Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Working, and OK With It

The Redheaded Pharmacist had a post entitled "More Than A Paycheck" which I really could identify with, because in spite of all the venting and bellyaching I may do (and there will be more, believe me) pharmacy has actually been very good to me too. In my various jobs I have seen a lot of employees come and go, and it does bug me to see people who disrespect their own profession and therefore, mine. I worked with a fairly recent graduate not long ago who showed up unshaven, wearing a filthy lab coat, and acted like the job was little more than a distraction from playing with his iPhone. Get out of here, dude. Not so long ago pharmacists were in short supply, and all you needed to get hired was a pulse. People would come in with the attitude, "you're lucky to have me." Anybody with that attitude now is going to be in trouble.

I think back to when I worked hospital pharmacy... all the doses I checked, all the IV solutions, all the parenteral nutrition solutions ---- they easily must number in the tens of thousands. For me, it's just another IV bag, but to the person into whose veins it will be running it's a whole lot more than that. They'll never know my name, but my job is to stand between them and potential disaster. One of the differences between me and the technician who makes the IV bag is that I am required to know when something doesn't look right --- I'll never forget once stopping a technician who was told (per the instructions) to add 5mL of insulin to a TPN bag, and of course it was supposed to be 0.5mL. She shrugged and said "OK!" and changed it. And I will always wonder about what might have happened.

The other day, in my current retail pharmacy job, my technician (who's great btw) was having a bad day and making a lot of errors. Some of them were clerical errors, some were right drug/wrong strength, and one was potentially hazardous (hydroxyzine for hydralazine). It is days like that when I am reminded why I am there. Yes, most of it is repetitive and unglamorous, but to the person on the other side of the counter it's a pretty big deal. All in all, I get a lot of satisfaction at the end of the day because I got through it and did it right. The paycheck is good too, but it's nice to have both.

And now, I will proceed to complain some more!
So.... this guy comes in the other day............................................ to be continued.............


Grumpy, M.D. said...

I like my job. I have to work. So I think it's good to have one I can live with.

The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

Well said Frantic. Being a pharmacist is a job and a means to make a living. But having said that there is a lot at stake for us and when we make mistakes very bad things could happen. For that reason alone there should be some level of respect and duty associated with the profession and anyone who chooses this path of work.
I can recall a few times at work where I caught some error and wondered to myself "what would have happened had I not caught this?" It also made me think "this is why they pay me good money to be here!" It's a good feeling when you know you've made a difference even if you don't get any recognition for your efforts!

pharmacy one said...

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