I get asked questions like this all the time: “Why does it take 25 minutes for pharmacists to throw some pills in a bottle?” and “Why do pharmacists have to go to school for so long?” and “What the heck do pharmacists really do, anyway?”
If all you waited was 25 minutes, you’re lucky. Pharmacists’ works like crazy, always on their feet and often without bathroom breaks. Forget food! The law doesn’t allow pharmacists a lunch break. That said, your pharmacist is more devoted to you than you can imagine. Here’s a look inside your pharmacy.
Pharmacists need time to decipher that cat scratch on your prescription. Is it Prilosec or Prinivil? Does it matter? You bet your life! Calling your doctor to clarify it, takes time. The second line is an insurance company saying you have to pay full price unless you want the generic! The third line has a frantic mother calling to ask if her son will get sick from swallowing dishwashing soap. The pharmacist can’t hear her well, because a customer is tapping his finger and groaning at the counter. Doesn’t he understand that the pharmacist has to double-check all the pills for accuracy?
Then there’s Jimmy crying inconsolably with an earache, while his mom waits for the pharmacist to measure and mix the Amoxil. But Mrs. Jones needs to be done right away because she’s in terrible pain. She’s patient because she realizes that the pharmacist might be on the phone with a doctor discussing an interaction that will save a life. This is what the pharmacist did for her last year. But Mrs. Jones is keenly aware of every minute ticking by… her oncologist gives her 6 months at best. The pharmacist is hurrying, though.
Oh God! The computer went down, the printer is jammed and the pharmacy ran out of Viagra! How will they break the news to Mr. XXX who shared his passionate plans for Edith. The pharmacist tries to take care of everyone, including the guy ahead of you who ran out of his blood pressure pills last week. The pharmacist is scared he’s gonna have a stroke right there. Hang on though! Your prescription will be ready very soon….just as soon as the pharmacist rings out these ear plugs and antacid….a combination he could use himself! Where’s the cashier? Out sick with a migraine!
Most people are willing to wait 25 minutes for a good steak and the chef doesn’t hold your life in his hands. Why not give your pharmacist the same courtesy? There are so many prescriptions to fill and so little time. Pharmacists see how ridiculously priced medicine is and they know you’re not feeling well. They are human too! But the pharmacist is the LAST person you want to hurry up! It’s your health that is at stake.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.