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Monday, February 19, 2024

Do They Forget?

CPP: What's the most frustrating thing about taking a vacation or not having a partner?
CP: Floaters. Hands down. 
CPP: All of them?
CP: Not necessarily all of them. This is always a debate and you hate to paint ALL floaters with the same brush. 
CPP: But?
CP: No "but"; I choose to complain about the floaters who are managers or staff at their own stores, stores they run on the daily, who come to my store and decide to change things. 
CPP: I've been a manager and staff and had my own stores for most of my career. I have floated to help on short days or to cover vacations and I have never gone on a redecorating spree somewhere I am moonlighting for only a shift or two. I can understand moving the label or fingerprint scanner or mouse if you're opposite-handed. It's a pharmacist station setup and you have to be comfortable but. . . 
CP: The last time I was sans partner, I came back to work to discover the phollowing: 
1. Someone changed my order points to keep all the expensive drugs they ordered in stock (for someone who hadn't even picked up their initial Rx yet). STOP. We don't stock it for a damn good reason. 
CPP: That's a dick move. Order what the patient needs for today and let me decide if I want to keep it or not, especially if we have trained this patient to call in their 90 days supply a few days early each refill. It makes no sense to keep $3k worth of a drug on my shelf for 90 days for one patient. 
CP: 2. Someone took my computer/monitor desk down and placed it on the floor because the terminal was too high, and didn't replace it. 
CPP: It's one thing to adjust your work area where you need to function for 12 hours, but put everything back the way you found it. 
CP: 3. Someone literally rearranged my shelves: they moved my inventory around and shifted the heights of the shelves! 
CPP: Okay that's a bridge too far IMHO.
CP: That would be like being invited to a friend's house for dinner and to spend the night and deciding to rearrange their kitchen because you don't like their work triangle, where the silverware and cups are located, then moving all the furniture in the bedroom because the feng shui felt off, rising in the morning, and leaving without explanation or replacing everything, all before your friend wakes. 
CPP: Your friend walks around the house all day shaking her head going "WTF!?", unable to drink her coffee because the spoons are now in the bathroom and the fridge is in the den all the while questioning your relationship. 
CP: But she can't complain because you're her only friend who will visit. 
CPP: That's a rather dark picture of floater coverage. 
CP: Dark times, indeed. 

Part Deux:
CP: What makes a good floater?
CPP: If you have a policy or procedure specific to your store, believe the store to which you are floating has one as well. 
CP: Correct. The pharmacist is the interchangeable cog in the mechanism. When you walk in, ASK how they handle their fridge items, their reconstitutes, their oversized items. Don't presume to do it your way if it flies in the face of how this store appears to do things. 
CPP: I'll ask when I arrive and do it their way all day. I may ask why they do it this way and explain how and why we do it differently at my store, but I'm not there to change things; I'm there to be YOUR pharmacist and I respect that. 
CP: Just as we expect the same courtesy from those who fill in for us. 
CPP: Naturally. 
CP: That's not a lot to ask. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Magic 8 Ball

CP: I've got one for you today. 
CPP: Let's hear it. 
CP: I called Dr. Zoffis to have a prescription verified/changed due to an incorrect dose and had to leave a voicemail. 
CPP: Nothing out of the ordinary there. 
CP: Except for her outgoing message which said: "Sorry I could not answer your call. I am either on the phone or with a patient in a room. You can leave and message and I will call you back or "you can call back at a less busy time". 
CPP: Huh? Less busy for whom?
CP: Right? I'm not busy right now which is why I called. I may not be this less busy until I close to go home. 
CPP: She's probably one of those that thinks we know everything and tells her patients "it will be ready when you get there". 
CP: <sings> "I don't practice Santeria; I ain't got no crystal ball". 
CPP: <sings> "I don't predict the future. I don't care about the past."
CP: Nice one. 
CPP: Isn't that like when we ask people when they want to pick up their prescriptions and they reply "at lunch". 
CP: Yeah. Whose lunch? Your lunch? My <giggles> lunch? The other office I called is open 9-4 and takes lunch from 11:30-1:30. Would it be during their lunch? 
CPP: That's like the people who say "after work". What if you work second or third shift? 
CP: I always tell them if they come after work, I'll be closed. 
CPP: Do they get it. 
CP: Almost never. 


Thursday, February 8, 2024

Like, Why?

<helping another patient, watches Little Old Lady saunter up to front of counter>
CP: I'll be right with you. 
LOL: I just have a question. 
CP: And when it's just your turn I will just take the time to just answer it just phor you. 
LOL: <scoffs>
CP: What is your question?
LOL: Do you have Sweet Oil Drops?
CP: Yes. Aisle Seven, with the other ear drops. 
LOL: "You don't have it here?"
CP: Did I say I had it here? If I did have it here, why would I tell you where to find it, just answering your "just a question"? Would I not just turn around, procure it phrom behind where I am standing, and say "here ya go!"? 
LOL: <scoffs again>
UT: Well that was one way to give her her just desserts. 
CP: <snickers>

UT: Hi. CP's Cornucopia of Pastilles calling. Do you have new insurance?
Patient Ornery On Phone Yelling: I do not. 
UT: According to the insurance, you were terminated at the end of last month. 
POOPY: That can't be. 
UT: I would advise you to call them to help you sort it. 
POOPY: "I am definitely not terminated; I am still paying my premium!"
UT: Well that's between you and the insurance as they believe you to not have coverage. 
CP: That's the equivalent of "I watched him send it!". Sure you did. But did you ask him WHERE he sent it? Did they ask to WHICH insurance their premiums are going? 
UT: Silly rabbits. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Deep Thoughts

Watching a "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment" on Netflix

CP: He just said "subscription". 
Other Person Also Looking: Yeah. 
CP: Even the subtitles said "subscription". 
OPAL: Okay. 
CP: It's wrong. It's prescription. 
OPAL: Well, isn't a prescription just a subscription to keep getting your medication?
CP: <blank stare> You've ruined my professional life now. 
OPAL: You're welcome. 

Monday, January 29, 2024

Which Do You Prefer?

CP: I have seen a variety of ways to type sig codes on bottles. Each pharmacist, and technician for that matter, will have her own preference when it comes to wording and phrasing. The one area on which there is rarely agreement is liquid dosing. 
CPP: I hate liquid dosing sigs, if they're not done my way. 
ME: ME too. 
UT: Everyone is so picky. 
MICE ELF: I'm guessing you have a poll or something?
CP: I took a transfer the other day and really felt uncomfortable reading the directions the pharmacy had typed. 
UT: How were they typed?
CP: "Give seven point five mls . . . "
ME: <shivers>
CPP: Yeah, I don't like that one bit. 
MICE ELF: Had to be Chronic Vaginal Secretions. 
CPP: Yeah, if it's sent that way electronically, they don't take the time to fix it. 
ME: We were taught to translate it from doctor-speak to patient-speak. 
MICE ELF: Dumb it down.  
CP: Assume everyone is stupid. You will never be surprised and you will never be disappointed. 
UT: How do we prefer these written?
CP: "Give 7.5 ml by mouth. . . ". I like the space between the number and the mL. Also, mL can be plural. the added "s" on mls looks weird and is unnecessary. But let's see what else is out there and what everyone else has to say. 

a. 7.5ml
b. 7.5mls
c. 7.5 ml 
d. 7.5 mls
e. seven point five ml 
f. seven point five mls 
g. other?

CPP: Oh, and always remember to use a "0" before the decimal but to omit trailing zeroes. 
CP: I still see .50ml and just know that's a mistake waiting to happen. 
CPP: I was always mystified as to why it was drilled in our heads to never abbreviate "u" for units and to use a leading zero before the decimal but the actual prescribers writing them seem to have not been required to attend that class. 
CP: It was an elective. We know how to write but don't. 
CPP: They write, but don't know how. 
UT: People will blame the e-scripts software. 
CP: They are welcome to do so, but there is still a correct way to write prescriptions and the provider is the one who signs off on it. Much like the Curvy Vivacious Sluts Pharmacists who don't take the time to edit the data on the incoming e-script. 
UT: It happens every day. 
CPP: That's "everyday" if you work for Chocolate Violated Starfish. 

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Policy? Or Professionalism?

CP: I ordered another case of Bromfed DM today. 
CPP: Great. I'll let our competition know when we speak. 
CP: Good. I spoke with Chronic Vaginal Secretions yesterday and explained we have it with no issues getting it. 
CPP: Good. Let's hope they send people our way. 
CP: They have been, which is great, but they're annoying about it. 
CPP: How so?
CP: If I knew you were the only pharmacy around that had it, and I verified it with you that morning, I would send my patients to you. 
CPP: Great. I would reciprocate in kind. 
CP: <blushes> I know. I'm just confused by this interaction, which I have had with multiple pharmacists at the same store. 

CP: CP's Chronic Perturbations. How may I help you?
Patient In Need Of The Bromfed: I'm calling to ask if you happen to have Bromfed DM in stock. 
CP: I do!
PINOT Bromfed: Great. Can you transfer it for me?
CP: Sure. Where is it?
PINOT Bromfed: Conjugal Visits/Satan. 
CP: Yeah. I can call them. What's their number?
<hears PINOT Bromfed asking the pharmacy staff for their information>
CP: Are you at the pharmacy counter?
PINOT Bromfed: Yes. 
CP: They have my information and I spoke with them this morning. Do they really need me to call? or can they send it without?
PINOT Bromfed: They want you to call. 
CP: Of course. Instead of them, with the Rx presumably on their screen, exiting it and faxing me the copy directly, I now have to stop what I am doing to call them to repeat what this patient already established. 
UT: They must be run like a PBM: The first person asks for your information, transfers you, and that person asks for it all again. 
CP: Except I spoke with the pharmacist this morning, and multiple times since the backorder on this began, and she said she would just transfer them to me. Why do I have to call? Especially on this one.
CPP: Please don't tell me they pulled the "it's the receiving pharmacy's job to initiate the transfer". 
CP: No. I expected that. Which, granted, is how it should be done and I am a staunch believer in adhering to it. However, I have worked out with other pharmacists in the past to send my prescriptions for the day without them calling, in these instances. It's especially galling if the patient is right there and the pharmacy told them to call around and they suggested my store because they know I have it. 
CPP: It does seem a little selfish. 
CP: Not to mention unprofessional. 
CPP: Did they give you a reason?
CP: Nope. They just didn't want to do it. According to the patients who have come to pick up these prescriptions. They were surprised the other pharmacists made it so hard. It wouldn't be so bad if they answered the phone when we called. Or didn't have to wait 30 minutes for the fax. I mean, it's not a control and most of us do fax transfers more than verbal anyway. 
CPP: Guess they didn't read your post yesterday. 
CP: Or they did and are still stuck on "ignore the phone, the patient here comes first". 
CPP: Except they made the patient waiting there wait here. 
CP: I guess that's the surprise. 
CPP: What surprise?
CP: At CVS - Cloaca Vent Surprise!
CPP: How much time do you spend on your acronyms?
CP: All day. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

I Disagree

ME: What's with the long stare?
CP: I'm ruminating. 
MICE ELF: Uh-oh. On what?
CP: Something someone wrote on a post I made the other week. It wasn't exactly related, but I find I can't let it go and that I ultimately disagree with it. 
ME: What was it?
CP: "The customer at the counter is more important than the one on the phone." 
MICE ELF: An immediate, knee-jerk response would be "what's wrong with that concept"? The person who entered the business is a priority. 
CP: Not necessarily. 
ME: Why not? They are here. They are present. 
CP: But the phone rang first. Yes, I can ring out their lone prescription, but for how many patients do I ignore the phone? All three in line? The drive-thru? 
MICE ELF: I'm going to argue "yes, the person is front is more important" but only because that's what people will say. 
CP: To which I will reply where do you draw the line? I got really good at ignoring a ringing phone thanks to the Culture of Virgin Suicides allowing 10 lines to ring with only 3 employees staffed. But that is not the point. If you are going to live by a policy, it has to applied equally at all times. IF you agree the patient in front of you is more important, then you MUST never answer a phone call while someone is in the store. Agree?
ME: Right. You cannot arbitrarily apply the rule. 
CP: BUT, there are two things people forget today: 
1. Our customers are PATIENTS because 
We just happen to practice our business in a retail setting. Imagine if your doctor had the same policy, or the hospital. The nurses would be checking in patients and checking out patients; they would not be answering phones from other offices, from pharmacies including yours, scheduling appointments, answering patient questions about their test results, or any of the other jobs with which they are tasked because "the customer at the window comes first", right?
ME: Right. 
MICE ELF: But they have multiple people. 
CP: True. And we do not. If I am working alone, or even with one technician, my prioritization and phone calls must operate differently. People are calling seeking medical advice, clarification on prescriptions, transfers, information. We don't take messages for the doctor so she can review them at lunch, or her designated time to approve refill requests, etc. WE ARE the professionals! WE have to answer those calls. Sure, many are refill requests and "do you have this in stock" queries, but many are not. The guy ringing up his Latanoprost Eye drop along with the bag of peanuts he gets every 4 weeks and I see in my store three days per week is NOT as important to me. He can wait. 
ME: What if the person at the counter has a question?
CP: It's always about balance. Remember how I wrote about Amoxicillin capsules and how pharmacists' views differ on subbing (tabs vs caps and how you don't get to pick and choose how you apply your rule)?
CP: Same here. If you are going to say "the person in front of me took the time and effort to walk in to my store, he is more important, then you MUST 100% apply that to ALL people who walk in. If you do that, those who call with real healthcare questions and needs will be pushed aside. What if you miss the lady calling with heart attack symptoms? Your "customer" that doesn't need your well-trained, professional brain will cause you to waste your time because you're stuck on an antiquated notion of "well he's here". 
ME: I'm not going to say I disagree with you, but many will. 
CP: And they can. Keep in mind, I am talking about the absolutists. Those who say "the customer in front of me is more important" are flawed in their thinking. We are a profession. We are paid for our brains, not our ability to use a register. You can make the person in front of you a priority, but please, don't ignore the phone call. You can visibly see if that person needs your medical help, but the call is a mystery until you answer it. 
MICE ELF: While we're at it, can we address the "HOLD" that places use now instead of "such-and-such pharmacy/doctor, can you hold please?" when they DO answer the phone?
CP: It's annoying. I'd rather you let it ring. It doesn't allow you to prioritise calls. If I'm calling for a transfer, take my information, have the pharmacist fax it at her leisure, move on. Simple. But "hold" without providing an option is unnecessarily rude. 
ME: But at least they answered the phone. 
CP: And I'd be finding another provider. 
MICE ELF: Must be waiting on all those people who walked into the store. 
CP: Glad I wasn't having a stroke. 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Somebody Once Told Me

CP: Thank you phor calling CP's Chronic Plaints. How may you ruin my day phor me? 
A Little Lady Still Talking About Rejects: I want to know if my doctor called in my prescription. 
CP: They did. I was just about to call you, in fact. 
ALLSTAR: To let me know it was ready?
CP: No. To tell you it's not covered on your insurance; they require a prior authorisation. 
ALLSTAR: Okay. But I have insurance. 
CP: Uh-huh. Stay with me now. You're falling a little behind. You have insurance but this insurance does not cover this medication. 
ALLSTAR: "Somebody told me if you run it through and it rejects 3 times, they have to pay for it if you run it a 4th time". 
CP: Uh-huh. All my life has been a lie. I usually stop at two times. All these years wasted on prior auths when all I had to do was to continue submitting the prescription until it was covered. Oh me. 
ALLSTAR: "Well my friend's insurance covers it". 
CP: Uh-huh. I'm going to assume she works elsewhere?
CP: Well I have two suggestions phor you: you can either call your office and ask them to complete the prior auth, which may bring a large copay with it, or, and this is probably the fastest option, you could get hired by your phriend's employer, join their insurance, and know they will cover this medication once benefits kick in in 90 days or so. But that's a long way to go for Mounjaro, Ozempic, or Zepbound.