Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Salute to the People Who Know Their Stuff

In the pharmacy world we piss and moan about other people we encounter in our daily work --
bitchy nurses, dumbass doctors, and yes, other pharmacy personnel who we find lacking in competence. And heaven knows, there are plenty of them out there. But in the last couple of months I've found myself close to a couple of surgical procedures -- one as a patient, the other as a family member. And I've been truly impressed and appreciative of many of the people I've encountered as they do their daily work.

I'm a big believer in recognizing people who do a good job, especially when you know that it's totally routine for them, and they're probably sick and tired of giving the same post-op spiel 20 times a day, or explaining the blood pressure cuff, or soothing yet another person who's sweating out having an IV placed. You can always tell the people who are true professionals. They make you feel like you are the center of their world; they know exactly what you're going to feel before you do; they anticipate everything, they crack a few jokes, they smile, they ask "Are you OK?" over and over. You don't really appreciate these things till you're on the other side. And for these people, it's all in a day's work but they never act like it is. And when the procedure's over and the problem is fixed and you get to go home and live your life, you've got to remember to say a little thank you for those medical personnel whose everyday skills you relied on.

Of course I include many of my fellow pharmacists in this salute. But when you're nervously stuffing your clothes into a plastic bag in some pre-op holding room and the damn hospital gown
flaps open in the back revealing your least attractive feature --- well, I have a special feeling for the nurse who reaches over and gently closes it. I salute you.

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