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Monday, September 19, 2016

Why Words Are Important

We all know that there are people out there for whom we need to spell out everything. This is especially true in pharmacy with regards to our labels. Hence, we have the following:
"Unwrap then insert" on suppositories.
"Uncap then inhale" on metered dose inhalers.
"Take by mouth" on liquid antibiotics for patients with ear infections.

The following conversation may or may not have actually occurred:
CP: How may I help you?
Dumb Old Guy: You filled a prescription for my dog and I don't think it's working.
CP: Okay. What seems to be the problem? Are you giving it to her according to the directions?
DOG: Well, there's the problem. It says "TAKE ONE..." on the label so I took them. I wondered how she would get better with me taking them, but that's what it said.
CP: Do you have kids?
DOG: No. Just me and my Rottweiler, Fluffy.
CP: Well that's good news. Let's keep it that way, shall we? You do have a refill on here. Let me get that ready for you and I'll make sure the label instructs you to "GIVE" it to Fluffy.
DOG: Thanks, doc.

1 comment:

  1. I used to always use the verb "GIVE" on label directions where the person reading the label is most likely not the patient (such as small children and...pets). Maybe this guy is a retired English teacher. You are so right...words are important. This concept has eluded so many techs that do data entry and the pharmacists that verify the prescriptions.