Managing opioid induced constipation

Cobie McQueen, a fourth year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) student, has received the David Nolte Oral Case History prize for a case history on pain relief for palliative care patients with constipation.

Hand-palliative-standardMs McQueen was one of five students selected to deliver case histories to a gathering of pharmaceutical professionals in Bendigo last month.

Her presentation, entitled ‘When the going gets tough: managing opioid induced constipation,’ focused on a palliative care patient she encountered while on placement at Mount Alexander Hospital. It emphasised the importance of managing constipation, which is a common but discomforting side effect of opioid analgesic medication.

‘This is a very relevant issue because the aim of a pharmacist working in palliative care is to bring comfort and dignity to a patient as they near the end of their life. It’s about optimising the quality of life through the most appropriate use of medicines,’ says Ms McQueen.

‘My presentation examined the treatment the patient received, whether that treatment was appropriate, the role of the pharmacist in patient care and whether other therapies could be utilised to minimise adverse side effects.’

Ms McQueen says that she was surprised by her win as all presentations were of a high standard.

‘The high quality of presentations is a testament to staff in the Pharmacy program and the preceptors who supervised us on placement. They put in a lot of work to make placements happen and all entrants feel that we owe the quality of our presentations to their willingness to take us under their wing’.

Ms McQueen is in her final year of study at La Trobe University and will take up an intern position at Barwon Health next year.

Mr Richard Summers, Lecturer in pharmacy practice at La Trobe University also acknowledged the exceptionally high standard of presentations and congratulated Ms McQueen on her performance.

‘We are all very proud of the pharmacy students and their efforts with their studies and this award serves both to showcase their work and recognises their achievements’


About the David Nolte Oral Case History Prize

The David Nolte Oral Case History Prize is awarded to a fourth-year student enrolled in the Bachelor of Pharmacy at the Bendigo Campus, who presents the best oral case history from first-semester placements.

The oral case histories are judged by a panel of industry professionals during the Bendigo Clinical Pharmacy Lecture. It has been awarded annually since 2005.

Mr David Nolte is a longstanding benefactor and supporter of the La Trobe University Bendigo pharmacy program. He is the owner of David Nolte Pharmacy, a community pharmacy based in Melbourne.

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