Monday, July 18, 2016

I am Thankful for Great Pharmacy Technicians

...but I didn't have one today.

It was another busy day at the pharmacy. And in our technician crisis, The Authorities pass around a floater tech known as Tim. Apparently he can do more damage that way.

Tim is a nice guy. He'll do anything for you. You would like him. Everyone does. But he's a lousy tech.

Today Tim the Tech is there at the drop off window when a lady from Urgent Scare (or is it Urgent Care -- I can't decide which is more descriptive) comes in with two new prescriptions. Tim wants to know how long it will be. I tell him we're backed up and to tell the lady an hour.

So Tim marches back over to the window and tells her 20 minutes. Then Tim proceeds to spend the next 12 minutes typing up the two prescriptions (and for those of you not familiar with "pharmacy time," that was pretty much a decade on the outside world).

Because of the train that is retail pharmacy continues to smoke it's way down the track... the fact that Tim has wasted so much time on these TWO scripts has heated up the pressure cooker. At minute 15, the lady has appeared at the window. Tim looks at me and I kindly say to him, "That's why I told you to tell her an hour."

I quickly fill the prescriptions because Tim the Tech has not moved an inch but rather chosen the moment to reflect on what I just said. Tim does that on occasion. He zones out.

I finish filling and HAND HIM... in other words, I put the TWO prescriptions DIRECTLY into his hands... and tell him to check the lady out.

He walks over to the register, gets payment, then calls me over for a counsel. I walk over and counsel her. She had bought some other items which were in a grocery bag and I put the TWO medications in the grocery bag. She leaves, happy that she gets to go home and get better.

A few minutes later I noticed that a bottle of Norco I had filled and hour before and put on the counter was missing. The paper work was still there, but the bottle was gone.

I asked Tim the Tech about it, and he had no memory of removing it. I called the patient... the one that was just there and found out that she did indeed have a third bottle (the Norco) in her bag. She agreed NOT to take any of the medication and bring it back. I sealed the deal with the promise of a gift card.


At least I know what happened... but I'm not sure why. For reasons unknown, Tim the Tech turned around and grabbed the third bottle of medication and put it into the lady's bag. He has no explanation of why he did it.

I do, however. He's a bad tech and now just proved himself to be a dangerous tech. I'd like to say that this is an isolated incident, but it isn't. Tim is known as "Tim the Terrible Tech" all around the tri-county area, and this is a good example of why.

So let me thank you, great pharmacy technicians, that are out there. We appreciate your hard work and your dedication to the safety of the patients. We appreciate the fact that you get it right, over and over, and in a lot of cases, you save our butts when the pharmacist makes a stupid mistake.

Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I'd have Tim drug tested; sounds like he is sampling the wares.

Anonymous said...

Totally curious. If a customer got a wrong script - adderall instead of Allegra for example, and you called and told them and they said "nah, I'll keep this" what would you guys do? Could the customer be prosecuted once they know if they chose to keep it and use it recreationally?

Anonymous said...

The two techs i have to work with drive me insane. Job is half-assed half the time, and when you try to explain to them what they should do differently or not do at all you get one of three options for a response: no...and then nothing, i dont do it that way and i wont do it that way, and finally my personal favorite "ive been doing this for 27 years", to which i almost respond evey single time "and in those 27 years have you ever been good at this job?"
Considering just this week ive had the Return To Stock list given to a customer and caught double box of ventolin about to go out with a two different labels to two different patients idnsay itsntime to get some new blood in my store.
Oddly enough some of the best techs ive ever known were floaters. Of course there have been a few bad ones too

Anonymous said...

I think we have all ran into a "Tim" in our lives. Regardless if that "Tim" is a technician, assistant, or a Pharmacist, the point is, there are some lousy pharmacy professionals out there. The important thing is not to accept that level of incompetency for the patient's safety's sake. The part of the world I work in, we have both technicians and pharmacists licensed, and a way to report unsafe practice to the governing pharmacy body, so if this happened to me, that would be one of my courses of action (after speaking with management).