Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just Gotta Get it off my Chest

Sorry. This topic has been covered by me before, but I really feel the need to vent. I am shopping at Walgreens this morning, perusing the 2-for-1 vitamin sale, in earshot of the prescription counter. My ears perked up when I heard the technician say to a waiting customer something about "putting a rush on it". The customer then says, as if speaking to a small child, "Now, I'm going to run ONE ERRAND. When I come back, it SHOULD BE READY."

I've been getting a lot of this lately. I call it "The Challenge." The customer decides for ME
how long it should take to render this professional service. They give me a time limit and throw down the gauntlet.

"I'm going to make an appointment, then I'll be RIGHT BACK." Or, as they slap the prescriptions down, they state, "TEN MINUTES?"

They come back, badger the technician, who (I know) is trying to be nice and who assures, "It's almost ready", or "the pharmacist just has to check it."

I am SO goddamm SICK of this. Actually no, it's not almost ready. When I am satisfied that the prescription is correct and safely ready to go down your gullet, THEN it will be ready.

I continued my shopping trip at Home Depot. They have an area where they mix paint colors for people. Unlike a prescription, no one dies or is injured from the wrong color paint.
Yet, people seemed quite OK with the fact that it will take AS LONG AS IT TAKES to get the right damn paint color mixed.

I came to retail pharmacy after a number of years in hospital, and I was probably guilty of allowing customers to run me around like a little rabbit for a long time. One of the things I came to appreciate from fellow bloggers is how upside down that is and how completely brainwashed we can get. At work recently we had to submit some professional 'goals' as part of our evaluation, and one of mine was that I am going to take the time I need to safely render my service. And when there are interruptions, and people gabbing, and phones ringing and distractions everywhere, that is when I'm going to protect MYSELF and my license, and I don't give a crap how long anyone thinks it should take. Probably not the kind of 'goals' they had in mind.

Again, I am just venting here. We're all familiar with the many factors that have allowed pharmacy services to be so devalued.

I don't know why this is grating on me so much lately, but... it is. Must be the heat or something.


Anonymous said...

It SHOULD bother you. People in retail everywhere in the US get treated like crap because their managers lap it up like dogs. Know what? In the rest of the world people don't take that shit and customers don't drop off like flies. We need a mentality overhaul, big time. You do your job right.

Nite Nurse said...

As a nurse who was often given the dreaded "med nurse" assignment, I understand your pain. I was given two hours to pass meds on a group of 20-22 patients. I would be given a very sketchy report because after all I was just passing meds. This is the scariest assignment ever given to me. It finally took me and the day shift LPN crying in front of our manager after a staff meeting to get any changes. (and those took a long time to be accepted) I could rant and rave during an entire post on this subject so I will just leave this thought at this:

Do what you have to for the safety of your patients and your license. To hell with everyone else.

JenRPh said...

Yep, I'm with you. I used to care about the metrics, making sure I got people out in 15 minutes. Now I take my time and if they don't like it I tell them there is a grocery store pharmacy across the street that is really slow and they can go there. I'm not compromising patient safety or my license so they can get their rx faster.

Anonymous said...

Quit. Retail Pharmacy is a lame profession. Drive thru's are for high-school drop outs.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but the Doctors are giving out VERY addictive drugs and more people than you know are feeling the dreaded effects of withdrawal. I came up swinging when I found out the anti-anxiety medication I was given was worse than any hell I have been through. I am titrating responsibly and my Pharmacist is amazingly diligent about dosage mistakes, understanding my goal to live my life, healthfully. Are you not amazed at the confusion clients have when the word"drug seeker" comes up? Geez, I would rather do ANYTHING than manage a hidious curse called Benzodiazapines.I empowered myself and took the bull by the horns and found the schedule to get off this drug without too much damage to my mind and body.I disclosed that I am a recovering addict to alcohol to my Doctor and they give me 2mgs of Klonopine for anxiety anyway (menopause related I now believe) and say it's slightly addictive. My first experience with withdrawal in my life!. I nipped my behavior around alcohol in the bud early in my life.I do tell my Pharmacist to take their time and wait a day to come back and understand the frantic environment they are daily subjected to. Do you ever wonder what in Gods green earth all these Doctors are doing?? Oh man, I am in amazed about the sloppy ethics I have to regulate for my care. You are collateral damage and I feel your pain.

lovinmyjob said...

I always find it funny that the same customer will wait an hour for their film to be developed but wants the rx within minutes.
What I don't find funny at all are the doctors that e-scribe the rx and tell the patient that the rx will be ready when they get to the pharmacy! How the heck do they know how busy we are or how many patients are ahead of theirs? It's really galling when the office is RIGHT BESIDE the pharmacy. E-scribe does not equal instant fill!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but the store manager where I am the floating pharmacist that day is not MY MANAGER. It is my license and my pharmacy that day, I will not answer to the miserable, frustrated, ignorant glorified stockman/manager when it comes to issues of practice. The moment you all take this attitude with "your" managers is the moment we triumph.

whitecoat said...

Do you have delivery? We just say, "This has 5 prescriptions on it, so it will take about 25 minutes. Do you want to wait, or shall we drop it off to you later?" Nobody has much of a complaint. If they do complain, we just smile in a slightly stupid way and repeat the first statement. Free delivery is my salvation on a daily basis.

Frantic Pharmacist said...

We don't have delivery, but we do mail prescriptions. Often times if it's a chronic med the person will say 'just send it out.' That's OK, but it still irks me sometimes that we have to pay mailing costs because someone can't wait 10-15 minutes. They'll wait for photo developing, for a pizza, for paint to be mixed.... but not for prescriptions.