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.

1 comment:

Phathead said...

Granted I'm not a pharmacist, but what I do (if I notice a bit of an iregularity with refills) is ask them how they think the medication is working. Often I'll pull them from chairs and just ask that simple question. Usually its that they have a weird side effect (dry mouth from Lisinopril being the most common) that they don't like. Lately its that they've been in the donut hole and didn't think there was any other options but paying $100+ a month. It takes a little work, but eventually a little more communication is established rather than 'how long will it take to fill this'.