending on which part of the country one lives, the problem of horseflies and even mosquitoes should not be underestimated. Although insect repellent does help, this author experienced the limits of repellent when she was bitten by a wasp looking for wood for nest-building! Allergy sufferers should be especially careful because of the risk of anaphylactic shock, which is an over-reaction of the immune system.

Pharmacy customer: Hello, do you speak English?
PTA: Hello. Yes, I do. How may I help you?

I was just sitting outside the ice cream parlour when a wasp attacked me.
Oh, that doesn’t look good. When did it happen?

About ten minutes ago. It’s very painful and it’s starting to swell up and get red, as you can see. Well the first thing we need to do is to disinfect the site of the sting. Is it okay of I use this disinfectant wipe?

Yes, please do.
Then we need to cool the site. We have pre-frozen gel packs in our deep freeze for such eventualities. I’ll just go and get one for you.

Thank you. Oh that really helps.
Do you have any other symptoms aside from the obvious ones?

Symptoms? What kinds of symptoms?
Do you have a headache?

No, I don’t.
What about nausea?

No, I can’t say that I feel nauseous.
That’s good. If you do start to feel any of these symptoms, or circulation problems, stomach cramps and vomiting, please, seek medical help immediately.

That sounds very dramatic. Why should I do that?
You see they might be the symptoms of an anaphylactic shock. And that’s a medical emergency.

Good to know! I think I might also need antihistamines. Do you have any that are not prescription medicines?
That was exactly what I was going to recommend next! Yes, we have these pharmacy-only antihistamines. You will need to take them for a few days, until the irritation stops. I would also recommend using a hydrocortisone cream. Applied locally it usually helps alleviate the swelling and the itchiness.

Is there anything else that I should be careful of?
Well, when I go out in the summer, especially in the evenings, I always wear insect repellent.

What about eating garlic, or taking vitamin B1? Aren’t they supposed to help?
Sorry, but there is no scientific evidence that they will repel insects. And garlic will only repel your family and friends?

Okay, thank you for your help. Goodbye.
You are welcome, bye, bye.

midges Mücken
likely victims mögliche Opfer
spoiling ruinieren, beeinträchtigen
nuisance Störung, Belästigung
threat Drohung, Bedrohung
horseflies Bremse, Pferdebremse
underestimated unterschätzt
allergy sufferers Allergiker
ice cream parlour Eisdiele
painful schmerzhaft
obvious offensichtlich
nausea Übelkeit, Unwohlsein
stomach cramps Magenkrämpfe
vomiting Erbrechen, sich übergeben
immediately sofort
prescription medicines Rezeptpflichtige Arzneimittel
pharmacy-only apothekenpflichtig
applied locally lokal aufgetragen
alleviate erleichtern, lindern
garlic Knoblauch

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 05/15 auf Seite 56.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker