DoctorRx1986

10+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2008
388
20
Florida
Status
Pharmacy Student
I've been working at a retail pharmacy as a pharmacy clerk for almost four months. I've certainly learned a whole lot over these months about the nature of retail and can see myself working in pharmacy for the rest of my life. As a pharmacy clerk, I've been complying with my duties very well and just getting better and better with time...accepting prescriptions from patients, making sure we have medication in stock, filling prescriptions, and handing the medication to the patient after their scripts have been processed. I also answer telephone calls whenever I get a chance. Overall, I tend to feel satisfied and productive at the end of most working days.

Today, however, I felt quite the opposite. I felt completely unproductive, completely pitiful, and completely DUMB as a person. Why? Well, though I've been responsible for the above duties, today one of the pharmacists actually began to teach me how to process prescriptions on the pharmacy computer system. This is something I had not done before. She gave me an overview of the system, with its many features, but though I got most of it, I just didn't master all of it at that very instant. As a person, I've been feeling like dog excrement because of the mistakes, lack of knowledge, and obstacles faced while I tried to process two or three prescriptions on my own through the pdx pharmacy system or whatever it's called. I felt like such a loser because I constantly had to ask questions about what to do next, what button to press, why I'm getting this message, what ESI stands for, how to deal with this or that insurance card, what this abbreviation stands for, etc... I normally do not feel this way because I tend to learn things quickly, but when I notice the tech or the pharmacists just navigating through the system with such ease, I envy that. I know it's just the first time I'm doing this, but it's just not a pleasant feeling. As a result of these problems, my self-esteem was shattered, my head was down, and I felt so pathetically dumb that my performance suffered today. I ended the day leaving the pharmacy with my head down, feeling I didn't do anything productive, and that overall, I am a complete failure with pharmacy. Worst of all, I failed myself.

With other things, there is simply no confusion, no obstacles, no problems, no misunderstanding. Give me an organic chemistry book problem and I'll get it done in no time. Put me on this system that has so many features and different buttons to press, and all of a sudden, I have an IQ of 25. It's pitiful, dumb, and miserable of me. Anyone else ever feel this way at all?
 

Drug Doc

10+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2008
130
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
whoa whoa buddy. navigating those systems has nothing to do with intelligence (i do it as a clerk), you will learn through repetition, so don't beat yourself up for not mastering it in one day. also, don't feel stupid asking questions, it's the only way you'll learn. you'll get used to the system in no time, and once you know how to work it you'll be clicking buttons just as fast as anyone else in your pharmacy.
 

Sparda29

En Taro Adun
10+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2008
9,036
1,037
32
New York, New York
Status
Pharmacist
Not really, you'll get it eventually. Ask them if they have some CDs to practice with the system at home.

Back when I started, I practiced by making up fake prescriptions, typing them, processing them through insurance, and if it rejected, do everything possible to try to force the system to accept it, then once it accepted, I deleted the prescription from the system.


I suck at the register though because my mind wanders a lot. One time, a patient was picking up a script, and paying for it by check. A couple of hot girls walked by, wearing barely anything and I was completely distracted. In my altered state of mind, I gave the check back to the patient after processing it, and I put the receipt into the drop box. :eek:

My next shift, the manager comes over and tells me he wants to talk to me about something while I'm at production. He takes me into the back room and informs me that my drawer was short $234.25. If you did the math, that was EXACTLY the amount of the check.

He said he checked the video camera, and low and behold there I am drooling and mesmerized as the 2 girls walked by, and handing the check back to the patient, the patient shrugged and put it in their purse and walked away with the prescription.

Apparently, they called up the patient, patient said they didn't have the check.

Another debacle happened when a guy came in and purchased 5 boxes of Accuchek Test Strips(100 Count - $100 each), with a check. I didn't read any of the memos that day, and apparently there was a ring of people passing around bad checks for test strips.

My pharmacy manager didn't care about either events, she didn't mind at all, while the store manager was on my case for weeks about the smallest things, eventually I transferred to another store because I couldn't take his crap anymore and my co-worker from my last job was the assistant manager there, and that store was willing to give me many more hours.

The pharmacy manager was always fine with us wearing jeans and t-shirts as long as we had the white coats and as long as the clothes didn't have any insulting pictures or anything. I mean, she once wore a tank top and short shorts to work one weekend, with the white coat of course. Funny thing was, for a pharmacy that usually dispensed a large amount of viagra, we didn't have any viagra refills that weekend.
 

RAMPHARMD

UHCOP Pharm.D. Student
10+ Year Member
May 1, 2008
79
0
Status
Pharmacy Student
My first month or so as a pharmacy technician was filled with the woeful sorrows you have just described. With time and repetition you will master these new and oftentimes overwhelming challenges, but as for now don't be so hard on yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
 

PharmDstudent

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2007
4,342
71
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I had a horrible day at work today too. I left really early, because it felt like everyone was talking behind my back. I can't stand that feeling, so it was better for me to go home than to start crying or something like that. I would rather be the only person on this Earth than have people talk behind my back (that's how strongly I feel about it!)

I wish pharmacy was a larger profession. It makes it harder to deal with difficult situations and problems when others can't relate to you. So many people have told me that I have such an easy job, but they have no idea what challenges we have to face every day.
 

tschu8482

10+ Year Member
Apr 15, 2008
24
0
Status
Pre-Pharmacy
Don't beat yourself up about it!! I've trained so many people,pharmacists and techs, it takes a while. Sometimes people take months to be efficient,if they ever do. Its really not hard at all, just alot of info to take in at one time,especially being a student.
 

RxWildcat

Julius Randle BEASTMODE!
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2008
1,406
2
Status
Pharmacist
psh, computer systems can be a major PITA, don't sweat it.
 

nerv12345

...
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2007
1,146
0
Southern California
Status
Pharmacy Student
don't beat yourself up man. people have their ****ty days. be patient during the learning process..these things are hard to learn.

at least you're making an effort to learn...we hired a PSA at CSV MONTHS ago and he doesn't make an effort to learn or excel...so we stick him at the register most of the time.
 

PharmDstudent

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2007
4,342
71
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
don't beat yourself up man. people have their ****ty days. be patient during the learning process..these things are hard to learn.

at least you're making an effort to learn...we hired a PSA at CSV MONTHS ago and he doesn't make an effort to learn or excel...so we stick him at the register most of the time.
Some people don't want to learn. I would rather train someone who is sincere and perhaps a little doubtful than someone who doesn't give a rat's a**.

Nerv12345,
What's up? You've been MIA lately.

Did you get the shoes?
 

laimyours

like my hat?
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2006
243
0
New York, NY
Status
Pharmacist
Don't worry, like everyone said, it takes time. If it makes you feel any better PDX is the most un-user friendly program out there. It's not like the fancy system they have at walgreens.The F keys are your friend! Pretty much everything you need to be done will be done with F1, F6 and F7. Learning those insurance accronyms takes time, you'll get the most common ones. They are different at different companies anyway. Be patient and try to get on the computer as much as possible and just explore the different fields. Good luck! :thumbup:
 

UBCmicrobi

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 22, 2007
498
0
Vancouver
Status
Pharmacy Student
You are definitely not alone, but as others have said, you will learn with time, and you're on the right track if you desire to learn and improve your skills. I've felt really frustrated at work, but not because I'm an idiot, but because "they" don't invest enough time to train techs/clerks/assistants.
 

Pharmpills

Accepted Pharmacy Student
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Oct 26, 2007
642
14
Status
Pharmacy Student
This is a joke post right?? how on earth do u think u can figure out a system in a day? It takes time, did u learn to drive in a day or week even. Things take time, you are smart to figure out this common sense message. It takes months to figure out how to bill insurance and even some techs dont master it untill years later and even then some still dont :laugh:. Take it ez and just ask questions and learn.
 

monsterbrain

Drinking for sanity.
10+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
237
1
corn country
Status
Pharmacy Student
DrRX - I know exactly what you are feeling. When I started working at Walgreens over 2 years ago, I felt like the most pathetic waste of human life. I was 38 years old and working in a part-time retail job making $8/hr. And if that wasn't bad enough, 17-18 year olds were training me. This was probably one of the most humiliating periods in my life. It was also tough knowing there was sooo much material to learn and that I wouldn't be able master the job for a long time.

No one expects a new tech to learn everything very quickly. What will set you apart is your desire to learn and being secure enough to ask many, many questions. Don't get too down on yourself because time will take care of this. Or as my mother tells me all the time "this too shall pass."
 

FaBpHaRm2Be

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2005
120
0
33
NYC raised, Cali for school
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Pharmacy Student
Don't worry, like everyone said, it takes time. If it makes you feel any better PDX is the most un-user friendly program out there. It's not like the fancy system they have at walgreens.The F keys are your friend! Pretty much everything you need to be done will be done with F1, F6 and F7. Learning those insurance accronyms takes time, you'll get the most common ones. They are different at different companies anyway. Be patient and try to get on the computer as much as possible and just explore the different fields. Good luck! :thumbup:
So true!! PDX is very..."interesting" to say the least. I work at a pharmacy that also uses PDX and it took me a while to learn how to work with that computer program. NOTE: Laimyours is right, the F keys are your friend!! I know how you feel though. I too started working as a pharmacy clerk, and when the pharmacists started showing me how to type prescriptions and bill insurances, I felt like I will never get it and that I am just wasting their time asking questions and stuff. But one tech told me it took her months to learn how to work with PDX, and felt that she still is learning new things from time to time. And she was right, a year and a half later I am a pharm tech and still learn something a little bit each day. Don't worry, you'll get there. Give it time, be patient, and do not be afraid to ask questions!
 

Gitana

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
54
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Diagnosis: Overachiever, Type-A Pre-Pharm Student.

Prognosis: You will survive.

:laugh:
 
OP
D

DoctorRx1986

10+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2008
388
20
Florida
Status
Pharmacy Student
Diagnosis: Overachiever, Type-A Pre-Pharm Student.

Prognosis: You will survive.

:laugh:

You got that right. I am definitely Type-A. While pharmacists and even some current pharmacy students tell me to just "sit back and enjoy the experience" as professors dive into their lectures on day 1 of P1 year, I just can't do that. I'll take everything seriously, start taking notes like i'm mad, and attempt to predict and learn every little detail and possible question where the professor may try to trap me on the exam. In undergrad, while some other people would try to relax, go have some lunch, and enjoy themselves after an anatomy and physiology lecture, I'd head straight to the library and study. So, definitely Type-A. Good job with your diagnosis, Dr. Gitana. :thumbup: