The Dreaded Torsion Balance

Over the summer I was able to do an internship with Thrifty White in a small northern Minnesota town. I realized in a rural setting some things would be different than what I am used to. However, I never in my life would have thought Dr. B (first year lab professor in Duluth) would be right when she said not every pharmacy has an electronic scale. That was her big push for requiring that we know how to use a torsion balance. I thought she was lying this whole time! I mean electronic scales aren’t that fancy. People have small ones they use for food at home even. Then I was told I needed to make a compound this summer which required hydrocortisone powder. I looked for an electronic scale, but couldn’t find one. I was then informed the only scale in the pharmacy was a torsion balance (pause for a slight panic moment!!). It had been since first year lab that I last used a torsion balance, so it took me a moment to remember how to use one! Thinking back to first year lab using the torsion balance would take me years it seemed to make a simple compound. I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to make a fool of myself during my internship!  However, with some guidance from my preceptor, I had that compound made in no time! For visual proof that I indeed had to use a torsion balance I took some pictures for you all!!

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So lesson learned-trust your professor when she tells you not every pharmacy has an electronic scale!! Thanks for the life lesson Dr. B!!

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