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Destination anywhere! Where will internet browsing take you?

Our resident pharmacist, Sheila Beaumont, often finds it very easy to get sidetracked when on the internet, but then again, you never know what thoughts and idea this may lead to.

I have just been thinking how much better everything feels when the sun shines despite the fact that I have spent most of the day working at home on the computer.

This is a machine I have a love/hate relationship with, as on the one hand it enables me to accomplish many things like banking, shopping, booking holidays, and so on, without having to face the milling hordes that throng Brighton most of the time. However, on the other hand it does keep me chained to the desk writing reports, minutes, a newsletter and suchlike, which I used to write by hand and on a day like this I would do sitting out in the garden, and then get someone else to type it up! (I can still produce a piece of work with paper and pencil more quickly than when I have to use a keyboard!)

It is the same with emails and the internet - they open up the world but they eat up time and you have to get it right. If you mistype a name in Google, up comes the accusatory question "Did you mean X?" which makes me feel totally inadequate! Or again you come across something totally unexpected. For some reason when I was logging on to I typed the initials not the full name (yes I know I should have bookmarked the site) and was most surprised to find that if I had a small-to-medium sized company I could have easy access to China!

It is also easy to get "hooked in" when you start browsing - you never know what thoughts and ideas this may lead to. Our homepage is the BBC news page and I always seem to get sidetracked by it.

Today there was an article about the reidentification of a baby that died in the Titanic disaster. Initially after DNA testing in 2002, the baby was said to be a Finnish child, but recent Canadian researchers consider that he was in fact 19-month-old Sydney Leslie Goodwin, travelling with his parents to start a new life in the USA. The lead researcher Ryan Parr stated: "It is very easy to say you got this wrong, but nevertheless that is how science works, and you do change your ideas and you do change your theories."

This certainly made me stop short and think how much my practice has changed over the years as new evidence comes to light, new drugs and technology become available and new ways of working are developed. Certainly there have been and still are huge changes in the practice of pharmacy. Pharmacists are expected and now taught to come out from behind the dispensing bench, leaving the tablet counting to technicians, and be ready to talk to and advise customers and patients on their prescribed medicines, over-the-counter remedies, healthy lifestyles, and how to take best care of themselves. Pharmacists are now seen as part of the primary healthcare team and are encouraged to contact, network and work with all other healthcare professionals.

There have also been massive changes in nursing and I would be really interested to hear what you think have been the significant changes in your particular practice.

See what I mean about you never know what browsing can lead to. This started out as a comment on computers and ended up with thoughts on change!