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How would you counsel a blind person?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by medicalCPA, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA PhD to be Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    In lab
    I was having breakfast at IHOP on Monday (gotta love those omelettes and pancakes!), and two guys walked in, and one was blind. When the waitress brought him his coffee, she described the position of everything on the table, and she manipulated his hands to touch them and told him exactly what he was touching (eg. this is the coffee pot, etc). And I wondered, how do pharmacists counsel a blind person? Are there medication directions in Braille? And what of a deaf person, if you don't know sign language?
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  3. Moxxie

    Moxxie Rained out 7+ Year Member

    Oct 20, 2005
    Temperate Rainforest
    That's an excellent question! I would hope that someone who's blind would already have a system in place to take their medication or someone that could help them take the correct medications at the correct time, but if they didn't it might be hard. I know that most pill boxes (the Sunday-Saturday ones) have braille on them, so setting up some of those would be a start.

    As to deaf people, we actually counseled a deaf woman yesterday at work. The pharmacist just took her to the side window and everything was done through written notes. It took about 15 minutes, but I think that she went away knowing how to take her meds (just an antibiotic and pyridium for a UTI, but still, we didn't want to let her leave without knowing the fun side effects of pyridium!). But we were really slow and the pharmacist I work with is pretty patient - I know that if it had been busier or I'd been working with someone else that she might not have been counseled as effectively.
  4. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist 7+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    When I've counselled blind patients, I've reiterated the directions for taking their medication a couple of times. One patient came for refills, and when she handed me the bottles, they had these plastic tags stuck to them covered with Braille that somebody had added.

    Given the explosion of diabetes amongst young people, we might need Braille writers for our prescription labels as part of our standard equipment in a few years.

    Deaf is easy; you just write everything down. And some deaf people can lip read.
  5. pharmpilot

    pharmpilot P1! And surviving! 5+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    I'm hoping somewhere along the line to learn ASL. I suspect it would be a very hand thing to know in the future.
  6. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE! Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Maybe you could teach them the shape and feel of various tablets so they would know what they are taking. You could also utilize different size vials for the medications.
  7. OKgirl

    OKgirl 2+ Year Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    I think that the first question should be how a blind person made it to the pharmacy. Imagine if they had to somehow get 2 tablespoons of a liquid medication. How would that work? I imagine that they would have some type of caretaker that at least came in weekly to set the pills out.
  8. nnguyenc

    nnguyenc 7+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    utilize the service dogs....they are very intelligent
  9. tussionex

    tussionex Pharmacist 2+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2007
    po-town, NY
    when i worked retail, we had a few deaf patients. one used to send family in to get her meds, and call us using TTY. the other lady could lip read just fine, but when we hired a cashier who knew ASL, she was thrilled! we had the cashier teach us how to say things like "thank you", "have a nice day", "how are you today?" and our deaf patient would positively beam when we tried signing to her!

    non-pharmacy related, my friends and i learned to sign dirty phrases in high school. we were singing with our choir at some elem. schools, one of which had some deaf student and teachers who knew ASL. well, the deaf kids knew what we were signing to each other and ratted us out to their teachers, who, in turn got us in trouble with our chorus director!
  10. HumidBeing

    HumidBeing In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    10cc syringe, filled three times. That's an easy one to do.
  11. Pianopooh

    Pianopooh 10+ Year Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    In my first pharmacy intern position, there was a regular patient who came in for meds and was blind. Often he came with a home nurse aid so she came with him to pick up medications and shop for food. On weekends the blind patient does come on his own and he does pick up his own meds or purchase OTC items. With blind patients, you have to earn their trust in order for them to allow you to counsel them. My pharmacist introduced me to him, and told him I was an intern and I could counsel him but he was a bit skeptical and afraid. For prescription medications, the pharmacist gave him different size bottles to tell between the different meds he was taking (lipitor small bottle, lisinopril medium size, etc). Since he took only a few meds, we didn't have to worry about additional bottle sizes.. but I would recommend if the blind patient had maybe 5 or 6 meds, you can use safety cap and non-safety cap to help distinguish the meds. Anyway, so to counsel the patient, the pharmacist took a pill out of the bottle and allowed the patient to touch and feel the med, and counseled him on proper use of the med. We would follow up with the home nurse aid and inform her of meds he picked up over the weekend, whenever she came in. I think maybe two months into constantly speaking to the blind patient over the phone and refilling his meds, saying hi and being friendly to him allowed me to gain his trust, so I was able to counsel him later on. He relied mainly on the pharmacist and me on OTC items, and asked for second opinions if he was purchasing something from another pharmacy. He was a really nice person, I miss working with disabled patients.
  12. PharmDstudent

    PharmDstudent 7+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    You'll have to take the needle off for them. ;)
  13. we have two blind and one deaf patients at our pharmacy.

    One of the blind patients has a really amazing sense of direction and he most definitely all his other senses have heightened, presumably because of his blindness. He relies on public transportation (not hard in downtown, philadelphia) and the only problem for him is the signing

    The deaf guy that comes in lip reads VERY WELL. he even speaks, albeit with a slight different accent (the way you often hear deaf and mute people speak).

    BTW, I heard a deaf pharmacy student from UCSF, along with some clinical pharmacists there is starting a rotation designed to serve the deaf and mute community

    If ya got a summer off, you can always give learning ASL a try...
  14. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE! Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Well, you don't HAVE to, but it might be considered a good practice ;)
  15. bananaface

    bananaface Pharmacy Supernerd Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2004
    gone to seed
    It's pretty common for smaller syringes to come with a needle already attached, but not for 10cc syringes.
  16. pharmdinfl

    pharmdinfl 2+ Year Member

    Jul 1, 2007

    I like this idea! :thumbup:

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