Sunday, 8 January 2012

Pharmacist's Translation for the Common Folks - Part 2

This is a continuation from the first "Pharmacist's Translation for the Common Folks":

On the dispensing label the pharmacist types: "Insert ONE unwrapped pessary/suppository......"

Working in a retail pharmacy you sometimes do fear for the state of humanity. That's right folks, people do insert pessaries/suppositories with the plastic wrapping still intact. Another pharmacist told me they actually had a patient saying to him "Oh, you didn't tell me to unwrap the thing before inserting". Seriously guys, fast food restaurants don't tell you to unwrap your bloody burger before you eat so I think it's more than reasonable to assume that such a knowledge of unwrapping goes without saying. Every time I type the word "unwrap" it reminds me of the MacDonald Hot Coffee lawsuit and a little bit of me dies inside. Why do I still do it? Cause I am nice like that*.

How often do you use this? (said to an obvious anorexic buying a stimulant laxative)

With summer upon us**, the sale of laxatives unexpectedly unsurprisingly soars. Short of straight up refusing sale, I find it hard to probe the "abuse" issue other than just reinforcing that one should focus more on lifestyle choices before using laxative. I get one of these people at least once a day now.

The Pill Counter remains silent after a patient asks for a repeat, without saying their name (edit:on the phone).

It's a forgivable mistake often made by the patients but I do this mainly cause it's kinda funny (I try to keep myself entertained in a small pharmacy) and perhaps make an impression upon them that they are not the only people I serve.

When a patient asks to pick up three months worth of meds in one go, I ask "Are you travelling?"

I want to see if you have a legit reason to take it all stat. I know it might seem a hassle to pick up your prescriptions every month but seriously, if you only pay $3 for your Tambocor, I don't think you have any right to complain. Let us earn the 2 extra little dispensing fees instead of robbing us of them just because "you can't be bothered to come back in" even though you live one block away and pass the pharmacy everyday.

*No, I don't do it cause I am scared of getting sued. Health professionals in New Zealand are not liable to civil law suits due to the Accident Compensation Corporation scheme.

** Being in the southern hemisphere, it is summer now in New Zealand and yes we do have Christmas in summer with BBQs outside and surf and all that.

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