The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

25 things?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 1:59 pm on Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Going around Facebook for a while was a fill-in-the-blank of 25 things people might not know about you.  I thought “heck, it might make a fun post” so even tho I declined the Facebook version I am going to try the 25 (or fewer) Things Partially Or Not Interesting Things You May Not Know about Pharmacy Chick.

1.  Only three people on the face of the Earth know Pharmacy Chicks real Identity.

2.  I like Brussel Sprouts….butter and salt and pepper please!

3.  I prefer fine point ball point pens.  Keep your gel pens, I never use them and once a pen splotches, its history! I am a pen snob.

4.  Facebook’s “where I’ve Been” says I have seen 5% of the world.  Other than New Zealand and Australia and Bora Bora (still on my list), I think I have seen all that interests me thank you.

5.  I hate egg plant.  Even if you say YOU have THE recipe for egg plant, dont give it to me.  I’ve had people try to trick me and I still knew it was egg plant.

6.  I am a dog person.  I am NOT a cat person.

7.  I love new toothbrushes. I get a new one about every month.

8.  If its not sports, or HGTV it is probably not being watched on my TV.

9.  I have sung with a choir on the top of the Swiss Alps and the top of the Eiffel Tower

10.  Coke is quite possibly my favorite beverage.

11.  I do not like to be cold.  I may be the only person ready for a hot flash.

12.  I could never be a vegetarian. I grew up in beef country.  I embrace my carnivore-ness.

13.  I am a very forgiving person, but not always a forgetting person…Iwish I could forget more sometimes.

14.  When I delivered a prescription to a customer once, he tried to give me a pair of his pants as a thank you.  I still dont know what that means

15. I am afraid of moving water. I’ll never swim in  a river.  (little creeks, ok)

16. I am also afraid of edges, and large drop offs.   Heights are no problem but I start freaking out at a cliff edge.

17. Some people love to read. I am not one of them.  I like my reading material to be similar to sound bites. Quick and to the point.

18. I love Jesus.

19.  My favorite international foods are Indian and Lebanese….my least are Thai and Vietnamese.

20.  My highest bowling score ever was 237.

21.  Pharmacy is what I do and my profession, but it does not define me. I rarely talk about work away from it. 

22.  I have golfed 75 holes of golf in one day. 14 and 1/2 hours, all walking.  I shot in the 70’s for all four rounds and parred the last 3…nearly in the dark. I don’t think I will repeat that feat.

23.  I Have venison in my freezer.

24. I have over 20 white turtleneck shirts. 

25. My perfect home would be a huge log cabin in the mountains.

I made my 25…any other blogger care to contribute THEIRS??

Blah Blah Blah, “read”

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:37 pm on Saturday, March 6, 2010

In retail pharmacy, one of the tenets of counseling we have learned is to “speak in bullet points”.  Honestly..I kid you not.  The average human can remember no more than 2, maybe 3 main points and the more words you use, the less likely your message will get across. Use easy words and short sentences.  I listen with humor when students counsel patients.  They use flowery big words and full paragraphs with intro ,body, and conclusion…… and in short order the customer would agree with just about any statement you asked including “would you like me to chop your arm off right now?”.

Case in point:  LOL (little old lady) came to the drop off window for a Shingles shot (Zostavax for you professionals).  She asked “How do I get a Shingles Shot?”  In full “bullet points” mode I said.  “At the end of the pharmacy is a TABLE. Read the information sheet about Shingles. Fill out the consent form and turn it in to me”.  I pointed towards the card table marked “VACCINE INFO HERE”.

She replied and I quote:  “Just read the information sheet? That’s all? do you have it?” 

Blah Blah Blah “READ” Blah Blah Blah…

Just like my dog….blah blah blah treat? blah blah blah

Sticking it to vacciations? Or sticking WITH vaccinations?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:37 am on Friday, March 5, 2010

I read a couple of recent posts expressing opinions about vaccinations in pharmacy.  Both bloggers made very valid points about the money that the pharmacy is making at our (the vaccinators) expense when we put in a HUGE amount of extra effort for no extra pay.  They wondered about the wisdom of this.

I am a vaccinator, and jumped on board just 1 year after the legislature allowed pharmacists to do so.  Run by the local division it was a grassroots type of organization and it worked amazingly well.  People really liked the idea of having all adult vaccinations available at their pharmacy given by people they already know and trust.  We branched out and advertised our services to larger companies who might enjoy having us come to THEM by providing flu clinics.  This too was a huge success. 

Perhaps too much so.

Once corporate saw that we were making a lot of money on this, they decided to take it over, and in doing so, ruined it completely for everyone. By changing the appointment system to the on-demand system, they made a mess of monumental porportions. I responded by making appointments priority and walk-ins like any other prescription drop off…subject to what ever wait time is in effect at the moment.  This is the short version of a long story.

Does that mean that we vaccinators flee with abandon and jump ship?  Not so quick.  I will be the first to agree that vaccinations are a lot of work.  They involve more time and effort than a routine prescription. However, that being said,  giving a vaccine is something that cannot be done without the human involvement.  You cannot script-pro or Parata a flu shot.  You cannot mail-order a tetanus shot.  It is also something that possesses a product-service link that cannot be broken.  For every person who has ever whined about paying the administration fee, I have offered the syringe, bottle and offered they draw it up and do it themselves.  So far, I have had NO takers.

Your patients see you in a different light. You interact with them on a one to one basis. You arent just putting pills in bottles.  100+ years of trying to advance this profession and people STILL think that all we do is put pills in bottles.  APHA? you suck. You suck at representing pharmacists and you suck at educating the public.  (but that is a post for the more politically minded)

As technology advances to the point where human involvement is needed less and less, we have to find niches where the human involvement is still required.  And YOU DEAR PHARMACIST need to find your niche.  I can’t be good at EVERYTHING.  I dont have TIME for everything either. Therefore you wont find me doing Cholesterol screenings AND diabetic screens/educating, AND MTM, AND vaccinations, AND etc.  I chose vaccinations and I do it splendidly.  Its MY niche.  If I had more time, I’d love to add Cholesterol to my repetoire.

 I gave over $100,000 worth of vaccines last year.  That covers a lot of prescriptions I lost to mail order.  It covers some of the prescriptions I had to give away for $4. And, no machine could have done it. 

I have gained a pretty loyal following in the process as well.  Over the holiday season I had many of my customers bring in their visiting relatives for flu shots!  “Come on Aunt Esther, lets blow off the mall for now and get a flu shot instead!”. I don’t pretend to understand it but its money in the till, and sales mean less pressure from above.

Like all things, this wagon may leave town. Technology may makes all vaccines ORAL..who knows?  I am sure somebody is working on it.  Til then however I am going to ride it for all its worth. This pharmacist is finding a way to make myself “Indispensable”, by either linking product with a service (like a vaccine) or supplying a service that cannot be duplicated by a machine. Thats my future.

And you? If you think your future is holding that spatula, you are sadly  mistaken.

Something Fishy

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 3:16 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ok, you know that face you get when you put something into your mouth and IMMEDIATELY regret it?  Yea, THAT ONE.  Hold that thought for a sec.

Pharmacy Chick has been a mission to maintain her health.  I wrote about me losing weight this summer and (woo hoo) I haven’t gained a single pound of it back.  I walk 3-4 times each week on this 2.6 mile loop around my neighborhood, play tennis 2-3 days a week and eat my food more cautiously than I used to.  I even started taking some vitamins, including Calcium (at Mr Chicks insistence since I HATE makes me cough.)    I also take about 4000 u of D-3 each day. 

I also decided to jump on the Omega-3 bandwagon.Mr Chick takes Omega-3 every day.  My Calcium is this wonderful gummy-creme chewy thing I love.  When I saw they had Omega-3 too, I took the bait (no pun intended).  It said “all the benefit of Omega-3 without the fishy taste”.  It too was a gummy kind of formulation.


Aaaack!  All I can say is imagine sweet fruity flavored fish.  I pawned them off on Mr Chick.  He’s not eating them either.


Spring Broke- now vs then

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:13 pm on Tuesday, March 2, 2010

For some unknown reason, Pharmacy Chick filled about 4 prescriptions today for people preparing for their spring break.  I have to commend these individuals for actually PLANNING ahead, usually an anomaly for the general public, so whoo hoo to you!.

My tech and I got to talking about the anual spring break phenomena that many Americans have come to love. I personally have no understanding of this springtime exodus.  In the state I grew up in, we had no spring break in grade school, jr high or high school.  WE had  a long Easter weekend. Thats it. Once I got to college, I got to experience this “spring break” that everybody yaks about, but for me, there was certainly  no “break” in Chickville.  I hopped on the 1:20 bus back  home and by 5 pm I was often already in my work clothes at the Dairy Queen. 

I kid you not.  I was spring BROKE.  I needed money and the lofty idea that I would spend the week frolicking on some beach in Mexico, or screaming my head off on the rollercoaster at Disney World was as unrealistic as my sprouting wings and flying under my own power.  I would pick up shifts at the steak house I used to work at in high school or I’d make ice cream cones at DQ.  Once I became an intern, I’d work  for $4.10 an hour filling rx’s all week.  What is MY intern going to do over spring break?   GO TO FRIGGIN HAWAII.  Oh, and just so you wouldn’t think I was lazy, I would fill rx’s during the day AND do the Dairy Queen at night. Now that is a brain trip!

And basically the same thing applied to the Christmas holiday too.  I essentially would work from the night I got home until the day before I went back to school.  Mom and dad worked hard to help out with the tuition.  I wouldn’t even want to see their expression if I asked to VACATION during spring break when they couldn’t vacation PERIOD.

Times change apparently.  During the Christmas break, my intern (who initially said he wanted as many hours as we could give him) completed exactly 2 shifts in 2 weeks, but managed a trip to Phoenix to hang out.  Sadly… I had scheduled him…not as extra help but as regular help to relieve the corporate scheduler who was burdened by covering my tech who is out with medical treatment.    yea, that worked out well. 

My phone message went something like this ” Hey Chick, this is Mike, your intern  (like I needed reminding).  I’m not coming in this week, as my wife and I are going to see her folks in Phoenix”  “yea, sorry about that”..*click*.

Parents pack up their kids and haul them to exotic destinations, and for some, this 9 day period isn’t even enough.  My neighbor is taking their kids out of school 3 days early so they can jet out of here sooner.  Cabo, Orlando, Miami, San Diego, Acapulco, Hawaii…

My children (had I given birth to any) would have been the unluckiest children on the planet.  They would have had the same kind of spring breaks I had. And hopefully, learned a lot more about responsibility and accountability in the real world.

Now,  would you like that cone dipped in chocolate?

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