Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Stressed out...

I don't know how much longer I can put up with the stress of the pharmacy. Maybe I just don't handle stress well. I don't really know. Whatever the reason, I seem to be under more stress than anyone else.

Stress Source: Untrained clerks

Our non-pharmacist employees cannot handle anything more complicated than grabbing a prescription from the bin and ringing it up at the register. Actually, half the time, they can't even do this without incident. Can't find the prescription in the bin; Let's call the pharmacist. Patient has a new insurance card; Let's call the pharmacist to rebill the claim. Patient has no refills; Let's call the pharmacist just to make sure. Of course, they don't just call any pharmacist. They all call me. Therefore, I'm bouncing from place to place to place to place trying to help everyone all the while not getting anything done.

Stress Source: Terrible, lazy pharmacist coworkers

I've already ranted about "one of the world's worst pharmacists" (**then I subsequently removed that rant several months later to maintain anonymity, so this might not make a lot of sense to newer readers). Well, she makes my day a living hell. Today, she worked with me and the young new pharmacist she hates. Well, because she doesn't want to interact with the new pharmacist, she stood on the other side of the pharmacy doing technician tasks all day long. She did not answer the phone once all day. She did not take any doctor's calls. She refused to go to the counter to answer customer questions.

One time, I was in the middle of 3 things that needed to be done 5 minutes ago and the other pharmacist was checking scripts while being on hold with an insurance company. The phone rings, and of course, it's a pharmacy looking for a transfer. The tech who picked up the phone called this out. I was busy. The other pharmacist was busy. Betty (AKA bad pharmacist) was basically doing nothing. She was checking our doctor's fax forms to see if some of them were already called in. This isn't that important, especially in the middle of a busy day. Moreover, it's something that a pharmacist does not need to do. On the otherhand, a pharmacist is needed to transfer a script. Betty did not make even one motion towards the phone. Therefore, I had to drop what I was doing for the 2389430598734250987345 time and pick up the phone for the transfer.

All I wanted to do after that was take the nearest 500 count bottle of Klor-Con 20mEQ and peg her in the head with the force of a Nolan Ryan fastball. You're a fucking pharmacist. You're goddamn job, first and foremost, is to check scripts, take doctor calls, answer patient questions, and transfer scripts. Those are the only things that a pharmacist can do that a technician cannot. If you want to sit around, fax doctors, put away the order, and only process the prescriptions on the refill line, then you should sacrafice your $50+/hour and work for a technician's salary.

The killer was that at the end of her shift (she left on time, while I stayed well over an hour late), she bragged to me about how much work she got done. Yeah, I could get a lot of things done too if I sit in a corner and NOT BOTHER TO DO ANYTHING ELSE! I'm not the only one who realizes how much of a lazy ass she is. Everyone comments about it. She's only been here for 2 months, and half of the customers can't stand her. It just really fucking sucks when you're absolutely killing yourself trying to help out every single person in the pharmacy, while someone who has the exact same job description and salary as you is just sitting around DOING FUCKING NOTHING!!!

Stress Source: Rookie pharmacist who can't make a decision on her own.

Now, I like our recently graduated pharmacist. She's a really nice person. She's smart. She really tries hard to do a good job. These are all commendable traits. However, she simply cannot make a decision on her own, she has to ask me about everything.

"Should we call the doctor on this interaction?"
"The patient wants to know if this and this are OK together; Are they?"
"Do you want me to call the insurance company about this problem?"

Anything that requires her to think a little bit ends up being a question that I have to think a little bit about. Perhaps, I'm being a little harsh because she's only been licensed for a month. I too was hesitant to make decisions when I first got licensed. However, I don't think I was this bad. She says she gets nervous any time she sees our DUR software come up with a "serious interaction." You do want to be careful with those interactions, but you cannot call on every single one of them when you're trying to fill 500 scripts per day. For example, you can't call every single time you get a hyperkalemia warning when a person gets lisinopril and spironolactone at the same time from the same doctor. It's just a waste of time for us. Furthermore, if you absolutely insist on calling, just do so without asking my permission.

I think I just need to get out. I'm tired. I'm stressed out. I spend my entire shift at work swearing under my breath, pulling my hair out, and bashing my head against counters, walls, and shelves. When I get home, I don't have energy to work out or go out.

Life sucks... yeah, that pretty much sums it up.


Pepperpourri said...

For the second stress source, maybe you could try telling her about it? Well, since you and her are on talking terms. Try telling her in a nice way that would get your message across yet not to the point of offending her?

Ah, I don't know, just thought that might help. I guess sometimes it is better to let the person know, rather than suffer in silence. I'm sure you're not the only one who feels that about her.

Pharmacy Mike said...

Hey Pepperpourri,

I've tried submitting a couple comments to your blog, but they don't appear. I hit the submit button and nothing happens. It seems to be the same for all blogs on WordPress. Do you know anything about this?

pepperpourri said...

Oh, really? I'm not aware of it. My friend managed to leave her comment though.

Did you fill in your email address or anything that is required? I will have to check with the admins at WordPress about this problem

Thanks for letting me know.

pepperpourri said...

I tried leaving a comment just now, it worked. I think you have to fill in your name and email address, which are required (but will not be shown on my blog).

If the problem persists, do let me know. Thanks.

Pharmacy Mike said...

I did leave my name and email address. I hit submit, and it looked my comment was accepted, but when I checked the page, it wasn't there. I went back and tried to send the exact same comment a second time, and I was brought to a page that said something along the lines of "You've already said that."

It's registering that I'm submitting a comment, but it's not showing up on the page at all, and obviously, you're not even getting the comments for moderation, so I have no idea. It seems to be doing it on all WordPress blogs for me.

greensunflower said...

are you teaching the nonRPH's to do it, or are you just doing it for them out of impatience? Maybe try teaching them. You will have to do it a few times of course, but you know the saying "if you give a man a fish..."

Pharmacy Mike said...

Both... I teach them a few times, but they still don't get it. Moreover, we're so busy that we don't have time to stop for 5 minutes. When a problem comes up, we need to fix it as fast as possible or we'll fall way behind.

I do my fair share of teaching, trust me. You can only show a person the same thing so many times before you just give up and do it yourself.

Anya said...

All I wanted to do after that was take the nearest 500 count bottle of Klor-Con 20mEQ and peg her in the head with the force of a Nolan Ryan fastball.

that is the funniest thing i've read today. hope you do not have to wok with betty for much longer.

Anonymous said...

I'm a P1 student . . . yea . . . You're scaring me with these pharmacy stories.

Anonymous said...

yea as a pharmacy student im also being scared by these stories

Anonymous said...

I work in a very similar pharmacy. Have all the same issues. We have a pharmacist that is lazy like "Betty." Any day that she is there and we don't have a middle shift pharmacist you can count on complete chaos. It's impossible to recover from being an hour or two behind. I'm totally stessed too and it takes all I have not to blow up. When I get home about all I can manage is going into a catatonic state and falling asleep in my recliner. I'm definitely reconsidering my career

Anonymous said...

it's reassuring to know that drama happens even in places like a pharmacy. I keep getting told that it does, some part of me always thinks that smart people don't fight.

i just hope that if it gets to be too much, that you just remember you're doing a good job because you care. people will notice that.