Oh, How I Have Been So Dreadfully Wrong About The American Pharmacists Association.

....and I'm a big enough man to admit it. Lo these many years I've been hurling mean adjectives at them; useless, incompetent, clueless, out of touch with the profession being some of the most frequent. Little did I know they've been working on a master plan for the pharmacist in the trenches. A cure-all elixir of happiness and harmony that will liberate at last those poor souls chained to the retail world of high volume, no breaks, no room for error and no time to pee.

It was unveiled on page 49 of this month's issue of Pharmacy Today  in case you missed it.

First we tackle the problem of stress. You have it, I had it when I was a chain slave, and it ain't getting any better unless you're able to buy your own place and finally do pharmacy right. Fear not though, as the story's appetizer is a stunningly simple solution to the problem:

In more than a decade working as both community staff pharmacist and manager, Jennifer Davis, PharmD, has found at least one solution for countering the stress that inevitably follows a tension-producing incident like a misfill or an encounter with an upset customer: she presses the pause button. 
 
“Those of you who were involved need to take a break,” Davis, who is now a Fred Meyer Pharmacy manager in Beaverton, OR, will tell her staff. “You need to get off the floor, because the chance of making an error right now is very high.” 


EUREKA!!!!! If only I would have thought of that the time I had to start my Sunday shift as the only person in the pharmacy by dealing with an emotionally fragile rape victim while foaming at the mouth barbarians were demanding their drugs.

My supervisor was disappointed, after 8 hours of playing catch up that day, that the controlled drug inventory wasn't completed. I never forgot their gratitude for my efforts to help that woman. Little did I know it all would have been better if I just would have hung out in the break room for awhile.

But we're just getting warmed up here folks, because The American Pharmacist's Association has been on the case of what ails the retail pharmacy world, and a solution is coming down the pike, baby:

...many pharmacists find it difficult to cope. And rather than promoting the challenges and professional rewards of community practice, many of them advise younger pharmacists to look elsewhere for career opportunities. That was what Mark A. Munger, PharmD, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, and colleagues discovered in a 2012 survey of more than 300 independent and community chain pharmacists

I just want to pause here and note that it took some egghead until 2012 to realize that pharmacists are likely to tell others to choose another career.

Steps are being taken, though, to reverse these discouraging attitudes, said Munger...

Awesome.

...who is scheduled to lead a discussion, Pharmacist Occupational Satisfaction and Coping with Stress, at the 2015 APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego in March


YES!!!!!!!



A DISCUSSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



PROBLEM SOLVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(cue Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" right here)



And what might such a discussion entail? The article goes on to give some tasty previews:

Munger said he had heard from both independent and chain pharmacies. Many of the chains, he said, “have developed internal oversight committees that handle their employee–pharmacist complaints or suggestions and then address them by building a culture that relates around appreciation for their individual work, the individual pharmacist’s ideas, and empowers them to make more individualized decisions.”



BBBBBBWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAHHAHHHHHAHAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAA!!!!!! BWWWAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA HAAAAAAA......oh god...must breathe.......BWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAAAA........HAAA HAA HAAAH HAAAAA.....oh man......need air.......face is blue.....


BWWWWAAAHHAA!!!!


Ok, stop. Need to focus.


BWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!


Stop, Drugmonkey. Try to forget what you just saw and move forward.

I just want to say I really want to hear from a chain pharmacist that works in a culture that relates around appreciation of their individual work and empowers them. At all. Any kind of empowerment. I'll put up a reward for anyone who can find me a member of that mythical species.

But wait......the bullshit ain't done being served:

Munger added that many of them are also “building clinical services into their labor projections, which will no doubt improve the workplace environment, as we suggested in the paper, empowering pharmacists to make more clinical decisions. We think that was really one of the major emphases that we got from our survey.” 


Yup, no doubt there, baby. I bet there's noooooooooooooo doubt at all among any of the drugstore schleps beating their brains in to meet their metrics right now.

Alright, one more round of this:

Davis has also learned that diplomacy works best when a patient with urgent needs demands time during a period when patients are lined up at the counter waiting for prescriptions or to be counseled. She will tell the patient: “I would love to spend time with you, but can’t right now. Could I look into this and call you back at a better time?” 
 
“Ninety-nine percent of the time, they’re totally fine with that,” she added.



Excuse me, Dr. Clueless? THERE'S NEVER A BETTER TIME!!!!!!!!! I cut my teeth at a 24 hour Walgreen's that did around a thousand prescriptions a day, and yeah, we might have been able to work a call like that in around 3 or 4 in the morning some nights. I have a feeling 95% of customers aren't gonna be fine with that, though.

"Um, Drugmlonkey?" some of you might be saying. "I thought you said you were wrong about APhA. It kinda looks like they're kinda clueless and out of touch, just like you've always been saying."

No, my friend, they are more than that. Even more than I imagined. Because the only thing worse than a clueless, incompetent oaf who is unwilling to do anything is a clueless, willing stooge who allows others to use them. It's called the American Pharmacist's Association, but it just gave the corporate pinheads who have taken over our profession a platform to tell lawmakers, regulators, public relations agencies, the media and anyone else in the world who will listen about the progressive changes for good they are making in the workplace. Serious decision makers will listen to them, see the APhA stamp on the statement and move on.

That was a knife you just found in your back my friend. Paid for with your dues.

And until today, I never thought APhA willing or competent enough to put it there.

I was very wrong.
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Oh, How I Have Been So Dreadfully Wrong About The American Pharmacists Association.
Oh, How I Have Been So Dreadfully Wrong About The American Pharmacists Association.
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