Friday, August 31, 2012

A Re-Tale of Two Students. On Community Rotation.

Posted by Bex Kurian at Friday, August 31, 2012


In my defense, it was pretty much my first retail experience ever. Unless you count P3 IPPE at the Krogacy, but I was only there once a week.
Here’s a brief account of the first few days of my community rotation. Don’t judge. The positive thing is that I had room to improve.
… because it would be impossible to be doing any worse.
Good thing it wasn’t a busy pharmacy! Oh wait.

Day 1
-          Filled a prescription using a bottle of the right drug and strength; too bad it was the wrong manufacturer. Redo! CHECK THAT NDC.
-          Called the patient to request a refill (instead of the Dr’s office). Why yes, yes. I would like to authorize my own refill. Please and thank you.
-          Made it rain atorvastatin. Oops. (THE PERSON BEFORE ME DIDN’T CLOSE IT RIGHT! I SWEAR!)
Day 2
-          Opened (and counted) 2 bottles of Aggrenox to fill a prescription. Oops. Apparently you NEVER open Aggrenox bottles. Good to know. PS Pradaxa.
-          Spilled an economy sized bottle of folic acid.
-          Apparently when someone drops off a prescription, you have to ask them which doctor they’ve seen (if it’s not obvious). Sometimes there are 15 different names at the top of the script. And then the typist doesn’t know which one it was. And then the patient has already left.
Day 3
-          Went to pick up lunch for the team. Was super excited to be able to do one thing right. Demonstrate one act of competence. Naturally, the restaurant got the order wrong, and I paid $12 extra.
-          Did all the paperwork to “owe” a patient medication, thinking we didn’t have it—only to realize that HCTZ tablets are in a different place than HCTZ capsules.
-          Learned the hard way that I can’t handle casual conversation (or even two other people having a casual conversation ANYWHERE in the vicinity) when I’m counting. Was I on 45? Or 40? ….55? SHOOT. Starting over.
Day 6
-          Car accident during lunch break, with a Jimmy John’s delivery boy. Who was late. (Freaky fast delivery! It’s dangerous!) Incidentally, I was (again) picking up lunch for the team. At the same place that previously messed up our order. They chose that place so I could get my $12 credit. Never volunteered to pick up the food again. Also, driving jokes for the next four weeks. Awesome. That’s probably going on my eval.

Don’t worry. My car is fine (my bumper is not), I am fine (thank you Macey- it was my first accident ever!), and overall I think mostly my pride was hurt.

This rotation was difficult for me because I had next-to-zero retail experience, and had to dive right in from the start- but I definitely learned more about how retail pharmacy works.
-          I learned lots of brand names. (Note to self: Dexilant is not dextroamphetamine. Even though to a brand-na├»ve person, it sounds like it should be). Everything here was arranged by brand name. Sometimes more than one brand name!
-          Macey and I did a huge chart of derm products for our project, which was a really nice refresher. I even used what I learned about steroid potency to counsel someone on the phone right afterwards!
-          I got more confident with OTC counseling, which was my favorite part. Counseling is so gratifying in the community setting. Sometimes it was a challenge to explain things in terms people understood, but I always came away from helping a customer feeling great! I still have so much more to learn about OTC products, and I think some of it will come with experience.

Rotation isn't always a breeze, and sometimes you feel stupid. Don't be afraid of it! Just go back day after day and try again. Even if it's WAY outside your comfort zone. Good luck to everyone on rotation 4. I can’t even believe it. We’re growing up so fast!

No comments: