Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words

 

So, I realized something today. I realized how much I’ve become a part of some of my patients’ lives. I know that a pharmacist is a familiar face many people see; however, forming a bond with a patient is something special and doesn’t happen with just any patient and any pharmacist.

Today, I had a woman share pictures of her grandson’s graduation from college. She had them in a cute photo album and everything. I didn’t think anything of it until she told me she has been carrying it with her the past few times she came to the pharmacy, hoping it would be my day to work. I suddenly felt very prominent in this woman’s life and not just in a healthcare professional way. It made me smile to know that she has connected with me in such a way. It ultimately benefits her and will make the quality of healthcare she receives from me even better. I’m not saying I will treat her better than other patients, but that she will be more receptive to what I advise her to do. She will be more open to patient education that is important to share with her. And, that is a great thing.

After that, I realized that there are several other people who have made similar, more personal connections with me. I feel very privileged to be able to experience such wonderful things. Days like theseĀ  make me enjoy my job and profession even more than I already do. =)

So, what personal connections have you guys made with your patients? Patients, what personal connections have you made with your healthcare professionals? I would love to hear.

 

Image courtesy of http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx10/CindyGee13/photography1.jpg

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Flu Shot Season Has Sprung!

 

So, flu shot season has arrived at all the big name retail pharmacies. I personally think August is too early, but oh well. As a general rule, I love giving flu shots. It’s a break in the monotony of the day and gives me one-on-one time with patients. It’s actually how I got to know a lot of my regular patients last year when I was new to my current pharmacy.

Today, I had a mother and two girls come in for their annual flu shots. I had given the mother hers last year, and she remembered me, so it was a great experience right from the start. The younger of the two daughters has autism. Though the girl is 21, her mental capacity is that of a 9-11 year old. The mother also informed me the pharmacist who immunized her last year made her scream, so she was very nervous. I knew it would be a challenge, but I decided to administer it anyway because I believe everyone who wants to should be vaccinated.

The older sister went first, which helped ease the younger girl a bit. Both girls and the mother were very sweet and friendly. When it was the younger girl’s turn, she got very nervous and was almost in tears. The mother, older girl, and I all talked her down and got her to relax her arm. The older girl held her hand. I assured her it was a tiny needle, and it would be over before she knew it. We got her to take a deep breath, and I injected her as she exhaled. I braced myself for flinching and screaming.

But, the screaming never came. The girl said she couldn’t feel the needle at all! She thanked me and gave me a big hug after I put a band aid over the injection site. It made my day! ^_^

That was probably my most gratifying and unique flu shot experience yet. What was yours?

 

Image courtesy of http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z276/pattiefone27/myflushot.png

“Every Day is a Holiday!”

 

I have been neglecting my blog a bit, and I apologize. It has been so very busy at the pharmacy as of late. I have been getting home late after work most days and am usually exhausted. Again, sorry for not posting much this month.

Today’s story is about one of our regular patients. Out of everyone, he is probably the most cheerful person to enter the building. He’s always got a grin on his face and seems to make everyone, employees and patients alike, laugh and smile. I look forward to his visits. They always break up the monotony of the day. The picture above is the perfect way to describe him.

He came in with his characteristic, happy demeanor, walking toward the pharmacy and whistling a happy tune. He always takes his hat off and bows, stating, “Good morning, my fine ladies and gents! How are you all on this wonderful day?” He makes conversation with those around him and just generally lifts all of our spirits. I asked him how he keeps such a happy attitude every time he visits us, and he answered me with the title line: “Every day is a holiday!” Then, he started singing the tune from Mary Poppins (“Every Day’s a Holiday with You, Burt”), inserting his and our names in place of the word “Burt” in the song.

His visits are usually very quick, but he always thinks of something witty to say on his way out. We’re always sad to see him go. If he were to get a pharmacy report card, in the comments section I would write: “[patient name] is a joy to have in the pharmacy.” =)

I hope your days are all going swell!

 

Image courtesy of http://i527.photobucket.com/albums/cc357/karina_2008_06/SMILE.jpg

A Breath of Fresh Air

 

Today, I have a lovely story to share. It warmed my heart and made my day. ^_^

Around lunch time, I received a call from a physician’s office inquiring about an elderly woman’s most recent fill date for a rescue inhaler. Looking at her profile, I noticed it was filled less than a week ago. The nurse I was speaking with told me the woman stated that her inhalers are always defective when she gets them filled. I remember a month or so ago the patient had contacted the manufacturer about it, and they sent a replacement to our pharmacy to give to her. I told the nurse to have the woman come to the pharmacy, and I would be able to determine if the defect was real or if this was simply a case of the patient not knowing the correct administration technique. The nurse thanked me and hung up.

A few hours later, the patient stopped by. Now, I love my elderly patients, especially the little, old ladies. They are full of stories and generally appreciate the pharmacy staff’s help. I tend to go out of my way to help them, since they seem to put the most blind faith in us. The woman handed me her inhaler. I pushed the canister down, but nothing came out. I told the woman I would be right back. I went over to our sink and gently cleaned out the mouthpiece with a paper towel and warm water. Putting it back together, I found that a good clean was all it needed. I returned it to the lady, who used a puff right then and there as a test. I gave her a few tips on inhaler technique and the proper way to clean it. She looked at me with a very serious face, waved her index finger, and said, “Come here for a minute.” Thinking she was going to ask me something else about the inhaler, I was happily surprised by the big hug I received from her with a whispered, “Thank you,” in my ear. She said I relieved her fear of not being able to breathe. She told me I would be her go-to person for help from now on. It’s amazing how one small action can mean the world to some people.

^_^

It is days like these that make everything worth it. I am proud to be a pharmacist, and I love my job.

 

Image courtesy of http://i1204.photobucket.com/albums/bb417/NataliaECF/firecongrats/8l3-hug-7.gif