Monday, December 12, 2011

Holy Crap, It's December?

I haven't been keeping up too well on blog posts lately, not because I've lost interest but I just can't freakin' believe where the time goes. Amazing how this leaving home at 7:30am and coming back at 7:00 pm cuts into one's free time.

I can't really get into Christmas this year. Each year I find myself less and less enthusiastic. The stores are full of the same crap and every sad news story reminds me that it's really just another day for a lot of people. Forgive me, but I don't really look forward to Christmas 'get-togethers' with co-workers either. Nothing against them at all, I just associate work with a different mind-set and it's hard for me to put it away when I'm looking at the same faces outside of work. When that gate comes down, I just want to get out of there. I suspect a lot of people feel the same way but are good sports about it anyway.

Seems like December 1st brought about some formulary changes for a lot of customers. I get the impression a lot of people are changing insurance plans in the new year and there's going to be a lot of confusion -- more than usual, maybe? People have been asking about generic Lipitor for weeks now, even delaying their refills till it came out. They thought the price was going to plunge immediately and wanted to know what their insurance would charge them for it. (Completely unknown to us!) We've had to caution them that they may or may not see a difference right away, and that has been borne out.

I've struggled mightily with more and more customers who speak little or no English. In fact I've become quite discouraged at what I see is a waste of money and resources in the polypharmacy for these folks. How much of a chance is there that they're going to use the
Pulmicort Turbuhaler or the Medrol Dose-pak correctly, and therefore benefit from it? I'm not saying they don't deserve the appropriate treatments, but they can't read the label (I can see them trying to 'memorize' the directions for each bottle) and I have no idea how well they understand my game of 'charades' as I try to demonstrate with hand gestures, because that's all I can do. (Plus, I've got these ridiculous SureScripts prescriptions that print directions even I can't decipher half the time.) I've watched people go out the door with bags of very expensive medications that I have no real hope are going to be used correctly. I don't know what the solution is, if the person doesn't bring someone along who can translate. We can't keep written materials in every language and for every question. I also suspect that it's a cultural thing for some folks to decline to ask questions, particularly of a female pharmacist.

I dunno, man.... it's just been on my mind. Hey, I'm gonna watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" -- that will get me in the spirit!

1 comment:

Phathead said...

Walgreen's is slowly killing my soul. I do my best to remind myself how things can be, but weeks like this it becomes difficult.

I'm turning into Scrouge... without the money of course.