Thursday, February 20, 2014

Keep to the Code

If you're a new pharmacist, you're probably unaware of The Code

Yes, pharmacists have a code of conduct. This isn't the same as the Pharmacist Oath. The Code has never been written, but I'm going to spell it out for you here. If you're a new pharmacist or a floater pharmacist, KEEP TO THE CODE.

The Pharmacist Code
~ Keep to the Code ~

1. Never leave work for another pharmacist to do. If you're not going to be back in the morning, stay late and finish all prescriptions remaining. If someone is coming in at 2pm and you're leaving at 3pm, don't leave work for the incoming pharmacist to do when he or she gets there. This includes transfers, retrieving voicemails, and filling scripts. If there is something that just has to be left for someone else to do, leave a note explaining WHY it must be done that way.

2. Never blame a pharmacist for a mistake, and never point out a mistake that doesn't matter. If you discover a mistake that doesn't matter legally and causes no harm to the patient, don't make a big deal out of it. Fix the mistake and let it go. If you cover for someone today, someone will cover for you tomorrow. No matter who made the mistake, always use the word "we" when talking to the patient or the patient advocate.

3. Be on time. If your shift starts at 9am, BE THERE before 9am. If your shift starts at 2pm, BE THERE before 2pm. This is the courteous thing to do for your fellow pharmacist. 

4. Cover for your pharmacy partner. If he or she is sick or incapacitated, YOU need to go in and work for them. He or she will return the favor when YOU need it. You can not rely on the company you work for to provide any kind of coverage. YOU need to step and be there when you're needed.

5. Always leave well-written notes about various issues for your pharmacy partner or call them when they come on shift. Nothing runs smoothly in the pharmacy. There's always an issue or two that needs special consideration every single day. Don't make your pharmacy partner repeat all your hard work simply because he or she didn't know what you've accomplished already. Make sure your partner knows why Mrs. X's medication isn't on the shelf ready for her to pick up if she's expecting it.

6. Always take a prescription through the workflow process as far as it will go. New insurance? Process it for cash and fill it. It can be reprocessed later at the register. No pharmacist wants to start at square one at 6:30 pm when there's a line of people and the technicians have gone home. Don't leave work to do that should have been completed already!

7. If you eat or drink something that belongs to another pharmacist or technician, replace it before you leave. You're thirsty now, they will be thirsty later. Be courteous.

8. Never say anything negative or derogatory about another pharmacist or a technician to a patient or customer, no matter what. We represent each other as a pharmacy. Don't embarrass another person you work with by talking about them negatively to the public.

9. Look for ways to help other pharmacists. If you know of another pharmacist that is weak with the company software, be ready, willing, and able to help them learn. If another pharmacist is not up to speed on any particular medication and you are, share your knowledge.


pharmaciststeve said...

One of my favorite sayings...
Knowledge is knowing the rules.. experience is knowing the exceptions to the rules..
New RPh's need to understand that knowledge will only get you so far.. there is a person and a personal/medical need behind that piece of paper that was just handed to you.
What the books says.. is just a guideline to help you decide how you help the pt manage their medical needs .. whether is acute or chronic illness.

Anonymous said...

I have to say, with some minor edits, those rules apply to just about every job I have ever worked.

And I've never worked pharma / medical.

They are just good 'get along and get it done' guidelines.