Community Pharmacy (aka, Your Local Vending Machine?)

Now and again I like to take a moment and discuss Community Pharmacy and your Community Pharmacist.  Pharmacy is so much more than just a vending machine where you go to get your prescriptions that your doctor ordered for you. 

Your community pharmacy is there to work with you and to help you with your complete pharmaceutical regimen.  I have said this before and I will say it again, if you do not feel comfortable approaching your pharmacist with questions, or do not feel comfortable in the pharmacy you are currently using, go to another pharmacy.   Your pharmacist is a resource for you just as your dentist and doctor are there for you. 

I am fortunate that I have had the opportunity to practice at the same community pharmacy for over 15 years now.  It is true that pharmacists do develop some special relationships with their customers.  Don't get me wrong, not everything is always peaches and cream; however, most of the time I am given the opportunity to help make a difference in someone's day.

Examples from yesterday in the pharmacy.

                1.  I started off the day with a young lady who was very frustrated with our pharmacy because her doctor had not yet called back with her refill request.   She said she did not want to be bothered with coming into the pharmacy any more; she does not have the time.  She wanted to give me her credit card number and just have me mail it to her on a monthly basis without her ever calling us.  I explained that we are a community pharmacy and not a mail order pharmacy.  This situation goes into the category of, "you can't please all the people all the time".

                2.  I was processing a prescription for a gentleman and saw that his insurance had changed.   Because he is one of our regular customers I was able to get a call off to him, contact his insurance company, and complete the insurance transaction before he arrived at the store to pick up his prescription.

                3.  One of our regular customers came in with a change in her diabetic medication.   During our pharmacy consultation we discovered that the new prescription did not match what she discussed with the doctor.  The doctor is upstairs in the clinic so I was able to get a quick call off to the doctor, clarify the discussion and change the order accordingly.

                 4.  Toward the end of the day an elderly patient of ours came in and wanted something for her head cold.  I was able to check her chart to see which medications she was on and then consult her with regards to what the best course of therapy would be to avoid any complications with her current medication regimen.

These are just four examples of a day in a community pharmacy.  These situations happen one after another, all day long, while we are filling prescriptions.    It feels like we may have 4 or 5 of these situations going on simultaneously at any time during the day.  Your community pharmacy and your community pharmacist are great resources.  If you do not feel comfortable with your current pharmacy and pharmacist, find another one!

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