A great post from our friend, Redheaded Pharmacist.
Have you ever had that day at work where everything just clicked? I’m not saying that it was a perfect day by any stretch of the imagination but things at least went smoothly and all the work was eventually completed. You know those days where your coworkers pull their weight and you actually get stuff done. Those days are a thing of magic!
I can recall several days in my career that by any usual standards wouldn’t be considered “good days.” Problems mounted, prescription volumes were above normal, and there was more than average turmoil in what can be a volatile working environment even on a good day. But if you have a strong coworker or two then you can accomplish things that are almost legendary. The feats of skill and efficiency of a great pharmacy staff seem to know no bounds. The “A-Team” can really earn their top billing and show what is really possible when you work together efficiently and effectively.
I love working with people like that. And I’ve been fortunate to have the pleasure of working with several excellent technicians, interns, and other pharmacists in my career. They make life easier for me and the patients alike. Things get done. Problems get resolved. And the madness that is retail pharmacy is at least kept in check.
There are pharmacy technicians I’ve come across in my career that can literally run circles around me. They can input and count a prescription faster than you can ask “what’s that BIN number again?” They are deserving of the highest praises and should be rewarded with more money from their employers. Unfortunately that doesn’t often happen.
And there have been pharmacists, interns, and pharmacy students that have taught me a lot about the profession and my job. I learn so much from the current crop of pharmacy students that seemingly are on a whole different and superior level of intelligence that I actually wonder why I made the cut years ago. I learn new things from them. They help me out in many ways. It’s great to be around their optimism too. I definitely need that some days!
But when you have a pharmacy staff that works well together, is experienced, and most importantly can mingle personalities together without at least major conflicts resulting from the mix then you have an ideal working environment that almost makes community pharmacy sane. Prescriptions can be done so fast for patients that they don’t even have time to sit and relax. Insurance problems can be resolved before the Medco hold music can even cycle through one song. Those shifts seem to fly by and you are always surprised at the ending prescription volume. When things run smoothly it doesn’t feel like you fill as many as you really do.
Sure you can have the polar opposite of the ideal situation I’m describing. Not everyone is reliable, no all personalities mix well, and some people are downright lazy. Work needlessly builds sometimes. And all of that unfortunately increases the stress level for the entire pharmacy staff. Suddenly prescription orders aren’t getting done in time, mistakes are being made, and those annoying little tasks we all have to do everyday at work simply get ignored or worse forgotten.
I’m hoping that most of my workdays will involve me being a part of some of the magic I talk about here. Sure I’m just a floater and most pharmacy staff members would rather have a regular on duty. But things can click with the fill in guy too. We’re not all incompetent hired guns you know!
I’m thankful for those technicians that can make a crazy working environment tolerable. And sometimes they can even throw in a little humor to lighten the mood and break the stress of the day up into manageable pieces. It is amazing how much easier the job of pharmacist is when you get to work with good technicians. I’m always thankful for quality help.
But the reality is that many good people leave and find greener pastures elsewhere. You don’t get the luxury of working with the best forever. And while I don’t blame them for leaving for a better opportunity elsewhere I miss them after they’ve left. And work somehow is just a little bit more difficult without them around topick up the slack.
So I guess this is kind of a thank you post. For I’ve been privileged to work with those coworkers that really knew their jobs well. And they made life in the admittedly crazy world of retail pharmacy just a little less crazy. And for that I am thankful to all of them I’ve worked with over the years. Because the work we could do togetherwhen everything is rightis incredible. Some might even say it’s a thing of magic!
The Redheaded Pharmacist
(Click here to follow The Redheaded Pharmacist)