Monday, 19 December 2011

Pharmacist's Translation for the Common Folks - Part 1

From the moment you walk into a pharmacy till the moment you walk out with your trolley-full of meds, you might have had the pleasure of getting bombarded with a load of questions/remarks by your local pharmacist. Here is a run down of what they *really* want to say but restrained themselves so they can remain the "health professional that you see most often". Cause otherwise, you'll just be shifting yourself to the pharmacy down the road (or if you're in Auckland, the pharmacy directly opposite!!) and we would've failed miserably in trying to profit from your illness.

"Hi there, your Ventolin will cost you extra $4.60 *per inhaler* is that ok?"

What the pharmacist is really trying to say is that you're new to us and you look like a hard-case, he doesn't want to waste a label and a piece of paper and spend time checking this prescription just so you can go "Argh, I didn't have to pay anything at the other chemist" when the shop girl brings your script to the counter. Notice the emphasis on the *per inhaler*? You're pharmacist want you to know that you'll need to do some maths in your head to see if you can actually pay for the 6 inhalers that you *have* to get all at once cause you know, you can't be bothered/remember to pick it up later and the repeats always expire. Why can't he just give everyone the fully funded generic I hear you asking? Cause he'll bet the ONE time he does that, you or somebody else will come back after a month and say you suddenly "discovered" it's not the brand you wanted even though it's half empty. At this point, he would very much like to just sniff his nose and say "sorry bro but tough s%#@"

"Is your address still 69 please-only-come-up-to-the-counter-if-the-name-I-called-out-is-actually-you Street, Auckland?"

This one is self-explanatory. In the previous pharmacy I worked at we actually have to force each and every patient say out their address cause sometimes, they don't really want to listen to you, they just want to say "yes" so you can give them what they think are their meds because they really should only wait 5 minutes (max). The said pharmacy was in an area RICH in refugee population. You can imagine the drama that ensued due to language barriers.

"Can you please bring in your old blister pack"

This question is more directed at the OFD that has just transferred into the area and has his/her 15 medications blister packed (refer to the previous post with regards to the Old, Fragile and Disenfranchised). "But you have the prescription in front of you! That's all the information you need!! I'll have you know I was  up and running marathons when you were still swimming in your daddy's sac". Sure, the pharmacist is more than willing to take a guess as long as you promise not to come back a week later in discontent because hey, you're used to having your Digoxin just after dinner and the triangle Accupril in the morning and the circle one at night instead of the other way around. Small details that you somehow couldn't remember when I asked you before I started packing your meds.

Face palm.

One does tend to exaggerate slightly. It's improbable to meet someone with all those traits combined into one but still true encounters nonetheless.

No comments:

Post a Comment