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.


The Ole' Apothecary said...


It's the Victoria Osteen principle---clean up my liquid spot, or else! Or, more explicitly, bring me the heads of John the Baptist AND Alfredo Garcia.

Why? Because....

(and 300 million North Americans say this line in unison...)


Anonymous said...

I work pre-set hours in a different town than I live and see my regular doctor. My doctor sees patients from 9-4 Monday through Thursday. I cannot take time off to go to see the doctor when it is urgent; i.e. if it's urgent, I should be able to see the doctor before a week has passed. My doctor's office personnel doesn't answer the phone during lunch. When I self-diagnose and need a prescription, my doctor wants to see me before she writes it. So, I've been to Urgent Care for an upset stomach requiring ondansetron injection (eliciting prochlorperazine script), for an umbilical herniation (resulting in hydrocodone+ prescription), and a refill on levothyroxine (over a long holiday weekend when I wasn't able to schedule labs before running out of drug).
I am a pharmacist. Maybe it's time to develop a different patient- doctor relationship.