Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Dispensing Errors - A Pharmacist's Worst Nightmare

Being The Pill Counter, there's probably no worse feeling (apart from actually killing a patient) than a patient bringing back a medication saying you have made a mistake, especially when you are up to your neck in scripts. No matter how urgent the other scripts are, you drop everything, not because you want to meet them in the pouring rain, but to sort the shit out in the hopes that the person does not complain to the HDC.

I am really thankful for some of the people I made the dispensing mistakes on. Why? Because they are so bloody nice about it even though it might've had dire effects on them. Here are just a few mistakes I've committed on the top of my head:

  • Given Acitretin instead of Isotretinoin.
  • Given a mixture of Allopurinol 300mg and Amlodipine 10mg when it's supposed to be just Amlodipine (the kicker being that she's not even on Allopurinol, I can't even say "is there a chance you mixed the contents up accidentally?")
  • Given Citalopram instead of Paroxetine.
All three of the above patients were all so obliging, forgiving and nice in general. It makes you realise just how lucky you are that those mistakes did not happen on the old lady that complained there's a $1 increase on the Kuros lozenges or the guy that got pissed off because you  said you would charge 10c for a plastic bag because in reality you don't see why you should give out a plastic bag for a small bottle of Amoxycillin.

But of course, there are times where you would rather get farted on by a person suffering from IBS than letting your ears succumb to the verbal diarrhoea because you accidentally added an "e" on the end of the name. Even though the said name is usually spelled with an "e", I don't see why my ears have to suffer just because her parents decided to spell her name like a black person.

For the general public, if you are scared shitless because I just admitted that every time you take a prescription to a chemist there's a slim but real possibility for you to ingest something nasty, then please be assured that the last thing a pharmacist want is to poison you, hence they try their damn hardest to make sure you get the right stuff with the right directions. If, however, you happen to encounter a non-lethal mishap, they would appreciate it very much if you could just point out the mistake nicely because they are, after all, human.

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