Monday, September 28, 2015

Pharmacists... Remind Yourself

Dear Fellow Pharmacists,

Step back a moment, especially if you work in retail pharmacy. Remind yourself, continually, that you're in a microcosm of the real world. You only see a portion of the population... the portion with the ongoing diseases and illnesses. Hope, dear pharmacist, hope that what you're seeing isn't a reflection of the population as a whole.

You see the scammers and the addicts... people who lie about their income so they can get free medication... people who lie about their pain so they can get narcs. You see the absolute dregs of society on a daily basis. So many people lie to you every day that you question every prescription, or you've become so numb you fill anything.

But these people are not the population as a whole. Surely the vast majority of people are hard-working people who don't take advantage of the system. Surely there are people out there that don't expect others to pay their way, pay their healthcare costs... people that love freedom and capitalism, people who accept responsibility for themselves and their situation.

Forget that the number of people on Medicaid and catastrophic Medicare has tripled in the last eight years. Forget that there's too many people out there wanting someone else to pay for their lifestyle choices. Forget about the people that obviously have sufficient income but still somehow "qualify" to have their children on Medicaid. Forget about how hard you work and how much of your income goes toward taxes to take care of these people. 

After all, it's someone else's money, right?


Anonymous said...

That first paragraph. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

You know, I've been a pharmacist for 24 years, and I very seldom see these patients. I work in community pharmacy, and currently in a mid-size city in northern Canada. But I have previously worked in Vancouver BC (a large "world class" city), as well as in a number of smaller cities and towns in western Canada and the north.

My typical patient is a First Nations (Indian) person, or a poor person on welfare, or a senior citizen, or a middle-class government employee, or a young person working (or not), but the vast majority of my patients are friendly,patient, willing to listen, and they may be frustrated with the rules of their insurance plan but not generally with me or my staff. They are mostly willing to listen, understand why I want to talk to them about their meds, appreciative of my/our efforts to get their prescriptions clarified/meds covered and of the difficulty of keeping meds in stock in the North.

Very few are abusive or angry, and many do apologize later if they behave badly. Active llstening often resolves these situations.

I have many frustrations at work, with billing problems, untrained staff (we have to hire completely untrained staff and train them on the job, since few trained techs want to move this far north, even though we start them at $16/hour), being owned by a national chain that really wants to impose minimums of sales and maximums of staff hours, etc etc etc.

But my patients are seldom a problem for me.

A Northern Pharmacist.

Anonymous said...

Every time I think I've seen the worst that people are capable of, some low life will go and prove me wrong. Every. Single. Time.

The lengths that these customers will go to to satisfy their own selfish needs amazes and surprises me every day that I work. They will lie, cheat, steal, hurt and abuse their way to their next fix and know that the corporate bigwigs will back them up if you have to say no.

I try to see the good in people. I really do. But I have to say that the people that go to pharmacies actually do represent the average american. Its very sad just how self-centered, selfish, ignorant and lazy the average 'murican has become.

Anonymous said...

To the Candadian above-
Dude, youre Canadian. The worst jagoff patient you have is like a middle of the road patient to is Americans. Come work for a store in Oakland, Richmond or some such place and youll see the difference between your state-aided people and ours. To be fair its even more intolerable to work for the richie riches, but such is life.
Point I am making is I would give my left nad for your patients

Anonymous said...

While I generally agree with everything you write, I take exception to the kids on Medicaid with wealthy appearing parents comment. I have 4 different friends who foster parent and/or have adopted out of the foster care system. These children are covered by Medicaid (often until 18 in the case of adoption) while the parents have private insurance. I know this example is the exception rather than the rule, but I've heard many of their stories about being treated poorly simply because of the "insurance" they're using.

Crazy RxMan said...

There is a big difference between "wealthy-appearing" and actual wealth. The people I refer to live in neighborhoods where the median home value is $400,000 and up. You can't argue that if someone can afford a home like that they really should be paying for insurance for their own kids. Foster kids is a different story entirely.

I can't speak for all pharmacies, but at mine we do NOT treat anyone differently based on their method of payment. I shake my head a lot and truly worry how our socialist healthcare system will affect our country in the long run, but the patient gets top notch service because we are health care providers first.