One of the goals of our eAntidote blog is to introduce you to the real poison experts who answer the phones at the Maryland Poison Center (MPC), as well as our staff members. In addition to being nurses and pharmacists, they are parents, grandparents, artists, athletes, sports fans, and more! Read the Q&A below to get to know one of our specialists: Rama Arvind.
Why did you go into the field of pharmacy?
My passion for chemistry and biology began in high school. I also had an interest in the health care field. Pharmacy is a profession that combines all of those interests, in addition to being able to help others. Pharmacists play an integral part in a patient’s health care team and is a well-rounded profession.
How did you end up working at the poison center?
After working several years as a retail and specialty pharmacist, I was ready for a change and some challenge. My search for a new opportunity lead me to MPC and I am grateful.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I really enjoy working with and learning from the most amazing and knowledgeable group of people here at the MPC. I continue to learn every day and use my knowledge to help patients get the best possible care.
Why are poison centers and poison specialists like you important?
Poison centers operate 24/7 and the poison specialists are readily accessible to the public and health care professionals by calling 1-800-222-1222. As poison experts, we have a unique set of knowledge that’s gained through extensive training and years of experience. We assess the nature and severity of a poisoning by using our background and appropriate resources to recommend appropriate treatment. At the MPC, we also provide education and outreach programs to the public and health care providers to teach them about the MPC and poison safety.
What’s an important message you want to share about poison safety?
As Paracelsus says, “all things are poison, and nothing is without poison. The dose makes the poison.”
Keep all household products, chemicals, and medicines in their original labeled containers. Store things up, away, and out of sight from children and pets.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Outside of work I enjoy reading, watching movies, and running. I recently completed my first marathon! I also like to travel and hike with my family and our dog.