Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pharmacist's Rant

Some of you don't know this side of me - and I really try not to do this. But sometimes I need to let it out. Here's what its like behind the counter! I don't direct this at anyone specifically or mean it personally, I'm trying to express my opinions on why I'm exhausted. And I don't want anyone to think that I don't care. I do - trust me. And I also know there are exceptions to every situation. Been there too. I've been working alot more lately and let me just say there are some customers that can make a teething 2 year old look sane.

First, you are NOT the only customer. I know. Hard to believe, right? And just because you are waiting for me at the gate at 7:59am, still doesn't make you the first customer. Tell that to the 75 people who called in their refills on the automated phone system at 3 am whose prescriptions show up FIRST in my computer. I guess they think we work at 5am so they can also show up at 8am and expect their meds to be ready. See the vicious cycle here? Plus those people waiting on me to get there after driving an hour and no caffeine... don't really put a smile on this 'not-a-morning' person. Especially if the last pharmacist forgets to leave me the keys. hehe. and its not even 8:00 yet.

Then my tech calls in late... probably getting some yummy breakfast because she stayed out too late the night before and has absolutely no work ethic in her 20 year old the-world-revolves-around-my-drama body.

So honestly, my first goal, and not to sound mean, but is to get you out of my face because you won't stop sighing or staring at me. or talking on your cell phone to where I can overhear your conversation about what a terrible pharmacist I am because the computers aren't even turned on yet. You hand me your old empty bottle. I tell you that it has no refills or is expired (prescriptions are legally only good for 1 year and control meds 6 months). Wow. Don't look shocked... that irritates me that you take NO responsibility for actually reading your bottle that you've had in your posession for the past month. Imagine that. And me calling the doctor to request more refills is a COURTESY. I don't HAVE to do that. Out of the goodness of my pharmacist's brain, I do try to be nice after you yelled at me that it was MY fault its out of refills. Hmmmm.... The doctor would actually prefer to talk to the patient/customer anyway. That is why they created the "pharmacist voicemail line"...they don't want to talk to me. So no, I can't get a response any faster than you calling. You proceed to tell me that it is life-or-death now that you don't have your cholesterol medicine. yeah. moving on...

Ok, it's 8:15am. My tech finally shows up and decides to sit at the back desk and file her nails while she eats that yummy breakfast. Must be nice to abuse the work system like that. She then proceeds to tell me that she will be leaving for an hour at lunch for personal reasons. Alrighty then. Again, must be nice. Some of us are lucky to eat lunch by 3:00 or not at all. And then you ask why you can't get service with a smile? I'm starving. And haven't had a bathroom break.

Then my afternoon tech calls in "sick". He tells me he has a sudden emergency that requires him to see a doctor at 4:30 (mind you its 1:00) about his knee. Yes, his knee. Again, where is the work ethic here? So the pharmacist that is actually "off" today finds me a replacement where I must be the luckiest person on the planet to get a real pharmacy student. How did I get so lucky? They believe since they are free labor that they also don't have to work. And obviously they don't care about their grades. In this one instance I got a good one though. Amen.

Let me explain Prior Authorizations. In our whacked healthcare system, insurance companies set their own rules. THEY decide how much medicine you should take - not your doctor. So lets say for instance you have a really bad infection that 'normal' antibiotics aren't working. Dr writes for some insanely expensive drug that we have to order - and SUPRISE- insurance doesn't want to pay for it. They MIGHT decide to pay for it if we can get your doctor to submit a form (that I have never seen before) explaining to them WHY you need this drug so badly. So this takes DAYS and DAYS and DAYS to do. We're living on a prayer here - and bam! sorry, they still don't want to pay for it. I'm sure after much deliberation on their part . Then you blame ME for how much it costs. Me. Personally. You start asking who will take care of your dog if you die. And how you couldn't possibly water your plants if you're dying. And its my fault if you die. yes, I control the insurance company and your wallet :\
Then I ruined your vacation because you are having to use that money to pay for your drugs. I will sleep soundly knowing that fact. ;) yes, thank you for sharing. and even showing me where that infection is... that's why I stand BEHIND the counter - I don't want to see your private parts at 9:00 in the morning.

Problem #2: your drug is on backorder all of a sudden. Crazy - I agree. I have NO IDEA why. Please do call corporate offices or drug manufacturers and find don't have to threaten me. I'm sure it has to do with monetary issues on their part. Who knows. The second part of that problem is that I can not LEGALLY change your prescription to the next best thing. Do you want me to lose my license? We often get audited...and fined. nuff said.

In the meantime, all 5 phone lines are ringing constantly. And the next person wants to know why their prescription isn't ready. Repeat this process about 50 times. If I could actually get off the phone with you and stop answering questions like "Does Vitamin Water make you pee more?" I could check your prescription. You probably do want me to check it - because the girl who has boyfriend problems just counted it. Or miscounted it.

Repeat that process 420 times. You can see I had a bad day at work yesterday.

Then to top the day have procrastinated for whatever reason and wait until 7:59pm to pick up your prescriptions. While out of breath because you ran, you explain to me that you simply forgot what time we closed and hand me a new CII rx while you're at it. CII = a highly controlled drug that is kept under lock&key and requires extra time, special attention, and more paperwork. Do I fill your prescription and risk getting in trouble by upper management because you just cost them an extra 15 minutes of overtime... or make you mad and tell you to wait til tomorrow. Then I get in trouble by upper management anyway because you filed a formal complaint. A lose - lose situation. Not to mention that I still haven't gone to the bathroom and surviving on a candy bar.

rant \'rant\ n 2: a rousing good time


The Vining Family said...

That's a really tough job. I imagine you have to be very patient as a pharmacist, but that patience also needs to be reciprocated by the customer. I've never thought I could get my meds "johnny-on-the-spot" unless I've actually been told it would be ready in 10 minutes.

Sara said...

Bless your heart! You only work part-time, right? Hopefully so!

Carly Winborne said...

oh my!

Pamela said...

BAAAAAHHAAAAA! (not laughing that you had a bad day, but at what those people actually say and do!)

Jennifer said...

I am just a pharmacy tech, but I know exactly what you are talking about!! :) All Pharmacist have days like that. :)Hopefully you won't have a day like that in a VERY VERY long time! :)