View Full Version : Question for pharmacy folks

07-20-2006, 02:59 PM
In a week and a half they're going to start training me as a cashier to work in the pharmacy, at my request. I couldn't be happier. My AM is driving me batty, and I am beyond bored with softlines, and the hours are amazingly better. No more 4-11PM shifts!

I am well aware that working in the pharmacy is going to have its own sets of issues, and I was wondering if I could get a bit of a heads-up on what it might be like. I briefly cashiered before at a store's gas station, so I'm not unfamiliar with the basics of handling money, but aside from knowing there will be sick grouchy people (I already deal with healthier grouchy people anyway) I don't know a thing about working in a pharmacy.

07-20-2006, 03:56 PM
From what i hear the people who get Viagra and birth control pills are the biggest RX sc's. Whereas people who need cancer meds or blood pressure meds are less SC's then the horn dogs.

07-20-2006, 08:58 PM
Ah, another one for the pharmacy workers! Since you work at a pharmacy, people are going to expect your help with medical advice. I don't know about where you are, but where I'm from, legally the only ones who can help customers with medical advice are pharmacists and technicians. There's plenty of people who won't understand your medical policies, like they can only have so many pills at a time, but just let the pharmacist handle that kind of stuff. They are paid to answer those questions. Those are the biggies I'd say. I never really hated working at a pharmacy. I think it's pretty easy. Plus, if need be during work or if I am there in off hours, I can grab some up-for-grab OTC meds behind the counters...

Irving Patrick Freleigh
07-20-2006, 09:11 PM
Expect to be dealing with a lot of insurance issues. Those are always good for a lot of ranting and raving from people.

As to people buying viagra and birth control pills being SCs, I can understand that. Those are things customers may not want others to know they are buying.

07-20-2006, 09:54 PM
From what i hear the people who get Viagra and birth control pills are the biggest RX sc's. Whereas people who need cancer meds or blood pressure meds are less SC's then the horn dogs.

A number of years ago my husband was a supervisor at an answering service that was mostly used by doctors. He used to hate the phone calls from women on Friday and Saturday nights who suddenly needed new birth control pill prescriptions (because the old prescriptions were out of date) and expected the service to call their doctors for an immediate fill.

Oh, yeah, they're going to call the doctor at home because it suddenly looks like you're going to get lucky at the bar tonight?!

07-21-2006, 06:26 AM
I have SOOOOOO many things I could say about those people in your post wagegoth , but I'd be banned 10X for saying them. So all I can do is laugh to myself.

07-21-2006, 03:21 PM
I'm sure I'll be told all about what I can tell people and what I can't. The last thing any big store wants is some kind of silly lawsuit about that.

I'm assuming there aren't quite the same big holiday rushes the rest of the store (Wally World) gets, right? People always need drugs, and at the last minute, no matter what time of year it is?

And I know I'm going to have to deal with pissed off people who want their Sudafed but have to ask for it. Like, don't blame me for the laws people, I didn't write 'em, and I don't want to get fired for not following 'em!

07-21-2006, 03:30 PM
Best advice I can give (speaking from 8 years of Rx experience) ... DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY MEDICAL ADVICE! Do not make product recommendations. Nothing. Refer them to the pharmacist on staff, as they are qualified to give such advice. At that point, help them find whatever the pharamcist recommends, but don't make recommendations yourself. You're only asking for trouble.

Obviously, watch out for bad scripts (usually written for controlled substances), and watch out for people doing whatever they can for pain meds. Again, always defer to the pharmacist.

Other than that, I can't offer much. Congrats, though. It's a step up. If you plan on sticking around for a while, consider taking some of the tech qualification tests. More $$$, anyway.

Good luck!

07-21-2006, 05:47 PM
Yeah, I've already thought about maybe becoming a tech. But first I want to give it a chance and see how things go cashiering. My SO and I are hoping to move sometime in the next year, so the more I can do, the more employable I will be when that happens. Until then, as long as I get out from under my current AM, I'm otherwise happy enough at this store.

07-23-2006, 04:55 PM
By law typically only pharmacists can make recommendations, and are the only ones that a patient can refuse a consultation to. (I'm not sure how it works in your state, but I'm sure that will be included in your training)
So, learning good phrases that the patients can't argue with will be helpful. My favorite when people ask me for advice is, "Oh, I'm not the best one to ask. If you'd like to step to the consultation window, a pharmacist can help you with that much better than I can"

As for a patient that wants to refuse a consultation, I smile very sweetly and say, "Oh! Please tell the pharmacist that for me!" Don't make it optional, and keep your hand on their little baggie o' pills, and walk it to the consultation window for them. If your store has a drive thru, that's easier, because you can shut off the microphone and walk away. :devil:

You will have to deal with people that don't understand the intricacies of insurance issues, or doctors that can't be bothered to make sure a script has all the information on it before it goes out (I had one from an ER the other night that didn't have the gal's last name on it. Stupid, stupid doctor.) Most of the time, these people will not be at their best, and they'll make it hell for you, but there's also a lot of other people that make it rewarding.

When you're selling, make sure to verify the patient's birthday or address to ensure that you're giving the correct script to the correct patient. Look them up in the computer to make sure you're giving them all the scripts that are ready for them. Let them know if there's an issue with one. I use verbiage like "Can I verify the patient's birthday? Great! I have 3 scripts ready to go for you, and there's a 4th script that was a little early to fill, insurance will pay for it on such and such a day".

Be aware of HIPAA. I imagine you'll have training on that. I tend to not mention drugs by name unless the patient initiates it. Enforce your other patient's privacy by not letting people crowd the counter.

It's a fun job, I like it, although I'd like to be the pharmacist (I'll put in my application for school again this year), but it's pretty rewarding. You'll get to know a lot of people by name, and if you're decent, they'll be looking for you, too. Having someone capable and familiar behind the counter gives patients a lot of comfort.