Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Awkward customers

Had one of me least favourite customers in recently. Notoriously unhelpful, gruff, middle-aged woman. Snappy, the whole nine-yards.

Marched in with her LTI book already open and throws it at the counter girl telling her "four boxes of test strips please". The counter girl recognised the patient and anticipating what was about to happen, looked at the page ( which had a Rx for test strips and lancets) and asked "Is that all, do you want anything else?"

The woman snapped back, "four boxes of test strips"

The book was brought into me and the counter girl told me (although I could hear everything anyway) that she just wanted four boxed of test strips. I also have dealt with this customer a lot and asked once again, as nicely as possible, "Is it just the test strips Mrs. Moan? Do you want the lancets as well?"

"Yes, four boxes of test strips"

I promptly dispensed, labelled, bagged up, printed out the reciept and got the counter girl to take it out to her. She grabbed the bag, spat her signature down on the reciept and marched out of the shop. Phew, I thought, that was painless.

Sure enough, 2 minutes later the same tyrant storms into the shop complaining that she hadn't gotten any lancets.

Where to start......

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Murphy's Law

Was working yesterday. All day. Did my standard 9.30 to 18.00 shift and then moved pharmacy to cover the 18.00 to midnight shift. This was my first time doing a late night shift like this and I was looking forward to encountering some wierdos. Sure enough the general public didn't disappoint.....

Big shout out to SouthDoc. Great service there. Not perfect but great service nonetheless. Absolute Pinaclav bonanza. Prescribing Pinaclav 625mg one bd for seven days like it was going out of fashion. Not to sure about the guy who prescibred Heminevrin though. When was the last time you heard of that? Sure enough I rang him to check out the story and it turns out that this genius of a patient wouldn't take a less potent sedative. He wanted something so strong that all he would accept is something not stocked anywhere anymore.

Cheers to the makers of Adcortyl in Orabase too. Thats dead annoying that that's gone off the market.

The absolute hands down winner is the tool that arrived in at 11pm though. Working for 14 and a half hours yesterday with no break. I don't mind that at all really. You know the story grap a few minutes when and where you can. The problem is that it had been reasonably quiet all day. So quiet I watched most of the Lions game on the net (tip o'the hat to So at 10.30pm when I reckoned it was gonna be quiet for the rest of the night I decided to get a bite to eat and I sent one of the girls to the chipper. By the time we had everything sorted and cleared my chips arrived in at ten to eleven. Now just at that point a few prescriptions arrived in. No problem. C'est la vie.

The issue was with the last prescription. Some muppet handed in two prescriptions and asked for his own one aswell, which was on file. Took a couple of minutes to get the Rxs filled. I had a bit of trouble with his own one. He only had an Rx for Ixprim, which he had already gotten in June so I forwarded it to July.

Cue him to complain about the price. "I shouldn't have to pay that much, I already got stuff this month." Yes I realise that sir but you already got this in June so I have to forward date it until next month. "But what about my regular blood pressure meds?" What do you mean?

Turns out he regularly gets some BP meds but this prescription was out of date now so no happy pills for him. Of course this wasn't acceptable. So I had to give a 5 day emergency supply. By now my chips were luke warm.

Gave him the 5 day supply and told him he needed a new Rx and also his wife's prescription was out of date now too so both of them needed new ones. I was looking forward to finally getting back to my chips. Then he informs me that there is also some energy drinks owing to his daughter. My heart sank. Took another few minutes to track down the drinks and hand them over. (Why can't these people tell you all the things they need when they first call in. I can't read their fucking minds.)

By the time I was out to him with the drinks he was complaining that his wife's Rx wasn't back in the bag. I tried to explain that that was because it was now out of date so I kept it. He wasn't happy about that and insisted I return it. Now this guy's attendance in this place was sporadic at best so the last thing I wanted him to do was do a tour of the pharmacies for the next few months when he needed to return to the doc.

Ended up photocopying the Rx and giving him the photocopy with it stamped and marked as out of date. Wandered back inside a beaten and broken man and tried to eat some cold soggy chips.

Now I know I need to service the patient and any few minutes I get at all is a bonus. And I have no problem at all with the first few people who called in, they need their meds and that's what I'm there to do. But its just frustrating that this sort of finicky customer comes in exactly when my food does, and doesn't really tell me what he wants, and can't have it anyway. It was the only 10 minute spell in 14 and a half hours where I wouldn't have minded being left alone. Murphy's Law.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Spaced out fools

Had a guy in last Friday completely doped out of it. But in fairness he did provide one of the funniest sights I've ever seen personally in a pharmacy. Firstly and elderly gentleman came in. Had the usual elderly gentleman prescription: couple of blood pressure medications, finasteride, lipitor. While I was running it through the computer he stood by the till waiting.

One of our unfortunate homeless patients then came in. Completely spaced out of it. Drunk, stoned or both I don't know. Had his weekly prescription for about 400 valium, which the doctor had issued without even seeing him. On the other hand the hostel where this guy calls home have warned us not to dispense to him unless he is sober. This was as a result of a previous incident where the weeks supply of 400 and odd valium went 'missing' in the space of about 3 hours.

While dealing with gentleman 1's prescription and comtemplating what to do with the second guy (the doctor was gone for the afternoon) the stoner stood next to the regular guy, swaying, slurring his words and asked, "Are you getting drugs off him too? It's great isn't it? They just give ya drugs for free, like." It was comedy at it's finest.

What a lovely way to spend taxpayers money......

Pregnancy Tests

I always wonder about what to say to people who buy pregnancy tests. I mean it's pretty standard small talk for most people buying OTC medicines. Woman comes in with a headache looking for paracetamol and as she leaves you say "Ah, these should do the trick now for you". Or a man buying anti-histamines and you tell him "Ah well, hopefully these will stop the sneezing anyway".

I'm always unsure of what to say to people buying pregnancy tests. "Best of luck with that now" doesn't quite seem to fit the bill. Maybe something like, "Hope you get the answer you were looking for".

It's particularly awkward with nervous figidty boyfriends sent in by their (late) partners and they have a look of apprehension written all over their faces.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fine-edged sword

Although I must admit, further to the previous post. It is immensely satisfying when you open a box and find exactly the number of tablets you were looking for. Patient getting their meds in weekly phases, opened up the Nebilet and found exactly 7 tablets looking back at me.

Happy days. Up there with hitting the crossbar in terms of satisfaction.

Open boxes

I can't stand having more than one open box of anything in a pharmacy. Had this problem today looking for Diovan. Three boxes on the shelf, two of them open, one of the open ones with just 3 tablets in it.

It drives me ballistic. Now I'm not an unreasonable man (believe it or not), and in a busy shop occassionally you might need to have two boxes open at the same time. But in lots of pharmacies these days you find two or three open boxes as a matter of policy. As far as I know this is a policy designed to annoy me.

And, actually, while I think of it, it is so depressing to go to a box and find one tablet in it. Especially Nexium. You need 30 grab a full box and the open box and then find that there is only one tablet in the open box. So you need to go back and get another box, open it and cut out one. I hate that.

And as for people that leave empty boxes on the shelf. Shoot them. No judge. No jury. No internment. Shoot them, straight up.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Irish weather forecasts

Is it just me or is are Irish weather forecasts brutal? Watch the 6 or 9 o'clock news for yourself some night and see. Most of it is taken up with a review of today's weather. I don't give a shit. I lived it today - I know what the weather was like.

You then get a couple of seconds on tomorrow's weather. Now they are getting down to what we really want, but they quickly gloss over it and move on. You get a sense that they only have a passing acquaintance with tomorrow's weather rather than knowing it really well. "There'll definitely be some weather tomorrow, we just don't know what it is."

After a token few seconds about tomorrow they quickly move on to the long-range forecast, safe in the knowledge that no matter what they predict for 4 days time, everyone will have forgotten by the time it comes. Again, I don't give a shit. Tell me tomorrow's fuckin' weather please.

They are always clever enough to cover their own asses and predict rain of some sort. The phrase "with the odd scattered shower" is bandied about like confetti at a wedding, just so that from a tropical monsoon to a single drop they can say they have predicted it.

I propose an Irish solution to an Irish problem. The one-word weather forecast. A quick accurate prediction of tomorrow's weather than can be delivered in less than 15 seconds. For the rest of today I predict "Savage".