Interview: Pharmacist

Page R Smith Lean Visuals is the youngest and newest PhD pharmacist in our pharmacy, it is for this reason I choose to interview her. She is responsible for checking medications for drug interactions, correct data entry, counseling patients, maintaining a correct narcotic inventory, interacting with doctors’ offices on behalf of patients to obtain new prescriptions or for medication therapy management.
Some of her interpersonal Job duties include the management of technicians, and delegate work load within the pharmacy environment when needed due to increased need in an rear, and most importantly how to balance an regulate the corporate aspects and responsibilities of her positions while maintaining the integrity of the customers health care needs. The facility in we work in is a chain corporate retail pharmacy with front store attached. Our pharmacy currently services a growing community and fills approximately three thousand eight hundred prescriptions a week.
This includes pharmacist counseling patients, compounding medications, and vaccinations. Our technicians other responsibilities include filling prescriptions, maintenance of a script pro machine holding one hundred of our fasting moving drugs, billing of insurance companies, insurance over rides for lost prescriptions, mail order over rides, vacation supply over rides. Our pharmacy operates with three pharmacists on a rotating schedule, where two pharmacist work ten hour days in the pharmacy overlapping each other.

In the state of Massachusetts a pharmacist can work with a ratio of two nationally certified and tow non-certified technicians under their license; or one nationally certified technician and one intern and two state level technicians. Counseling occurs mostly on new prescriptions and over the counter medications. Customers are concerned about when to take medications, how to take the medications; for example with or without food to buffer against stomach upset.
When counseling is being sought for over the counter medications, the pharmacist must ask what the most prominent symptoms are and what other medications the patient may be on before making a recommendation. According to the interview with Lean the most important attributes for success as a retail pharmacist when giving advice to customers in regards to over the counter medications are the following. If you are questioning yourself in regards to an answer about a medication do not be afraid to let the patient know you need to reference the answer before giving it; you cannot remember everything.
Also, there may not be a recommendation for every patient based upon symptoms and age. If you feel that there is no appropriate medicine that will assist the patient do not feel pressured into providing the patient with an answer simply tell them there is nothing that can help them with their particular issue. Customer base in a retail setting are local community members and people visiting needing to fill medications. The pharmacy receives prescriptions through several different methods. We receive prescriptions hard copies brought in directly from providers.
We acquire patients from other retails pharmacies in the area and even other sister stores with our chain. The majority of our patients fill maintenance prescriptions either monthly or every ninety days; which is a growing trend in pharmacy care. Other types of prescriptions filled include emergency room prescriptions for acute conditions and hospice prescriptions. Prescriptions in a pharmacy are classified into three different categories for filing purposes. They are class six which are drugs that are class six drugs, non-controlled substances.
Controlled Substances which are for drugs classified XIII-C.V.. Finally, narcotics or prescriptions which are medications or drugs classified as Cell’s. Medications are classified as controlled substances or narcotics based upon the levels for potential abuse or addiction properties. Leanness career in pharmacy began as a technician at the age of 16 in a pharmacy. She obtained her mandatory state license for technicians after working in the pharmacy for one thousand hours, and maintained his licenser while attending college and working in the pharmacy.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University. Then applied and was accepted to the advanced program of Mass College of Pharmacy in Worcester. Where she graduated in from in 2010 and began working as a full time pharmacist with our company. During this entire time she worked either as a technician or intern for our company while attending school; the designation was dependent upon her level of schooling at the time. The educational requirements necessary to become a pharmacist is doctorate in Pharmacy.
Upon obtain the educational requirements you must then pass your states respective law examination and the National Association of Pharmacists Exam to become a licensed Pharmacists. Then every year to maintain your license you must take fifteen continuing educational credits. These credits have some specific requirements two of them must be in the field of medical law based and five credits must be obtained at a live seminar. These credits must be submitted to the Board of Pharmacy each year before your license expires with the cost of renewal.
When posed with question of whether or not pharmacy education prepares oh for being a pharmacist in a retail environment Lean felt divided over her answer. She felt that the level of schooling prepared new pharmacist adequately to answer medical questions in regards to medications and drug interactions. Where she felt school could not prepare you for in the field was how to deal with the interpersonal aspects of the Job. On the Job training of managing other team members was not a skill she learned until being hired as pharmacist as well.
The dealing with customer’s issues in a delicate but professional manner while adhering o corporate policies and maintaining your own personal integrity. When asked how you interact with other co-workers in your environment her response was, “sometimes it is difficult to draw the line between friend and supervisor”. She finds that due to her being a young pharmacist of twenty four. Having employees that are either your senior in age or in experience with the company time frame wise makes managing them difficult.
They don’t always feel your decisions are valid and may not agree or respect your choices, thus choosing to ignore them. Regardless of your underlings’ age or rank within the company you must remember do what you feel is correct and encourage your staff to as well even if it involves disciplinary measures. Years and processing it and making your own decisions is still the best way to allow your staff a voice and be a fair supervisor.
When asked to compare pharmacist positions in other organizations Lean referred to her husband who works as a pharmacist in a local hospital. The pharmacy setting deals with slightly different setup as they do not have to handle the public however they also must deal with a lit-level hospital full of nurses and doctors which provided similar demands. Their pharmacy also has the added demand of dealing with intravenous drug dispensing and making sure that the units and dilutions are correct. ” As a pharmacist in a faced paced environment with numerous demands being thrust upon you at any given moment you need to take the time to check aspect of a prescription and reference your answers before you give them if necessary so that medications errors are not made The two most important attributes for success as a pharmacist in health care today are the ability to multicast and patience. When asked this question the example she provided was Mimi may be asked to check 3 waiters, perform 2 flu shots and give consultation too waiting patient all at once.
You need to prioritize which to do first concentrate on what you are doing at that particular moment and maintain your composure throughout. This is an exemplary description of how many directions our pharmacists are pulled in on a daily basis. When asked about patience she stated that as a pharmacist you must have patience not only with customers but also with coworkers and the environment in general; hat it is necessary to not become overwhelmed unduly stressed. How do you see the field of retail pharmacist developing in the future?
The greatest change in retail pharmacy this year was the pharmacist immunization program where nearly all staff pharmacist where mandated to become minimizing pharmacists. This was due to the severity of the flu season and the push by corporate entities for flu shots to be administered. Software developments keep adapting to attempt to meet the needs of the customer base, we now have acute prescriptions which moves antibiotics and main medications up in time frame knowing patients will be down sooner in need of them.
These types of advancements are supposed to help the pharmacy and the pharmacists balance the patients’ needs the actual health care or medicine and the basic needs of the corporate environment. Finding the point at which the medicine or health care aspect meets the needs of the patients and the corporate needs actually balance without one overwhelming the other or interfering with the needs of the other is the true challenge of retail pharmacist’s Job. In conclusion pharmacists re everyday heroes performing at their peak every day for ten hours a day checking up to seven hundred prescriptions daily some days.
Doing their best to ensure errors are not made for the sake of customer safety. Helping the community on a daily basis with recommendations and ensuring their patients safety from medical over dose and drug interactions that may have been missed by patients physicians; or due to the fact patients have multiple physicians. Generally looking out for the well-being of their clients and ensuring their best interests and being taken into consideration on a daily basis. References:

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