What do you hate the most about retail pharmacy?

  • Angry/rude/impatient/ignorant customers

    Votes: 53 53.5%
  • Pressure from employer/company metrics

    Votes: 25 25.3%
  • Your co-workers

    Votes: 7 7.1%
  • Fear of a mistake/protecting your license

    Votes: 5 5.1%
  • Fast paced/high workload

    Votes: 3 3.0%
  • Dealing with insurance

    Votes: 6 6.1%
  • Dealing with Dr's office

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    99

SClENCE

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Just curious. I think generally people complain about lack of tech help/metrics but being behind/being short staffed results in many others things: angry customers, more mistakes, pressure from employer, etc.
 
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WVUPharm2007

imagine sisyphus happy
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Forgot insurance companies.
 

CUpharmD2013

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Mar 20, 2010
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Standing on your feet all day, telephones ringing off the hook, drive thru, customer service surveys
 

pezdispenser

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Definitely the bad customers, and the proportion of them seemed to be rising. Which is why I got out of the stores and no longer have to speak to any customers or even doctor's offices. Blood pressure is now nice and low, no more nightmares or difficulty sleeping, PTSD fading away... :)
 
OP
SClENCE

SClENCE

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What I hate most is the personality type that turns against the other employees when we are short staffed.
We had 1 of those. She was a horrible tech to begin with, then when she was stressed she'd start yelling at everyone while literally running around in circles from workstation to workstation then go for a smoke break. It was so ridiculous all I could do is stand there as she blamed me for something that I just watched her do.
 

Chriskahn

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Feb 2, 2013
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Ive only interned this summer so far and Im already tired of calling the dr to verify scripts that are missing quantity, sig, signature, crappy handwriting, etc. I feel like its something that should have been double checked on the dr's end before it gets handed to the PT. Especially when they are too busy to verify and you have to explain to the PT why you cant fill it until the dr calls back.
 
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Mar 10, 2012
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Honestly, everything people complain about retail doesn't bother me. My biggest issue so far with retail has been RXM and SM trying to manage me instead of the pharmacy and the store. The whole store politics thing gets on my last nerve. Rude customers, dr's offices/doctors themselves, fast paced/high workloads , company metrics, calling insurance are all minor issues to me, I handle those pretty fine.


I do hate working every other weekend though. I wish I can be off every weekend.
 
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WVUPharm2007

imagine sisyphus happy
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I know I'm in the minority, but I hate weekends. I just sit at home. Too many damn people out doing ****. On weekdays, I can go do whatever I want and nobody's there. Weekends I work are great. You do half the scrips, half the phonecalls, half the everything.
 

owlegrad

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I know I'm in the minority, but I hate weekends. I just sit at home. Too many damn people out doing ****. On weekdays, I can go do whatever I want and nobody's there. Weekends I work are great. You do half the scrips, half the phonecalls, half the everything.
I felt this way when I worked weekends during the day. I hardly notice a difference on the overnight shift though.
 

pezdispenser

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I know I'm in the minority, but I hate weekends. I just sit at home. Too many damn people out doing ****. On weekdays, I can go do whatever I want and nobody's there. Weekends I work are great. You do half the scrips, half the phonecalls, half the everything.
I'm with you. I actually work every Sat and Sun right now (and Mon, Tue), then get Wed-Fri off. The work is much lighter on weekends. Restaurants and shops are less crowded on weekdays. In my area most restaurants have an hour plus wait on Fridays and weekends.
 

CUpharmD2013

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Mar 20, 2010
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I know I'm in the minority, but I hate weekends. I just sit at home. Too many damn people out doing ****. On weekdays, I can go do whatever I want and nobody's there. Weekends I work are great. You do half the scrips, half the phonecalls, half the everything.
This. My ideal schedule would be Wednesday through Sunday. Why work harder for the same amount of money?
 

Sugoi Travis

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Jun 22, 2012
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Typing up a script or working on an insurance issue and someone decides to be an ass on a different computer and lock you out of whatever you're doing and they do it themselves, all without telling you.
 
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Gombrich12

5+ Year Member
Dec 4, 2013
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I don't like working weekends or evenings till 10. It's also annoying having to call so many doctors to fix issues that should've never left their office. The customers are easy to handle at my store. I know the good/easy going ones and I will wait on them. I let the techs get most customers I don't know and if they start acting like a problem I assess it from afar and will come in to handle it. Maybe once a year I'll get a nasty customer, they seem to settle down when the pharmacist comes over.
 

BidingMyTime

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Oct 2, 2006
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I like working every other weekend....I wouldn't want to work every weekend, but I like having regular days off during the week in which I can actually get stuff done. Plus, in general, weekend workloads are lighter.
 

trailerpark

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May 27, 2013
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I wish Walmart would stop accepting Medicaid, but since that is their Target customer/employees for the store, not gonna happen.
upload_2015-8-19_0-43-23.jpeg
 

Deja

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Feb 1, 2009
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for everyone saying you love working weekends... I guess you guys don't party hahah
 
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farmadiazepine

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Jul 10, 2011
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I hated the company, CVS, and I hated management, including my RxSup, some fresh, new 29 year old who thought he was God's gift to pharmacy, my PIC who had been there for 25 years and she just wanted to be liked by everyone, and one staff pharmacists who had also been with the company 20 something years.

I don't like the way the company chooses management. The more di** one sucks, the higher up they go. That, and I didn't like the fact that the NJ RxSups constantly tell staff to work extra without pay, and if you don't, you are not a team player. That's illegal, and still is promoted. It's CVS culture.
 

catalyzt

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Aug 30, 2011
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I hate, in no particular order:

a: mySchedule
b: low tech hours
c: no lunch break (technically i get one but the world would end if i actually stepped out for 30 minutes)
d: the ****ty computer system we have compared to what I had at Walgreens (Intercom Plus)
 

RxVampire

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Odd how things have changed...actually changed my vote...what did not change was my disdain for other humans
 
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grumpyRph

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Jun 1, 2017
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metrics and budget hours go hand in hand. i suppose that's the source of most stress .

i work at w.greens, most the time it's the little things that drive me crazy. changing a manufacturer is one of them. ughhhhHHHHH!!!!! always is like the worst thing EVER (only being a little dramatic).

another thing, getting stupid prescriptions for aspirin or other otc stuff. and when they have medicare, state then county medicaid and it's like russian roulette to see which stupid insurance covers the stupid otc bs. lol annoys me, oh and then you have to pick the right manufacturer on top of that. OYE!!!!
 
May 30, 2018
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Ok..... All my retail brothers/sisters in retail will know what I mean here.

The worst part of retail is what ensues after the following statement is overheard taking place at the counter.

Patient states: “My doctor just sent it in”

Here we go......
 

VictorOfHungerGames

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May 8, 2018
529
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Just curious. I think generally people complain about lack of tech help/metrics but being behind/being short staffed results in many others things: angry customers, more mistakes, pressure from employer, etc.
You'll have better luck asking what people LOVE about retail. You'll get much shorter and concise answer.
 
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sakigt

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I'm with you. I actually work every Sat and Sun right now (and Mon, Tue), then get Wed-Fri off. The work is much lighter on weekends. Restaurants and shops are less crowded on weekdays. In my area most restaurants have an hour plus wait on Fridays and weekends.
Plus on evenings/weekends theres a lot less staff to annoy you as well.

The biggest advantage/disadvantage is when you've got young kids. Daycare/school isn't open so your family is down a set of arms/eyes/patience. My husband has come to terms with me working evenings and weekends but its not ideal and has for sure gotten easier as the kids have gotten older and don't **** their pants etc. Advantage is on days off on weekdays you can take care of sick kids, volunteer at the school and get errands done in a lot less time all without taking time off.
 

nextyearrx

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Jan 8, 2010
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Patient counseling, dr’s office calls, patient calls, transfers in and out, c2 order check-in, flu shots and other vaccine administration. No time to verify scripts !!
 
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giga

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Aug 23, 2005
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- Lack of streamlined communication between prescribers and pharmacists, and having to do DUR with incomplete information. Working in healthcare systems where i can look up encounter notes and figure out by myself why the heck a dr prescribed something the way they prescribed, or looking up labs to confirm if a safety issue is being monitored appropriately, saves so much time and allows me to actually do the quality assurance i am trained to do.

- undertrained and underpaid technicians. Empowering techs, assigning them responsibility, and having them properly trained and compensated makes a huge difference in how well a pharmacy can operate, and i have definitely seen the difference in places that invest in their techs versus places that dont.

- insurance, and more so the multitude of insurance plans. One of the main reasons i intend to practice in federal government or managed care only throughout my career if i can help it.

- working in a for-profit environment that lends itself to "innovation" that is exploitative and detrimental to the long-term wellbeing of the community it operates in. It just doesnt feel good.
 

Charcoales

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Mar 29, 2012
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I keep asking myself 'this is it? This is my life?' more and more often and I can only shrug and try to distract myself as best I can outside work
 
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May 5, 2018
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Here are my sincere questions:

Why do people in retail feel stuck like they cannot leave? Why can't most people who dislike retail/community pharmacy leave when I know others who left such positions within at least 6 months-5 years? If it was me who needed a job, I would take any hours any day of the week (the more, the better regardless of potential burnout). It seems to me from the comments on this post is the following: in the retail/community setting, there is no true support and there are few people willing and able to do the work.

So, why stay in that setting; why not leave and use your BPharm, MPharm, BS in Pharmacy, MS in Pharmacy, or PharmD for something else? Is the employer not paying for your CE credits or training outside of the realm of retail/community pharmacy or is it more of a choice to stay because you feel you cannot do anything else? Or is the salary so comfortable that you do not want to leave your present job?

I have seen PharmDs become doctors (MD/DO and/or PhD) and vice versa. I have seen an individual with a BS in pharmacy become a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) back in the 1970s. I have seen PharmDs today become medical writers, clinical pharmacists (PBM or not) with additional credentials to their name, pharmaceutical sales representatives either right of school or within 3 years after graduation. One of my preceptors teaches for a college and still keeps his Pharmacy Manager job at Publix (no residency). Most of them started in retail but did not end their career in that setting.

So, what is the real problem here?
 
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giga

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Here are my sincere questions:

Why do people in retail feel stuck like they cannot leave? Why can't most people who dislike retail/community pharmacy leave when I know others who left such positions within at least 6 months-5 years? If it was me who needed a job, I would take any hours any day of the week (or more than 80 if possible). It seems to me from the comments on this post is the following: in the retail/community setting, there is no true support.

So, why stay; why not leave and use your BPharm, MPharm, BS in Pharmacy, MS in Pharmacy, or PharmD for something else? Is the employer not paying for your CE credits or training outside of the realm of retail/community pharmacy or is it more of a choice to stay because you feel you cannot do anything else?
This is going to be different for everyone, but in general, once we land any job, we tend to become comfortable. "Better the devil you know than the devil you dont know." Fear of change and the unknown keeps us stuck. Plus the money in retail is still hard to beat, so once you get used to making that much money it gets harder to justify taking a pay cut. Thats why sometimes getting fired is a blessing in disguise, it finally gives you the nudge you need to make a change in your life.
 
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DOOM N GLOOM

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This is going to be different for everyone, but in general, once we land any job, we tend to become comfortable. "Better the devil you know than the devil you dont know." Fear of change and the unknown keeps us stuck. Plus the money in retail is still hard to beat, so once you get used to making that much money it gets harder to justify taking a pay cut. Thats why sometimes getting fired is a blessing in disguise, it finally gives you the nudge you need to make a change in your life.
The PharmD is also NOT a versatile degree. One of the biggest misconceptions that pre-pharmers have.
 
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giga

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The PharmD is also NOT a versatile degree. One of the biggest misconceptions that pre-pharmers have.
Yes and no. There are a lot of different niche and unicorn jobs that prefer or require a PharmD. There just isnt a huge demand for PharmDs in non-retail settings, so the opportunities for getting a specialty/non-traditional/unicorn job is low.

Also, versatile compared to what? Even an MD isnt all that versatile once you become board certified in a specific specialty.

I am all about the doom and gloom talk, i think there is a lot to be worried about with the direction of the profession, and i wouldnt encourage anyone to pursue a PharmD if it meant going into 6 figure debt for it. But the PharmD curriculum actually covers a diverse range of subjects: public speaking, economics, business management, health policy, statistics, as well as extensive biochemistry, chemistry, and physiology. There are employers who would love to hire someone with the knowledge and skillsets pharmacists have, especially if you combine it with some certifications in data science, IT, teaching, or other high-demand skills. You just wont get paid 120+k/yr for those other jobs, and you could probably got those jobs with a much cheaper masters degree. But thats not to say you still couldnt leverage your PharmD for a diversity of jobs in teaching, consulting, business, policy, public health, etc.
 
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owlegrad

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Also, versatile compared to what?
My thought exactly. PharmD is every bit as 'versatile' as any other professional degree. What can a JD do with their degree, besides be a lawyer? How many MDs do you see pursuing non-medical jobs.

Heck I would take it a step further and say that the most 'versatile' degrees are probably among the lowest ROI degrees. A history degree is very 'versatile' but how many history majors do you see out-earning PharmDs?
 

Dr Wario

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If pharmacists started becoming financially literate and not wage slaves, all of these issues would prettymuch solve themselves overnight. I'm not saying the profession would go back to the days where a pharmacist jerked your soda while getting your penicillin packaged, but it surely would not be the craphole that it is now since 95% of retail pharmacists are fully at the mercy of their corporate overlords.
 

Unchained

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Jul 29, 2011
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I dislike the unreachable metrics which are applied. Applying metrics in healthcare is a very bad idea. Patients end up receiving treatment they don't need or shouldn't receive.
 
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Wickett

7+ Year Member
Mar 28, 2012
341
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I'm pretty happy overall where I work (smaller chain where corporate is supportive overall, don't metric you to death and give you reasonable amounts of help), but my most common gripes day to day:

1. Staffing: I'm outside the city, so it's hard finding reliable techs. Currently I'm good, but if someone leaves it's typically a 6 month **** show revolving door until I find someone decent.

2. Doctor/office accessibility: It takes forever to get any clarification from prescribers out here. I leave detailed messages describing any issue and I'll either just blindly get back a refill or 3 calls over a week asking what the problem is, retelling verbatim my message, being told they'll pass my message along then another call later asking again what the problem is. Then we get the anger/brunt from the customers saying we always take forever to get their stuff ready.

3. Prescriber offices throwing us under the bus: we will send multiple refill requests, leave messages if delays etc. and office will tell the annoyed patient they already sent it to us and we messed up. Most of my customer service issues are due to prescriber offices dropping the ball and deflecting it on us so they don't get yelled at. Prescribers can make no mistakes in many patients eyes and will believe them over us.

4. Medicaid customers whose insurance changes or rejects a script. I'm all for Medicaid, but most of our daily headaches and delays are Medicaid customers who just blindly yell at the counter everything should be covered and/or free no matter what, or refuse to help us find their coverage. We can do state eligibility checks, but if nothing comes up they yell and expect us to spend an hour calling every state office to find their coverage. It becomes our fault if we can't find their new coverage....simply screaming I HAVE MEDICAID won't magically make it all go through.

5. Bad pain script practices. Many local docs never touch the pmp database, send pain meds in early or to multiple pharmacies, provide no notes to unusual dosing, add on more and more short acting opioids if pain isn't controlled, etc. I then have an angry customer saying they're in pain while I'm getting stonewalled by an office as to why they're sending an rx for tramadol #180 when they prescribed Tylenol #4 120 two days ago. Telling me that's what the doctor wants isn't a sufficient answer.


Those are my daily gripes. TL;DR hard to staff, badly managed prescriber practices shifting issues to us, out of control and bad pain med practices and entitled Medicaid customers that act too helpless to do anything but expect everything free.