Friday, August 8, 2008

biggest pillbox EVER

today was my fourth day at my first rotation. so far i am actually really enjoying it... i guess that's good right? that i enjoy pretending to be a pharmacist, since that is what i plan to do with the rest of my life. this position is actually in a doctor's office, so not your stereotypical retail pharmacist. its a lot different than my usual job interning at CVS.

so far i've mainly been getting a feel for how the clinic runs and getting to know people. and doing a lot of diabetes stuff. we look over charts and review patient's blood glucose logs. the doctor's are surprisingly receptive to our suggestions, though i think part of it is just relief that someone else has already figured out what labs the patients are due for and has summarized their blood glucose logs so the docs don't have to do it themselves. its a clinic that serves low income patients, often with no insurance so the docs are overworked and underpaid. the more work we can take off their hands, the happier they seem.

while i enjoy retail, i do enjoy doing patient education in a doctor's office. the difference could have something to do with the patient populations i work with (low income and uninsured vs. the over privileged and sometimes downright arrogant folks in my retail neighborhood) but in a doctor's office patients seem happy that someone is taking the time to sit down and discuss their diabetes with them and address their concerns, which often the doctors are just too overworked to do. versus at CVS where people just want to get their meds and get on the way the majority of the time. anyway, i just hope that all of my rotations go this smoothly.

and on the topic of medication reviews and counseling... today my preceptor and i were talking about seniors and how easily they can get overwhelmed with all their medications and medical problems in general. and how many people could probably benefit from sitting down with a health care professional... be it pharmacist, nurse, social worker, whomever, and having someone take the time to go over things with them and answer all their questions. which reminded me of my grandmother.

my grandma recently had a heart attack, so of course her medication list skyrocketed. and i got a call from my aunt saying that she was overwhelmed and could i maybe figure out a way to simplify her routine so she wasn't taking a bunch of medications at all different times of day.

enter the world's largest pill organizer EVER.

on my receipt, it actually rang up as "CVS MegaPill..." and then the rest of the name got cut off. my coworkers mocked me for buying such a gigantic thing. but i thought, by God, i'm going to make it as easy for her as i can. at the beginning of each week, someone can put all her medicines in the right day and time and all she has to do is open the right little door and take whatever is in there. she sent me a very sweet thank you note, and it seems to be working for her so far. i just wonder if it leaves her any counter space...


Maura said...

I didn't realize you were becoming a pharmacist, so this post was a nice surprise. Have you read "Can I Get My Subscription Filled?" It's a blog I found recently and have been enjoying, written by an Rph.

Regarding seniors and medicine, that speaks to me, as I'm responsible for all my mom's medications, and they do get overwhelmed, especially if they're on something where the dose changes regularly, like Coumadin.

It does really help for them to be able to talk to someone about all of it, someone who has the time to listen and answer the same questions again and again. :-) I applaud you for doing what you're doing, and doing it with that compassino.

Z said...

I used to get my prescriptions at CVS, and I must confess, I stopped because I got tired of waiting behind other customers complaining (and complaining... and complaining some more!) about the service - or their definition of the lack thereof - and sense of entitlement. Yeah, UES of NYC - huge senses of entitlement. Now I go to the health center, which doesnt have much - only generic - but at least has people who are truly happy to just be getting the meds they need. They are MUCH easier to wait in line behind :)