Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Am I Missing Something Here?

Young woman and male friend approach the counter first thing on a Saturday morning. Young woman states she is using a birth control pill --- should she also use Plan B? She proceeds to answer "no" to the following questions from me:

Did you miss some doses?
Are you having irregular periods, spotting?
Are you on some other medications that could interfere with your birth control?
Is it your first cycle of birth control?

I'm stumped. I tell her that OC's are very effective if used correctly. She seems satisfied and leaves. I guess I'm glad she asked, but I hope she really wasn't going to take Plan B every time she had sex while on the pill. Just covering all the bases, I guess......

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Ultimate Question

Colleges of Pharmacy are very big on 'pharmaceutical care', 'medication therapy managment', or whatever else you want to call it. They preach it, teach it, practice it on each other, take videos of themselves doing it and then watch the videos. That's fine. But I think a lot of working pharmacists would agree that the #1 question we are asked in our usual workday is --- say it with me --- "How long will it take to fill these?"
Now, in my heart, I understand why people ask. They may have come to expect long waits at the pharmacy and they want to know what they're lookin' at. But when it's the FIRST thing that comes out of someone's mouth as they approach the counter -- before I have even seen what they have in their hand --- I just find it incredibly irritating. I can't help it. It's like they are saying to me, the ONLY thing I care about your service is how fast you can do it. Prescription medication or cheeseburger, it's all the same to me.

I wish I could come up with a polite, yet pointed response to the Ultimate Question. I'm still working on it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How Urgent Is It?

One of the pharmacies I work at is next to the clinic Urgent Care, and it never ceases to amaze me how long people will wait for this service, only to finally emerge from the labyrinth of examining rooms with the word "Sudafed" scribbled on a piece of paper. I cannot fathom what urgent problem brought someone into the clinic for which a dollop of Triamcinolone Cream is the god-given cure. One of my favorite Urgent Care prescriptions is Patanol drops -- those itchy eyes that just won't wait one more day. These are not uninsured people --- quite the contrary. They are people who just can't be bothered to get established with a regular doctor or who can't get an appointment exactly when they want it, so they use the Urgent Care as a very expensive alternative and in my opinion, waste everyone's time. Save those seats in the waiting room for the mom who's been up all night with the screaming baby yanking at his ears -- please.

I did get a call from an Urgent Care doc once asking for some Lidocaine Jelly. His patient had a "device" stuck in his rectum. Now that's an emergency. Owwweeeeeeeee.

Hello Fellow Pharmacist Warriors

I'm new to blogging but felt I had to give it a try. I never knew pharmacy blogs existed until someone sent me a copy of the DrugMonkey's classic "Why Your Prescription Takes So Damn Long to Fill," and from then on I was hooked. I enjoy reading all the blogs on Pharm-Land and
I have laughed and learned a lot from my colleagues. I presently work in a clinic pharmacy and before that worked for a long time in hospital pharmacy. I've been in my present position about 8 years and still consider myself an amateur -- still not quite in the same league as pharmacists who've worked retail for 20+ years and seen it all. But I'm gettin' there! I'm not whip-smart like the DrugMonkey or a great writer, but I know I will find it therapeutic to post as often as possible and exchange comments with the pharmacy blogosphere. As Stephen Colbert would say, you guys are the heroes!