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English for PTA


It is a good idea to consider vein health before setting off. Having to sit in cramped conditions and not getting enough exercise and fluids can have a detrimental effect on the veins.

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Some passengers may also have health problems affecting the veins: pregnancy,obesity, varicose veins and heart problems. Even healthy people may be affected by long periods of sitting. Anyone who has these problems should consult their family doctor or gynaecologist for advice. The doctor will be able to advise if compression socks or tights, or medication are necessary to prevent thrombosis or oedema in the first place. In any case, it’s a good idea to visit the pharmacy, where a trained PTA can give qualified advice.

Female customer: Hello. I’m sorry, but my German is not that good. Do you speak English?
PTA: Yes, how may I help you?

My gynaecologist has given me a prescription for compression socks. You see, I’m flying to Australia in three-weeks-time and she advised me to wear the socks for the flight.
That’s good! Do you have a history of vein problems?

Yes, I had problems with varicose veins during my two pregnancies, and I am on hormone replacement therapy.
But you don’t have any other health issues, do you?

What type of health issues?
Are you taking any heart medication?

No, there is no history of heart problems in my family. And I don’t smoke either, which would also have an effect on the veins, wouldn’t it?
Yes, of course. Could you come with me please? We need to go to the back office. We need to take some measurements to make sure that you get the right socks. What shoe size do you have?

Size 7. I’m not really sure of the German size as I always buy my shoes at home.
Let’s see, we have a conversion table here for the various shoe sizes. Is the 7 American or British?

It’s a British size 7. Is there a difference?
Certainly! An American size 7 is a German size 38, and a British 7 is 41! Now there’s a difference!

Yes, three shoe sizes is quite a lot!
I have to measure the circumference of your calf at the knee, and at the widest part, and then at the ankle and then the length from knee to heel. This is your size. Would you like the socks with or without cotton?

Cotton please. Is there anything else that you recommend?
The cabin air is usually very dry, so make sure to get enough fluids, mineral water and fruit juices, that kind of thing. Are you travelling economy or business class?

We’re travelling economy. It’s quite expensive, but not as expensive as business. Why?
Economy has different seating, and can’t be converted so that it’s like a bed! It’s a good idea to walk around as often as possible, and wear loose comfortable clothing.

Is there anything else?
Yes, exercises to keep the blood circulating. This is necessary as you can’t really put your feet up in economy!

Thank you so much for your help. Bye, bye!
Goodbye and bon voyage!

long distance flight Langstreckenflug
vein health Venengesundheit
detrimental schädlich
obesity Fettleibigkeit
varicose veins Krampfadern
consult sich beraten lassen von
tights Strumpfhosen
oedema Ödem, Flüssigkeitsansammlung
advise empfehlen
health issues Gesundheitsprobleme
measurements Maße
conversion table Umrechnungstabelle
circumference Umfang
calf Wade
ankle Knöchel
heel Ferse

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 04/15 auf Seite 72.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker