Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Scenario Keeps Repeating Itself

Customer: "I'm picking up a prescription."

Then what follows is.......silence. Stare.... More silence. I wait for it....... I know it's coming.... they're going to give me the name --- the name, I need a name, gimme a name.......... any minute now, c'mon...................aw, hell, I guess not. I'm gonna have to ask the question.

Me: "OK, who is the prescription for?"

Customer: "Me."

Silence. Longer stare. More silence.
I'm on the verge of laughing, or crying. This is my life.

This scenario, in various forms, repeated itself several times this week. I find myself puzzling over it. I'm trying to rationalize it. Maybe it has to do with prescriptions being sent electronically. Do people think maybe a photo or physical description accompanies the prescription, so we just know who they are? Maybe I can match up the prescription with their outward symptoms? (sniffling, red eyes, coughing, rash?) Yes folks, in this depersonalized, bar-coded, anonymous world we live in, we still need your name. Please.

13 comments:

Pharmacy Tipper said...

That would be kind of awesome if we could identify them that way though.

The Nite Nurse said...

And the same thing happens on the floor at the hospital when some stranger appears asking where Granny went. It's amazing that I can know which of the six little old ladies is her Granny. I feel your pain.

senukex said...

Wow, great post. Thanks Again.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

We all get the same shit. Just their belief that we can read minds. Drives me nuts.

Anonymous said...

I think it is because we, as patients, have been successfully trained to wait to answer only the question that is asked, and only IN THE ORDER IT IS ASKED. Try being on the other side of the counter and saying, "I'm picking up a prescription for..." "Name?" "...my mother. Her name is Jane Doe. I have no idea if or when she had it called in, so I know I may have to..." "Doctor's name?" and so on. It seems less wasteful time-wise, not to mention demeaning, just to wait and answer the right question in the right order. Sorry guys; that is my take. But I'm just a patient.

FlyAway504 said...

I also enjoy when people expect you to come up with the name of the itch cream/shampoo/random vitamin supplement/salve that they're looking for (surprisingly, without a name... seems an efficient search). My favorite patient scenario ever:

I spy a woman walking feverishly toward the pharmacy... brace myself...

Patient: "Do you have that stuff...? It comes in a box...??"

Pause... stare blankly... crickets...

Me: "Whats it for??"

True story.

Anonymous said...

If the person on the other side of the counter could only 'hear' what our minds are saying... . That last example about the medication that the patient saw advertised on TV just cracks me up. I don't have a TV, and what is advertised on NPR (if there is anything touted?) is probably related in no shape or form what the average person sees on a TV screen after they turn their mind off. "Excuse me, but do you sell that new drug on TV here?" "Hmmm, what's it used for? Do you remember what the word sort of sounded like? Was there a picture on the ad?" "I don't know" (Me, trying to help the customer with a game of 20 questions,
"When did you see the ad? Was it something you put in your mouth or on your skin? What symptoms do you have that you thought the drug might help with?") Sometimes, it's fun to play this game with the prescribers... when they ask if we carry that 'new' such and such, and they're able to supply clues such as 'it's used for muscle spasms, and the name of the drug is something like the instrument that Pan plays in the afternoon of a faun' (Answer: Lyrica), or 'Y'know, it's that new such and such' (and, it's only been out 20 years--yea, it was new at one time.) My nightmare as a pharmacist is Alzheimer's and running over lists of drug names trying to come up with the name of Aricept in the middle of a stay in the nursing home.

iriske said...

nice post!!!

WarmSocks said...

Just the opposite here. The people who work at my pharmacy see me and stop to pull out my bag of prescriptions before they come to the counter where I'll pay. It saves them a few steps and a little time. It amazes me that with all the patients/customers they have, they remember anyone's name.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post! I'm always trying to find ways to laugh off the stupidity of patients...but also realize you can't fix stupid.

Dr. R

Ashley said...

lolol!! We had a woman that refused to tell us anything other than "you should have a script for my kids..."

She called the MD saying we were giving her problems...the nurse asked, "whats wrong with the rx?" I said, "she won't tell us who she is!"

Wouldn't leave the Drive Thru...had to call cops.

Serious craziness only seen in a pharmacy!

Anonymous said...

My favorite is when they give you their life story when all you need is their name and birthday.
"I just saw Dr. Smith for my annual exam and I have high blood pressure and he faxed over my prescription for liprosil or something. My husband/friend/pet lion is waiting in the car so please make this quick"
"May I have your name?"
"You can't just find the prescription faxed from Dr. Smith about an hour ago?"

Anonymous said...

(Late to the game, reading all of your older posts - Love it, by the way)

I, as a 25 year old woman, have been offered kids' suckers for walking into my pharmacy and opening with "Hi, I'm Suzie McPickingUp and I'm here to pick up Prescriptions #1 and #2."

It still shocks me how many people can't understand that a name can make the whole process faster for both themselves and the pharmacists. I watched a woman just the other day say she was there to pick up for "Dale". No last name until the poor tech prompted her, and then she suddenly picked up an attitude.

~Anon