Monday, April 18, 2016

Why Monday?

There's something magical about Monday. There's some sort of cosmic force that causes things to all happen all at once on this day. If you're a pharmacist, pharmacy technician, pharmacy owner, or work at a pharmacy, you've known this for years and have just come to accept it.

Let's review a recent Monday to illustrate.

We open at 9 am. I get there at 8:45 am to turn on all the computers, enter all the passwords, open the gates... all the stuff necessary to start the day.

By 9 am I'm done signing off on all the records and printouts from the previous day. I start to work on the queue of "waiters" that used the automated system and scripts due on this day. One of them is for Mr. Wheelbarrow and his Oxycodone script that had a note of "do not fill until" today's day. It's the first that I print a label for filling.

9:01 am ~ The phone rings. It's a lady that wants to know when we open. She bypassed the thing that said "For hours of operation, press 3" and pushed through to speak to a pharmacy staff member. After my greeting, she asks, "Are you open?" I reply yes. Oddly, she then asks, "So I can come get my prescription?" I don't know why people do this. When she asked her first question, should I have said, "Yes, we're open, but you can't have any medication today." Instead I'm polite, finish the conversation, and continue to work on the labels. I get a few printed for filling today.

9:05 am ~ Mrs. Wheelbarrow is at the window. She's waiting for her husband's medication. Her and I have both been down this road before and that's why I printed his label first. I hold it up in my hand to show her that I have the label printed and that I'll need a few more minutes. "HOW LONG WILL THAT BE?" she snorts at me. I want to say "3.65 minutes" but instead say "10 minutes." She rolls her eyes and wanders off.

I step away from the printing station to the filling station so that Mrs. Wheelbarrow doesn't blow a gasket. I get the medication filled and double-counted and labeled with happy little oxy tablets inside. Oddly, no one ever shows up for their Simvastatin right at opening. It's always opioids.

Ring... ring... There's the phone again. This time it is a drug rep wanting to know when the manager will be in because he has a killer deal on something. I tell him that corporate handles all those decisions for us, just as I have 1,000 times before, but here's yet another job so some guy can wear a suit and a tie.

9:09 am ~ Mrs. Wheelbarrow is back. It hasn't been anywhere near 10 minutes, but I can't push my luck with her. One time I didn't put in her club card info FOR her, she complained, and was given a $25 gift card. I'm already dangerously close to another complaint with this situation. "Customers wouldn't bother to complain unless they have a valid reason," a regional manager once told me.

9:11 am ~ I look up to see THREE people in line at the drop off window. On my way there the phone rings. I answer it with the intention to put the caller on hold. "Goofmart Pharmacy," I answer. "Is this the pharmacy?" I couldn't help myself. "Yes, that's why I said GOOFMART PHARMACY." A brief moment of silence, then, "Well, I wanted the bakery." I transfer the call to customer service because we're not allowed to keep the extension numbers posted anywhere. That would look like we're actually a pharmacy and nobody from corporate wants that.

I get to the drop off window and there are now four people in line. The first wants to know where the blood pressure machine is, which apparently is really hard to find because it's less than 10 feet behind her on aisle 8.

The next guy has a... you guessed it, a script for Adderall and has to wait for it. Oh, and if it doesn't go through insurance, he'll be glad to pay cash for it. I tell him 15 minutes and he goes down to the pick up window and stands there looking at me. He could use our nice comfy waiting room, but no, he can't stare at me from there.

The third person in line has new prescriptions from urgent care. It's the same three prescriptions they give to everyone regardless of their condition. Augmentin, Flonase, and Phenergan with Codeine. I swear we should have macro keys for all three of these. Just enter the patient name and the computer would populate all the info for these three scripts and print them out. It would save oodles of time. My momentary time saving thought is interrupted by the phone ringing. But at the same time the blood pressure lady has pushed her way to the counter and is barking at me about the accuracy of the FREE service we're offering the world.

"I've NEVER had a reading so high!" she's yelling. YELLING. Is she yelling because of the reading or is her agitation WHY she has blood pressure to begin with? If I actually had time to be a clinical pharmacist we could discuss this in calmer circumstances. Instead I tell her to go sit down in our waiting room, wait ten minutes, and then do another reading. She walks away, mumbling to herself.

The phone stops ringing. The guy at the register continues to stare at me, except to take a moment to look at his watch and then back at me. I finish up printing the three new scripts from the urgent care place and tell the lady it will be 20 minutes. She says she's going to go get some chicken soup and she's off. 

The phone rings again... I ignore it.

I'm finally to the last person in line. She looks like she's 14 years old and is wearing a company name tag. She sticks out her hand and says, "I'm Emily. I'm the new clinical pharmacist from corporate and I'm here to talk to you about our new MTM initiatives we're promoting at the corporate office."

I'm shocked. The company sent out a 14 year old girl to discuss MTM with us ON A MONDAY MORNING?

She can see the look on my face. "Is now not a good time?"


Anonymous said...

'clinical pharmacist'


Anonymous said...

Ugh, and that's why I get to work an hour early every day just so I can solve any problems from the day before, fill all the controlled substance Rx's (yeah, my store too. bright and early, all for their damn controlled substances), and cherry pick the refill queue to make sure all the problematic customers have their Rx's ready by open.

Why you ask?

Well, 'cause as soon as my gates go up, I already have a line and the phone starts ringing. Ordinarily, that would be fine but my techs are almost always late. So by the time I ring out all the oxy's, xanax's, suboxone's and adderall's that have come first thing in the morning, I barely have enough time to start taking care of dropoffs and the 4 phone calls on hold. All before my techs arrive...

And clinical pharmacists? Really? Instead of 'counseling' me and harping on how my numbers and reimbursement rates are 'not up to par,' how about have said clinical pharmacist do all those damn MTM things for the district? I mean, what exactly are they doing up at the district office? Seriously, I asked and did not get an answer. If its so damn easy, do it yourself. Schedule all those stupid med recs and whatever. Make house calls. Whatever, right? Maybe do a few flu shots while you're out there. Pretentious wannabe.

Anonymous said...

Add to this, the doctor calls we must start at 9am. Do we have techs to do this? Of course, but the one tech who comes in at 9a is busy "cleaning" the queue for "too soon" and insurance rejects that have accumulated while we were closed. Upon opening on some days, I have spent 20-30 minutes at pickup. I mourn the loss of the days when we could actually practice pharmacy. Just when I think it cannot get any worse, some genius comes up with a new "metric".

Unknown said...

Why didn't you send the 14 year old down to see Mr. Adderall and work some MTM on him?