The Pharmacy Chick

Flying the coup in retail

Spring Broke–a rerun…

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:46 am on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ive never done a post “rerun” before but as I just came back in from collecting mail from TWO different neighbor’s mail boxes who have vacated the premises with their children for Spring Break , this post came to mind.  Maybe I am just Jealous: I posted this in March of 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, which meant thurs and friday off. 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 probably 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?

Reading Drug Monkey today…When is a lunch break not a lunch break?

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:28 am on Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If you read the rounds of blogs as I try to do ( not as regularly as I used to though)  this is  good one today:

its a copy of the policies of CVS regarding lunch breaks for pharmacists.

But read the comments..most specifically the 3rd one.  I think that nails it pretty much on the head what most of us feel about “lunch” breaks.

Close at 6.

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 10:19 pm on Monday, March 19, 2012

Businesses..ALL businesses, have opening times and closing times.  Unless of course, you are open 24-7-365,  every place of business will open and close at posted hours.  Our pharmacy has posted hours.  When I fling the doors open at 9 am, I am ready to go, I do not just walk in the door at 9.  I am READY to go. IN fact, i have likely already been in the pharmacy for nearly an hour getting the place ready to fly at 9 am….  LIkewise at closing time, I am READY TO GO.   I dont open early and I prefer to NOT stay late.  After all, after having been in the store for nearly 13 hours, staying 13.1 hours doesnt’ sit well when somebody shows up at 1 minute before closing and wants to WAIT.

Therefore, unless its a medical emergency, we will politely request they return the next day. We use conventional judgement.

So, dear Sir, throwing a fit yesterday when you dropped off a Vyvanse script written 2 days previous, just as they were closing the pharmacy Sunday is not going to impress me very much.  Since I heard about it this morning, I have been expecting your arrival to bitch complain about being told the pharmacist was leaving. But since you didn’t show up today either, I can assume that 1) the script wasn’t that big of a deal to get immediately or 2) you died.   ( I am thinking the former..) I am sure that if the regular staff was working, somebody would have stuck around and catered to your pithy demands, but the pharmacist was a relief pharmacist.  To him, his shift ended at 6….not 6:10,  6:15 or later. He has no vested interested in you or this store.  He is just passing thru.

and Dear Ma’am,  your prescription was returned to stock.  It had been on the shelf for 12 days…an antibiotic sitting for TWELVE days.  You called and said you would pick it up on Saturday.  And you didn’t come in, so Sunday morning it was returned to stock.  So today, when you came in and it wasn’t here anymore, blaming me wasn’t fair.  Telling me that you came in AFTER we closed on Saturday, didnt change the fact that Sunday we had to put it back. We have closed on Saturdays at the very same time for 16 years, and we never close early….ever.

Nevertheless, I am sure both of you you will get your apology because that’s how this company works.  Whine and get stuff. I am not going to fight that, so sure, I will apologize. But I won’t mean it.

Grateful for a fast answered prayer!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 4:06 pm on Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not much can stop a pharmacist’s heart quicker than 1) finding out he/she has made an error , or 2) not being able find a prescription that is done but supposedly not sold yet.   We have a system called “workflow”  that tells us if a script is sold, i.e. given to the patient, paid for and out of the pharmacy.   Occasionally we forget to collect a signature and a script may actually leave the pharmacy without leaving ” workflow” but its rare.

Today just after opening Mrs C came in to pick up her husbands prescription.  Tech Extraordinare couldn’t find it on the shelf.  She went to the computer and sure enough is was still in workflow, so in THEORY, the script was still here.  I did a scan thru the c’s also and didn’t see it.   She said she had received the 2 reminder calls, so I asked her if by chance she picked it up already.  She said no.  I told her that it is here, but probably on the wrong shelf, so if she doesn’t mind, I’ll do it again quickly and search for it later…which we did.  I told her I would call her later if I found it.

After she left we went searching in earnest.  T.E scanned the shelves…I scanned the shelf, picking up every bottle.  Inventory showed that the med was now 90 short and the refill records showed it was indeed counted and checked….so dammit, where was it.  If it went out by accident, it could have been gone for 9 days and we’ve not heard about it.  And since the drug was a seizure med, you just dont want anybody consuming THAT.   I had to keep working but in the back of my head was “Where is that bottle?>>>”

So I prayed.  ” Lord, You know where that bottle is,  Please help us find it..and please let that bottle be IN this pharmacy!”.  I was working a half shift for my Man Friday today and relief pharmacist came in at 1pm.  I just kept repeating that prayer over and over.  I told the floater what happened and to use fresh eyes and look again, but just before  I left I went thru them one more time myself.

Third time thru I picked up a bottle in the C section and despite having already combed it over twice…..behind it was the missing bottle…tipped over on its side.. Now I had picked this bottle up before…I just HAD to have…but I didn’t see the 16 dram bottle tipped over behind it.

An overwhelming sense of relief came over my mind.  FOUND…ACCOUNTED FOR…my world was right again.  In 25 years, I have never had a bottle be unaccounted for…that has been proven to have been filled.  Occasionally in haste, I have thrown away labels I was supposed to have filled, but this was different. The documentation proved it had been counted.

Thank you Lord, not only for revealing that bottle to us but doing so in short order!

Pharmacy chick can enjoy the rest of her day in peace.

More E-scripts highlights from the week

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 1:25 pm on Saturday, March 10, 2012

E prescribing is becoming easy fodder in the world of blogdom.  No wonder..its an easy target and a source of great amusement, if not a source of many errors.  Here is a recent sampling of some of my e-scripts for the week:

1.  Coming in about 2 hours after the office quit taking phone calls, 2 e-scripts for the same gentleman:  first was nasonex and second was nasacort.  No explanation as to WHICH one was the correct one ( certainly not both). Calling the office was fruitless as they were closed, and subsequent faxes and phone calls the next day were ignored as if they didn’t exist. Patient didn’t have any insurance so he ultimately didnt’ take either.

2.  Prednisone 10mg  No. 5    sig:  take 2 tabs daily.   ( um ok….what about that last bad boy??)..turns out it was supposed to be 10mg #10…2 daily x 5 days

3.  2 scripts come in back to back for same patient:  Joe Blow  Metformin 500  3am  #90……Joe Blow  Metformin 500mg  # 60   2hs….1 phone call and 3 transfers later I get confirmation that it is supposed to be Metformin 500 # 150…3am and 2pm.

4. The best yet…. Rx for Jim Smith… ” misc  supply item, diabetic “.  no quantity and no sig.    Strips? Lancets? Insulin? Syringes?  Alcohol pads?

5.  Pemarin vaginal cream…insert 2 mm vaginally at bedtime. getting pretty specific about that dose huh?

6.  ( not to be out done) Amoxil 400mg/tsp , 100ml.  give 3.375ml by mouth twice daily.  ( Im thinking Ill need to get a nano-pipette to get that 0.005ml out)

My man Friday told me the other day that the no. 1 error in prescribing now is ” drop down menus”.


He certainly has a way with words!

Filed under: Uncategorized — pharmacychick at 11:52 pm on Saturday, March 3, 2012

So, the Chick family had company last night. Our friend and her mom came to visit friends from the other part of the state and used our home as home base for the day. My friend is in her mid 40’s and her mom is in her mid 80’s.  We had a lovely dinner and they went off to visit their friends in a different part of the town. As Mr Chick  closed the door, he made the comment: ”  Wow, Linda’s mom is doing really well, I thought she would be more DECREPIT”.

I told Mr C,  ” how about if I DONT share that compliment with her??”