Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

Dismiss Notice
Hey Texans—join us for a DFW meetup! Click here to learn more.

working as a pharm tech.

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by ncecc, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. ncecc

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I've been working at walgreens as a pharmacy tech. for about a month now, and i am getting stressed out and dissapointed everytime at my working ability. Before i got this job, all i did was took a ptcb test and got in, with no prior job experience or pharmacy interning/volunteering. So i was thrown right into the water, and i was overwhelmed by the amount of information i needed to consume for the first week or so. However, its been about a month now, and i still feel underachieving, to the point where all the other techs i work with get irritated by the mistakes i make. Even today, the pharm manager told me that i started to resemble the last person she just fired...I feel so discouraged at times, and to the point where i feel even scared to ask for help when i am approached with a problem that i am not able to solve. This walgreens is very very very busy, and multi-tasking is a must here, and that is definetely not one of my strong points. Whenever i try to multi task, such as counting pills, or calling md's, putting away rx in bins, i make stupid mistakes. Everyday, i come home discouraged, i have bad relations with all the techs, and the pharm manager, and i feel like im going to get fired soon. I try to learn as much as possible, but sometimes there is way too much info for me to consume, and the ppl here really dont want to teach me anymore, cause they tried, and still they realize that i am too stupid to understand. For the ppl who worked at walgreens in the past, how long did it take u guys before u guys started to get into the flow of things? can anyone else also give me some pointers, or anything that will help me. I definetly do not want to quit my dreams of becoming a pharmacist, but it seems unreachable to me, it seems like im not good enough or smart enough, every mistake i make i take it personally. I feel like im not learning from my mistakes, and keep repeating them. Today was probably the worst day for me at work. I could hear the pharm techs in the background talking about how poor my work performance has been, and that i havent been improving at all. Honestly, it feels like i havent been improving at all either. I am writing this here because this is a problem i cant explain to with any of my family members or close friends...i just need some pointers from anyone or anything thanks
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. vtran007

    vtran007 Pre-Pharmacy
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    You're only working one month. Don't get stressed out. I got yelled at a lot when I started. To avoid making mistakes, always ask questions even if those questions annoyed the techs and pharmacists. If they get annoyed, remind them that you are new and never had experience. I suggest you get a notepad and take notes, so you do not have to ask them the same questions again. You can study the notes when you get home. That was what I did.
     
  4. Pharmer_Andy

    Pharmer_Andy pretty fly yo!
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    1
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I would not let a bad experience at walgreens deter you from becoming a pharmacist. I used to be a tech at a 24 hour walgreens so I know where you are coming from. It took me a couple months to really understand how things worked.

    The world of pharmacy is much larger than walgreens or any retail chain for that matter. If you want to work in a place that is more relaxed I would suggest staying away from CVS or walgreens. Have you thought about applying at a hospital or compounding pharmacy?
     
  5. TTUMike

    TTUMike Accepted Pharmacy Student
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    I would not get discouraged from just a month working at a busy store. I have been working for over three years at Walgreens and still have questions with insurance and scripts, but so do the techs that I work with who have 25+ years experience. There is entirely too much information to learn in just a couple of months. I would suggest writing a list of all the most common insurances in your area on a small pad that you can keep around. This will help alleviate some of the stress of dealing with insurances. If you are having trouble typing prescriptions then don't worry, this comes with experience. You will start to pick up on the doctors in your area which will make reading their handwriting a lot easier. Working at a busy store may make you feel that you need to move as fast as everyone else. This is not the case. Move at your own pace and focus on every task in front of you whether it be filling, typing, or filing prescriptions. Accept the fact that you are new and are in a learning intensive field. If you are as anal as me then print up some of your ppl's (quick keys and sig codes) and study them at home. If you want my humble opinion I think it takes at least 6 months to feel comfortable in the pharmacy. Also, don't forget that you are learning at a terrible time (flu season). Keep your head up and remember it only gets easier.
     
  6. Transformer

    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    865
    Likes Received:
    43
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    ncecc, you definitely came the right place for help.

    Like eveyone mentioned, 1 month is definitely not enough time to get a good grasp of a retail pharmacy. I too think it takes about 6 months to learn everything there.

    My advice is to "take deep breathes" and find ways to alleviate your stress while you work. Try to concentrate on the task at hand and if you feel like you don't know something, always ask questions
     
  7. pharmplz11

    pharmplz11 May Discolor Urine
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ncecc, man don't sweat it. I have never worked in a Walgreens but I have seen a trend of new employess being looked down upon when they first start regardless of if they are clerks or techs. The techs have a lot more to do than a clerk and thus a higher learning curve. What this is teaching you to do is deal with asses. It is a required skill and one I, and apparently you, learned early. Keep plugging away at it, take the sneers in stride and double check the scripts for errors before you fill them. Good luck!
     
  8. Scikotic

    Scikotic Accepted Pharmacy Student
    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Pharmacy
    I can understand your stress, I also work in a busy Walgreen's and have about a year experience, it just gets better with time. I tried to treat it like school where everyday that I work is like a test, go in there refreshed, well rested, and focused. Pay attention and write things down like the others mentioned. It's important to always ask questions, regardless of dirty looks:eek:, they only sneer at you because they are stressed:scared: themselves, thats just part of the job, also remember this will be your job for the rest of your life (if you choose to be a retail pharmacist), but it will get better with time. What you could try is transferring to a slower store or only working weekends like sundays where there is a lower customer volume... Or consider pharmaceutical research:idea:
     
  9. phar2013

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I love my job!!
     
  10. danado

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    like vtran said, definitely take notes!!! this can be extremely helpful. at my walgreens, every rx staff member keeps a notepad in their jacket. we keep answers to many common problems in there, and if there's something that I don't know, it's likely that one of the other techs, or a pharmacist either knows off the top of their head or has it written down.
    walgreens is complicated. i'm a little surprised they threw you right in. our district mandates at least week at a training store, and about 100 PPLs. did they make you do PPLs? If you did them already, some time when (if) you get a free second, go back over some of them just to refresh your memory. also, storenet is a tool that is often overlooked - the third party tab in storenet can help with many billing and processing questions. the IC Plus tab is good too.
    Like everyone else has said though, a month is not a long time to be still learning stuff. your coworkers sound kind of rough, especially your RXM. they should at least give you a damn chance :(.
    anyway stick with it, try talking to your RXM or store manager about maybe signing you up for some more PPLs to help you out.
     
  11. inquirer89

    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Messages:
    825
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am also having a tough time learning the ropes and knowing all of the procedures. I've been working for about 3 months at a hospital pharmacy, and I still make many mistakes (I'm just glad my co-techs and pharmacists pick them up!) but I think we all have to go through the transition and stress before becoming experts. A notepad has definitely saved me. Good luck.
     
  12. Storm90

    Storm90 Accepted Pharmacy Student
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    I started fresh out of the box just like you ncecc, and I had a tough time. I worked with a pharmacist with a horrible attitude, but I was resolved not to quit simply because she was evil. It took me ~6 months to learn enough that I didn't have to get help from anyone else for anything. Eventually I was the one she came to rely on the most, and we have a great relationship now. It sounds like you have a difficult work environment to start off with. Just bury your head and do the best you can do. It's not fair to be thrown into the fire, but you just have to deal with it and keep your head up. Maybe you can find a (less-than-busy) station where you feel most comfortable and really do well there. Then you can move on to another station until you get your skills up. Keep with it. You can do it.:thumbup:
     
  13. etspinner

    2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Unfortunately the world behind the counter can seem overwhelming, but keep a positive and able-to-be-taught attitude and you should enjoy it more. They MAY be irked at you for not asking them before you do stuff you aren't sure of. If you don't know something, make sure you speak up and ask somebody, no matter how annoying you think you may be. Know what you don't know, and don't guess (because that's annoying). Ask your fellow techs for help, or whoever you feel most comfortable with. I felt I was being really annoying when I started a few years ago, but come to find out they loved that I was trying to learn (and did, evidently).
     

Share This Page