gradintern

10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
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Pharmacist
I'm going to be scheduled as a pharmacist soon and sometimes feel terrified of being responsible as a pharmacist on a shift at a very busy Walgreens. I've never done any reviewing of prescriptions/patient profiles (but have done the final check on the product) and am worried about being slow, about not knowing everything needed to counsel patients, not knowing which interactions to overide and which to call the doctor on and so on. Does anyone have any advice/similar experience?
 

Aznfarmerboi

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
May 18, 2005
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Pharmacist
I'm going to be scheduled as a pharmacist soon and sometimes feel terrified of being responsible as a pharmacist on a shift at a very busy Walgreens. I've never done any reviewing of prescriptions/patient profiles (but have done the final check on the product) and am worried about being slow, about not knowing everything needed to counsel patients, not knowing which interactions to overide and which to call the doctor on and so on. Does anyone have any advice/similar experience?
Keep the C2s in order and you should be fine. Concerning interactions, I use professional judgement based on the patients profile unless there is an absolute contraindication. Most of the interactions are pretty minor/moderate and can be managed by counseling the patient. When counseling patients, dont be afraid to use the patient education guide. Nobody knows it all... and sooner or later, you will remember the basic counselings points. Dont do a full counseling session and try to limit it to crucial information that is patient specific and what questions they have to ask. Dont be afraid to look up information or refer the patient to a physician. (Rule of thumb is if it doesnt get better in 7 days for most conditions with self treatment, see a doctor). There are exceptions like fever with diarrhea, complicated UTI, eye problems with pain, etc.

Dont worry about being slow. Just take it as it comes. You are probably going to spend 10 minutes entering your intial for your first prescription. Make sure it is the right drug, check vial to see if the quantity looks right, patient profile, prescription to label, and okay it. A lot of times, if it is the same medication with the same physician, there shouldnt be a problem. Remember, if you dont remember the prescription or who you are filling it for, you are verifying too fast. Time management is a big part and I fill based on who is picking it up first. I try to ask people who have textbook rx to come back at a way later time.

Limit phone calls as much as you can because those phone calls will kill you. I only call physicians if they request for it or if there is a major interaction. Anything that needs to be changed, (I fill in minor things even if it requires a phone call, and send back the major ones with patient and tell him it is his doctors fault). I will never call an insurance company unless I absolutely have to because the patient isnt competant enough to do it himself (legit reasons such as handicaps or the person tried 10 times...).

Concerning techs, you are as strong as your weakest tech. With that said, I delegate techs to certain stations based on their abilities. Anything that I need to repeat more than twice, I do it myself. It makes my life easier. Do not reward your good techs with more work. If you have a big job for them, be sure to buy them coffee. A lot of times, how good a pharmacy is based on how good the staff is. I have seen problem stores where nobody wants to work with not because it does a lot of scripts, but because it is a mess.

Finally, always cover your ass. Document everything even small things like vacation overrides. Never break the law even if somebody asks you to do it. It is your license, not theirs. If you do give professional courtesys, dont forget to tell your patient that it is a courtesy and it is their responsibility to plan ahead so you guys wont be put into this situation again. This not only makes your life easier, but your partners also. Also keep in mind that most corporate stuff are made so you fail. Try to find a line where they will leave you alone even though you are not reaching your goals. Usually as long as you are better than the other stores, you are fine. They stress that you meet those goals but I guarantee you that there is not one retail store that meets all of them.

Best of luck!!!
 
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stevephhs016

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Jan 27, 2008
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I was about to ask this question....omg. Thanks Aznfarmer!
 

rxgal09

New Member
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Dec 5, 2005
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Pharmacy Student
I'm so glad you asked this question gradintern, you are definitely not alone! :oops: And thank you Aznfarmerboi! Very good advice.

BTW I think this thread might get more hits/replies in the general pharmacy forum. This seems to be the huddle spot for most of the new grads.
 
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gradintern

10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
62
0
Status
Pharmacist
Thank you so much Aznfarmerboi for all your time and helpful advice, and for all of your comments everyone! I will move it to the general pharmacy forum :)