Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Pharmacist Oath

Recently I ran across this image that was tweeted by another pharmacist. I apologize but I don't recall who tweeted it or where it was from. But this is an example of the unfortunate disconnect that occurs between patient and pharmacist.

As a pharmacist, I took this oath:

I promise to devote myself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow:

I will consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concerns.

I will apply my knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of my ability to assure optimal outcomes for my patients.

I will respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to me.

I will accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence.

I will hold myself and my colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical and legal conduct.

I will embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.

I will utilize my knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.

I take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which I am entrusted by the public.

So to the author who proposed that this be our credo: I can speak for all pharmacists to say that no one, no pharmacist, tech, or otherwise wants you to suffer, ever. In most cases, pharmacists will do everything in their power to make sure you get your meds correctly and on time. 

We do have specific legal and moral obligations, however. I will adopt your credo and watch out for you, but at the same time, I ask that you do not ask me to do anything that breaks or even bends the law. And while you may think it is just a job for us, it also represents our quality of life. If we lose our job our quality of life is gone, and for a longer period of time than being out of meds for a day or two.


Anonymous said...

Yeah...I see this and my brain starts screaming "controls controls controls!!"
If her life (and who here doubts it was a woman in her mid 40s or 50s who wrote this?) is completely dependent upon and revolves around her meds then she must be responsible and make sure they are filled on time and called in early enough to be filled on time. Just sating...

technorantia said...

My only reaction on reading that is to wonder what the chances are that the meds have actually been dispensed incorrectly?

As opposed to ordered too late to be filled in their own timeframe (note: not anyone else's), allowed to run out of repeats, not collected on time, failed to turn up when the pharmacy is actually open etc?

Sounds more like an overentitled complaint that world isn't sufficiently revolving around their personal axis to me.

pharmaciststeve said...

In reading this my brain starts screaming.. CLUELESS, CLUELESS, CLUELESS and that is about the first two to make comments.
In reading between the lines.. this a chronic pain pt.. who without their opiates will be house/chair/bed confined and be in withdrawal.
The typical scenario is that the doc will not sign a new C-II Rx until 1-2 days before it is due.. and the pt takes it to the pharmacy where the pharmacist has to go thru something like WAGS "good faith BS".. which will take 3 + days to play twenty questions with the prescriber..
Then many/most chains only allow one Pharmacist to order C-II's once a week. If they remember - see the note -to order this particular med.
The pt may have a contract with the prescriber that they will use only one particular pharmacy... so they bust their contract if they take the Rx to another pharmacy and risks being tossed out of the clinic practice for violating the contract.
I doubt if these "professionals" would view any other pt with a chronic condition and "mess around" in getting the meds for the pt.
Personally, I don't see much difference between a HTN pt having a stroke because they couldn't get their meds and a chronic pain pt that has a hypertensive crisis and stroke because some Pharmacist has a " I could give a shit" about getting chronic pain pts their meds in a timely manner.
Since there are a estimated 100 million people in the US dealing with chronic pain.. so these Rx dept staff will - most likely - will be or will have a loved one or someone they know who will be a chronic pain pt one day.. Odds are.. at that point.. their attitude will change.. unfortunately all to many pts will be forced to suffer in the meanwhile because of their attitude !

Unknown said...

I've always wished that each pharmacy could choose 3 patients who they could refuse. (YOU know who they are...!) I have a feeling this would be a patient on my top 3 list.

Unknown said...

Sadly, I fit the planning my life around my meds chronic pain description. I did not plan to have my body fail me. I never wished for cancer or the late effects of chemo, radiation changes and multiple surgeries. I never dreamed of insufficiency or degeneration of bones.
Before my body failed me, I took no meds at all. I had a full life. Please remember people like me before you label me in your mind as a drug seeker. I have taken the same medications for seven years, I only shop at your pharmacy. I do not look for illegal sources to obtain my medication. I do live in pain. I did not choose to end up like this. I know you can't fix me. I only ask that you have compassion for people like me. Compassion goes a long way towards maintaining what is left of my dignity.