One of the services our pharmacy offers is managing the medication of some of our customers by assembling a dosette box.
It is a time consuming task. We have to carefully prepare the customers scheduled medications in a plastic tray, morning, lunch, dinner and bedtime medications. It requires lots of concentration. It is so easy to make a mistake with some of these tiny tablets.
It takes the pharmacist a lot of time and concentration to check they are correct. If the customer takes several medications that look the same, it is especially challenging.
But it is an important service, so we are proud to support our customers with the dosette medication box service. However, the one phone-call we dread is when after all the work that has gone into preparing the dosette box, a Doctor’s surgery calls us to tell us that there have been changes made to our customer’s medication.
We have been open throughout the Pandemic. We have always been busy. But now that other non-essential shops in our area are open too, our queues are steadily growing longer and longer.
Last week I arrived at work and had to deal with one customer after another after another. At first they were all asking for advice on minor ailments. I have to ask them questions about their symptoms and whether they have already tried any other medications or treatments. I have to check if they take any other regular prescription medication. I have to respond with information, recommendations on products they can try or signpost them to other health service providers. These conversations take time. The queue seems to be getting longer and longer while I give a customer attention.
Then further along the queue, were customers who had come to collect their medication. Only, when I checked, nobody had been able to dispense it yet because they have been so busy with other tasks. I have to apologise to the customer, give them an estimate as to how long it will take to get it ready, and ask them to return while serving the next customer. I asked one of the team to dispense the prescription for the customer who was going to return.
Twenty minutes later, I am still dealing with the queue of customers that keeps growing, and when I check, they have still not dispensed the customer’s prescription because the phone never stops ringing inside the dispensary.
The customer was angry his prescription was still not ready. I had to apologise to the other people queuing, and make them wait, while I go into the dispensary, gather the medications, label each item and put it in front of the Pharmacist who is intense discussions with a Doctor so that she can check it.
I have to return to the customer, and tell him it is nearly ready, but it has to be checked by the Pharmacist before it can be give out. He is ticked off. The queue behind him are also getting irritated.
Oh life in a Pharmacy! It is not for the faint hearted!