Mar 6, 2010
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How do you manage to get your techs to work promptly and follow your instruction? I have been showing my respect towards techs that they are adults and they know what their tasks are. So, they should do their jobs & do their best.

I am a staff pharmacist (full time). So, they know I can't write them up (only pharmacy manager can). They tend to be late to show up when I work way more than when pharmacy manager works, more chatty, use their personal phones or make personal call via pharmacy phone for like 20 minutes (I talk to them about it, but they said it was very important...etc)...etc. Whenever I give them things to do, they always have things to say why they can't do it right away, or look at me as if I was crazy by asking them to do something.

When I am the pharmacist on duty, I make a decision who goes on break when and who does what. But they don't seem to understand that since I don't have access to get them in trouble (eg. write them up).

PLEASE give me advice how to be more assertive and manage them to work properly. I spoke to pharmacy manager as well, but he thinks I should build leadership (in my opinion, he doesn't want to deal with it. He wants me to handle problems that happens on my days)
 

J ROD

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not much you can do without being able to carry a stick......you are management and should have the right to write them up. If your PIC will not even back you up, then you are a lameduck manager and can only beg at best.

Like a flashlight cop!! :laugh:

I can fire any tech.....that simple.
 

charfdorn

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How do you manage to get your techs to work promptly and follow your instruction? I have been showing my respect towards techs that they are adults and they know what their tasks are. So, they should do their jobs & do their best.

I am a staff pharmacist (full time). So, they know I can't write them up (only pharmacy manager can). They tend to be late to show up when I work way more than when pharmacy manager works, more chatty, use their personal phones or make personal call via pharmacy phone for like 20 minutes (I talk to them about it, but they said it was very important...etc)...etc. Whenever I give them things to do, they always have things to say why they can't do it right away, or look at me as if I was crazy by asking them to do something.

When I am the pharmacist on duty, I make a decision who goes on break when and who does what. But they don't seem to understand that since I don't have access to get them in trouble (eg. write them up).

PLEASE give me advice how to be more assertive and manage them to work properly. I spoke to pharmacy manager as well, but he thinks I should build leadership (in my opinion, he doesn't want to deal with it. He wants me to handle problems that happens on my days)
Do you have the authority to send them home? What about assigning them to crappy jobs all shift? It might mean more work and hassle for you (in the short term), but it will be worth it when they realize that if they want to work they have to follow your rules.
 

1TB4RKSB4CK

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Are they incompetent? Or do they at least get all their work done?
But either way I think building a respectful but assertive balace between your co-workers would be beneficial make them respect you and give them a reason to. You are a pharmacist, they are just tech/aids etc. In general sense you know more than them in the pharmacy Don't let them think otherwise. You went to pharmacy school and they didn't, therefore you should be the one telling them what to do and what to not do in order for the pharmacy to run smoothly and for them to keep their job.
 

rph3664

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I've worked with techs who did things like refuse to put stat Anzemet in the tube, or deliver Phenergan suppositories to two small children who just had tonsillectomies. One of them actually said, "Make me, *****." This same tech was notorious for saying, "You can't hire, you can't fire, so I don't have to do anything you say." She would also deliberately do cart fill wrong, so I would essentially have to do it all. One time, I forgot to put a label on something and her reaction reminded me of that woman who tried to attack Jeffrey Dahmer during the victim's impact statements.

She had been there for over 10 years and had done things like this to other people, and I have no idea why they put up with her, especially because she was not in any kind of protected class (i.e. race, age, disability status, etc.). That job was so bad, I briefly considered surrendering my license (although because of the other pharmacist, not her) and when I interviewed for another job a few years later, was asked why I left XYZ Hospital after 4 months. I hemmed and hawed, and the interviewer said, "I've been told many times that XYZ Hospital is a very difficult place to work at."

As for the other pharmacist, he'd been in this city for over 20 years and nobody I knew had ever heard of him, although he claimed to have heard all kinds of stories about me but would never tell me who told him about them. :confused: At my next job, we had a relief pharmacist who briefly worked for him when he had his own business; she got 3 paychecks from him and they all bounced. He also told me that a business prior to this had been forced to close because he was undercut by the competition; she told me that people refused to patronize his store because everyone in town knew that he beat his wife up all the time. :eek: I believe it, too.
 

rxlea

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When all you need is a diploma and you get paid ****, a job is a job is a job. We have a few techs like that where I work. Sounds like this has been going on for a long time without consequences. If the manager isn't doing his job, you could always bring it up as a patient safety issue to his boss (ie they are talking on the phone and chatting with each other- not paying attention to their work). unfortunately, my guess is that you work at a chain and, depending on the chain, they don't usually give a **** anyway.
 

MountainPharmD

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How do you manage to get your techs to work promptly and follow your instruction? I have been showing my respect towards techs that they are adults and they know what their tasks are. So, they should do their jobs & do their best.

I am a staff pharmacist (full time). So, they know I can't write them up (only pharmacy manager can). They tend to be late to show up when I work way more than when pharmacy manager works, more chatty, use their personal phones or make personal call via pharmacy phone for like 20 minutes (I talk to them about it, but they said it was very important...etc)...etc. Whenever I give them things to do, they always have things to say why they can't do it right away, or look at me as if I was crazy by asking them to do something.

When I am the pharmacist on duty, I make a decision who goes on break when and who does what. But they don't seem to understand that since I don't have access to get them in trouble (eg. write them up).

PLEASE give me advice how to be more assertive and manage them to work properly. I spoke to pharmacy manager as well, but he thinks I should build leadership (in my opinion, he doesn't want to deal with it. He wants me to handle problems that happens on my days)
This is a tough situation and one I have been in before. It usually stems from a weak Pharmacy Manager. My first job out of school was at a pharmacy with a worthless pharmacy manager. The techs basically did whatever they wanted because the pharmacy manager just showed up and counted pills. Boy were they in for a big surprise when I got there. I noted all the problems everyday and gave them to the Pharmacy Manager. I rode his ass hard everyday about fixing the problems and constantly told him he needed to do something. After nine months he stepped down to staff and I took over. It took me about a year to get things straightened out.

This is all you can do. Note the problems and bring them to the Pharmacy Managers attention. Ride his ass everyday until he deals with the problems or gives up and quits. If the problems in the pharmacy are making your life hell then you make the Pharmacy Managers life hell until they are fixed.

One of the biggest failings of our pharnacy schools is a lack of any type of business or management training. A big part of Pharmacy is running a business and managing people. Pharmacy schools have done a very poor job of preparing graduates to do this. There are a lot of worthless pharmacy managers out there that have no clue how to manage people.
 

rph3664

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Ever seen "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"? You'd be surprised how many kids think people really act that way at work. At my last job, there were quite a few instances where a recent HS graduate had to be talked to about mouthing off to co-workers, personal phone calls, smoke breaks (don't get me started on THOSE), etc.

I once trained at a store where the main tech showed up maybe 2 or 3 days a week out of 5. I asked the manager, a young woman who was about to marry a man she obviously didn't even like, let alone love, why they kept her on, and she replied, "She does a great job when she's here!"

Example: While I was training, she came in one day after her shift and said she had to drive 3 states away and take the next few days off because her sister had broken up with her boyfriend. Oh, please.
 

Its Z

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PLEASE give me advice how to be more assertive and manage them to work properly. I spoke to pharmacy manager as well, but he thinks I should build leadership (in my opinion, he doesn't want to deal with it. He wants me to handle problems that happens on my days)
Read Dale Carnegie's 'How to win friends and influence people' if you haven't already.
 

scoobygrl79

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Read Dale Carnegie's 'How to win friends and influence people' if you haven't already.
Looking by the feathers you tend to ruffle around these parts on a weekly basis (AT LEAST)-->think I got supporting evidence that this book may be a flop...
 

owlegrad

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How do you manage to get your techs to work promptly and follow your instruction? I have been showing my respect towards techs that they are adults and they know what their tasks are. So, they should do their jobs & do their best.

I am a staff pharmacist (full time). So, they know I can't write them up (only pharmacy manager can). They tend to be late to show up when I work way more than when pharmacy manager works, more chatty, use their personal phones or make personal call via pharmacy phone for like 20 minutes (I talk to them about it, but they said it was very important...etc)...etc. Whenever I give them things to do, they always have things to say why they can't do it right away, or look at me as if I was crazy by asking them to do something.

When I am the pharmacist on duty, I make a decision who goes on break when and who does what. But they don't seem to understand that since I don't have access to get them in trouble (eg. write them up).

PLEASE give me advice how to be more assertive and manage them to work properly. I spoke to pharmacy manager as well, but he thinks I should build leadership (in my opinion, he doesn't want to deal with it. He wants me to handle problems that happens on my days)
Just an intern here but I have a few thoughts that may help you:

Do you use the tools at your disposal to organise workflow? At CVS we had a workflow board that has what station everyone is supposed to be covering at any particular time of the day. If your techs try getting out of working their station a board like this could really help you out. A really nice thing about this type of system, imo, is it is the only fair way to distribute the work load. Who wants to be an overachiever if all it gets you is everyone else's work? An organized workflow lets everyone do their fair share.

Do you make it clear what you want them to do? You say they are adults but if you do not tell them what you expect then you are setting them up to fail. If you tell someone to do something and they reuse or just don't do it, send their asses home. They are no help to you if they don't listen. A few times of it and they will either quit or shape up.

Are you new? A certain amount of "pushback" is to be expected. Be tough but fair. Perhaps the most important is to be consistent. If they can get away with it one day they will want to get away with it everyday.

My favorite bosses are not the easiest ones. Easy bosses are fun for a day, until all the work piles up and is left for whoever "blinks" first. The best bosses are the ones who make everyone do their part, are consistent, and recognise hard work. Everyone loves to praised, be generous with your praise (when they earn it of course).

The other thing is the longer you are there the more used to taking orders from you they will be.
 

Its Z

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Looking by the feathers you tend to ruffle around these parts on a weekly basis (AT LEAST)-->think I got supporting evidence that this book may be a flop...

The ones who get their feathers ruffled are stupid tho.
 

SELDANE

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Relax, tell the pharmacy manager to schedule the breaks for the techs. Let he or she know that you will be focusing on prescription verification and on patient counseling. If techs decide to show up late or talk on their cell phones then the market place will bear itself out and the pharmacy manager can address the eventual complaints. As a staff pharmacist your job is to take care of prescriptions and the patients, not the pharmacy staff.
 

ethyl

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Relax, tell the pharmacy manager to schedule the breaks for the techs. Let he or she know that you will be focusing on prescription verification and on patient counseling. If techs decide to show up late or talk on their cell phones then the market place will bear itself out and the pharmacy manager can address the eventual complaints. As a staff pharmacist your job is to take care of prescriptions and the patients, not the pharmacy staff.
As the pharmacist, he/she is in CHARGE that day and is responsible for their staff's actions. If it's CVS or Walgreens, even the staff pharmacist is able to write people up. The thread starter needs to be aware of this. These inevitable complaints will result in management asking the pharmacist WHY did you let them blatantly use their cell phones against store policy? Entire pharmacy staffs have been written up for this type of complaint (especially the pharmacists).

I agree with the suggestion to start sending people home if they don't follow instructions, while documenting it too (writing them up). It will suck because you'll be short staffed for the rest of the day, but in the long run it will save you tons of frustration. If they refuse to leave, you call the front manager to clock them out and escort them out and document that too (two write ups). You've worked too damn hard for that degree and license to be ruled over by damn disrespectful technicians.
 

pharm B

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You are a pharmacist, they are just tech/aids etc. In general sense you know more than them in the pharmacy Don't let them think otherwise. You went to pharmacy school and they didn't, therefore you should be the one telling them what to do and what to not do in order for the pharmacy to run smoothly and for them to keep their job.
I'd be wary of advising others to think this way. You've made a pretty blanket statement here, and it's not really a strong one.

Every pharmacy is different, but I think you'll find that you'll usually have one or two GOOD techs at a store. These are the ones who are doing this for a living. Life, circumstances, or whatever, kept them from getting an education (or maybe they're doing one part time). Not all techs are simpletons who passed an exam and want to get paid to text.

In a good pharmacy, there are techs who help you run the day-to-day seamlessly. Ordering? Already done. Third Party rejects, coupon activations, etc? Done and done, without a need for direction, and none asked for.

If you kick in the door and start touting your PharmD, telling others you went to school and they didn't, so you know more about operating this pharmacy than they do, you might quickly find yourself with an order full of drugs you won't use, and not enough of your fast movers.

What can you do?

Anecdote time:

We had a pharmacist going through something similar to what you are, so our PIC sat everyone down and explained to them that pharmacists are management, and that more is expected out of the employees of our department. Texting was all but forbidden, with a write-up being the standard punishment that would be given if you were caught, etc.

They'd also use incentives like paying for lunch for everyone (if you get a break), so we'd all sit down and have Jason's Deli together.

Sometimes people need a reminder that they're part of a team, and they're not just there to waste a few hours and be paid for it, and that they face consequences if they keep that mentality.

Edit:

One last thing. If you do have a dirt bag employee, start documenting. Document document document. They'll either straighten up or see what's coming and leave.
 
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