Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Clueless Pharma Tech-When in doubt, call your doctor

Dear insansapinas,

I met Santa today. He is the cable tech. I thought it is the end of the world. Our internet, phone aand cable channels were down for 24 hours. You can just imagine the stress I had until he fixed it an hour ago. You should see my nails, naubos kakagat. Tsktsktsktsk.

Besides, I could not call the pharmacy and my doctor. Our phone line is dead. It is a package, you know.

Yesterday before the big TV screen turned black and my lap tough showed yellow color in the corner (I hate the color, it means there is no internet access), I made an order for refill of two of my more than a dozen meds; called my doctor because the pharma tech could not even pronounced the name of the drug. I  waited for the return call. 

Pharma tech may just be a licensed slash glorified sales associate in pharmacy. To get the license, they need not enroll in a short term course. Many undergo on-the-job-training in pharmacy and then take the licensing exam once they have accumulated the required number of hours. People with pharmacy degrees earn more than nurses. They have to finish a six-year degree course.

Back to the clueless pharma tech. Lack of sleep in the previous night should have turned me into a cranky bitch but having been in her shoes (do not know the size; she got heavy accent so I suspect that she is an immigrant, pero alam ko hindi siya pinay)  during my first few weeks in the telephone when  some people laughed at my accent ), I mustered a lot of patience in dealing with her. I even saw a halo on top of my head. Ganiyan ako kabait at hindi nagtaray.

PT: What's the RX number?
ME: RX number of G is blah blah; RX number for N is blah blah
PT: She repeated what I dictated. Wrong. She interchangeably assigned the RX numbers. Arghh

So I patiently told her the mistake and asked to repeat until she got it right. Nabawasan ang aking ganda points ng isang kilo sa kunsomisyon.

PT: You should get a prescription for these meds from your doctor.
ME: Are you in front of your computer? ( ang pharmacy ko ay chinecheck sa computer ang records ng patients/customers para sa doctor, updated prescriptions at listahan ng mga medicines).  If you are, then you can check that my doctor does not issue prescription pad. She merely calls the pharmacy. This is not the first time I ordered for the meds.
PT: Is it Dr. Blah blah?
ME: No, that was my previous doctor. (Parang hindi siya nakakaintindi ng English). If you will check further, you will see the name of my current doctor somewhere in the computer screen. Isang kilo ng pawis kung ako ay nagpapawis ang nabawas sa akin sa inis.Pasensiya pa rin. 

PT: Oh here it is?  Anymore meds for refill?
ME: No, my order should be good for three month's supply.
PT: Rx no 1, 90 pills; RX no2. 90 pills.
ME: That's wrong. Rx no. 2 should be 180 because I am taking one pill twice a day 600 mg. each.
PT: Then you should get another prescription.
ME: look, this is just a refill so previously, I am getting the same number of dosage and number of times I take them each day.
PT: then this is good for 45 days.
ME: Ang kulit.
Tawag ako sa doctor. Assistant niya nakasagot. Sinabi ko problema ko. Sabi tatawagan daw nila.

Gabi, dumating ang kapatid ko. Dala ang gamot. Nakalagay 90 pills, ang prescription ay nakalagay, take one each daily. Huh? Binago ba ng doctor ang dosage? Kung binago niya dapat sinabihan niya ako.

The following morning, wala pa ring phone. Ayokong gamitin ang aking cell phone. Hindi nakalagay sa doctor's record ang number. Kung tatawag yon sa aking landline na patay nga. Grrrr. Kahit sabihin mo pang kontakin ka sa bagong number. Iba-iba kasi ang sumasagot, not unless maglagay sila ng note about the phone to contact.

Kaya pagkaayos ng landline, tawag kaagad ako sa doctor ko. Sabi niya, hindi niya pinalitan.
Pero kako inilagay ng pharmacist one tablet a day na lang. Sabi ng aking doctor, hindi niya dapat pinakikialaman ang dosage at ang number of times kailangang i-take ang meds kahit na kulang sila sa pills.

Sabi niya tatawagan niya. After 30 minutes, tumawag. Kinorek daw niya pero hindi ko makukuha ngayon ang karagdagan. Oke lang.

Mamaya tumawag ang pharmacy. Iba na ang kumausap sa akin. Siguro yong pharmacist na nila.

Gusto kong sabihin sa kaniya, huwag nilang papayagan ang hindi reliable na tao sa mga meds. It is a matter of life and death. Tseh nila.


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