I walked into the pharmacy today and immediately discovered that Mickey my pharmacy manager had been working the ENTIRE morning without technician help. For one reason or another... sickness, car trouble, whatever... he was left alone and no replacements were sent in. As it turns out, although we're pretty busy, our pharmacy director and his goon squad of RPMs do NOT think we're worthy of getting one of the few floater techs available just for this purpose. Apparently they were sent elsewhere today.
What REALLY gripes me about this is that ONCE AGAIN profit is paramount over patient safety. I understand the need to send the floaters to the busiest stores. Yeah, I get that. What I do NOT understand is why there are not more floater techs hired, trained, and available for these kinds of occasions. People DO get sick. People DO have car problems. It's a fact of life. Pretending like these things don't ever happen is foolish-- SOMEONE WILL GET HURT. During Mickey's shift he did over 100 prescriptions on his own, filled the orders from the weekend (30+ Rx), did the order that came in (Monday, as you know, is the BIG one) which included a C2 order, and fielded all the phone calls and questions from patients. I'm sure there are some big box pharmacies out there that would just laugh at these numbers. That's fine, but our software and system is not the same as yours. What I've said here is quite a bit of work for one man or woman to handle alone at the Goofmart Pharmacy.
Essentially, when upper management and the office staff do not even have the courtesy to give us a phone call explaining that no one is available to step in and help... the message we get is that OUR PATIENTS' SAFETY is not important enough to matter. PROFIT is the underlying factor. Believe me, NO ONE understands profit more than I do. I was self-employed for many years. I understand profit. But this is an entirely different industry. PATIENT SAFETY should be the MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR running the business, or YOU SHOULDN'T BE IN THIS BUSINESS.
Oh, but we did get emails today about how we need to make sure our Zostavax signage is up and that we're drilling every patient at the pick up window about getting their Zostavax vaccination. Merck can spend millions on advertising but they still want to make US the carnival barkers pushing the goods. But not a mention about the tech situation. Even a "We're sorry we don't have anyone available to help" would have been nice. But we were just ignored... again. You see, this has happened before, and every time it happens, I get angrier and angrier.
I did the second shift and it was challenging. It wasn't as bad as Mickey's shift, but I was still running around like a squirrel in a forest fire. A few times I didn't get to answer the phone and a lot of prescriptions were not filled in 3.5 minutes. Did I make a mistake? I sure hope not. I do know I'll be up again tonight wondering if I did. Meanwhile, back at corporate they're sending out emails warning us that we better damn well have the correct number of Zostavax signs out in the parking lot! Yeah, I'll get right on that after you send us a replacement tech.