Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I Was The Best Of Pharmacists, I Was The Worst Of Pharmacists

Doctor line rang just as I decided I finally had time to go take a piss. Goddammit. Doctor on call phoning in a Cipro prescription for a patient with a urinary tract infection. Mentioning urinary tract during the phone call didn't do much for my ability to hold it in a couple more minutes. When I finally got a chance to let it flow however, I thought I remembered that this customer was on warfarin. Thinking about people's anticoagulant therapy while I'm urinating, it's quite a life I lead. Got back to the computer and checked the profile. Hell yeah, I don't need no stinking DUR software to tell me what I had here. I had just caught me an interaction baby, time to earn my big bucks. Since the patient wasn't Dick Cheney I called up Dr. Oncall on her cellphone and got the antibiotic switched to something less likely to cause death. I watched as Ms. Urinary Tract was at the counter thinking "I just saved you lady, whatever you go on to accomplish in your life from this day forward is all because of me, me! Perhaps you should be my slave, since your existence in this world is now due only to my massive brain....whhhooohhhaahhhhaahhhaaaa!!! I am super pharmacist, hear me roar!!"

Got a call about a half hour later........."I picked up this prescription....it says to take 1 capsule twice a day for 5 days, but there are only five capsules in the bottle"

So now the woman whose life I saved knows me only as the dumbass who can't count. Fuck fuck mother fucker........lesson learned....... hubris is only asking for trouble on the karma go round........

Tonight will be washed away with a dry martini. Gotta mix things up every once in awhile.

15 comments:

Sassenach said...

Actually, I think the tradition is that once you've saved someone's life, you become responsible for it. However, my knowledge on the subject is limited to watching Disney's "World's Greatest Athlete."

Either way, you're still a hero. Consider your error part of your superhero disguise, just like the bumbling Clark Kent. :-)

jmb said...

These things are sent to make us humble.
Cipro for UTI? Sounds like unnecessary overkill. Things must have changed since I retired. We used cipro for the really serious stuff in hospital pharmacy, Bactrim or amox for UTI.
jmb

Romius T. said...

don't worry about hubris. He's an asshat. you saved this girl's life. you are my hero...

Fresh Hell, Texas said...

The only mistake I care about is the one that will kill me. I'm sure your patient would feel the same way if she knew the whole story.

Have the martini with a twist of hubris. You've earned it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, those kind of situations have happened to me too. Very frustrating.

I would like to see what you think of this on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awiBc0SRFk8


And while your at it you might enjoy this one as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awiBc0SRFk8

Annapolitan said...

Every situation is an opportunity, DrugMonkey. Now you have the opportunity to explain to her WHY you miscounted.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. UTI, but I noticed that the drug that your doctor prescribed could have had a serious, potentially lethal interaction with the anticoagulant you were already taking. [Optional: Dr. Dumbass does know you're still taking anticoagulants, doesn't he?]"

"The first antibiotic, the one that could have killed you, called for once-a-day dosing and only five pills dispensed and the replacement prescription called for twice-a-day dosing and ten pills dispensed. I was just so relieved and thankful that I caught this potentially lethal mistake and saved your life that I inadvertently shorted you on the capsules. I'm sorry for your inconvenience."

If she doesn't end up kissing your feet, you didn't say it right.

Megan said...

Annapolitan got it right. You have to take these rare opportunities as they come. Make sure that you mention as many times as possible that the previous medication could have caused her to bleed out. See what I'm saying meow?

Рερρёřрōυяяī said...

Wow, this situation was similar to the mock test we had that day in university. Only the drugs were different. We got erythromycin and theophylline. I've always wondered how pharmacists can remember all the drug interactions! They're just uncountable. You did a great job =)

Anonymous said...

Forget the hubris... I believe we are pharmacists due to some past life transgressions.

For example, yesterday Dr. Dumbass tried to call in Fer-in-Sol 6 ML'S BID for a 10 month old child. When I explained that the child would most certainly die, she had to go "look" in her book!

I came into the second shift with no overlap, a weeks work of bad floaters and full-on chaos. So naturally when mother of the Fer-In-Sol child shows up and I am behind by 4 hours, it is ME who gets screamed at because said Rx is still not ready and the doctor called it in at 2:30!!

Alas, every moment is an opportunity to overcome this karma induced profession of mine.

I am going to be a rock star in my next life!

Gatorgal R.Ph.

philskaren said...

I often find myseld laying in bed remembering tidbits of patients profiles or questions. I attribute it to the first time I am able to breath and think clearly-mandatory lunches or even 15 minute breaks would be wonderful for our brains at work, that's for sure, maybe we'd have more brilliant moments, on the toilet, or otherwise.

Surgeon in my dreams said...

I'd give you a great big ole hug if I could just find ya!!

Mother Jones RN said...

I honestly believe that more patients would be dropping dead if it weren’t for pharmacists. I had a doctor give me prescriptions for Motrin and Celebrex. As I’m driving to the pharmacy, I’m thinking, “Something is wrong here, but what is it? I’ll ask the pharmacist.” I handed the prescriptions to the pharmacist and he rolled his eyes like he was thinking, “What dumb ass wrote these?” Then he explained that I could have a GI bleed if I took these medications together. I had to choose which one I wanted to take. Thank God my pharmacist wasn’t a dumb ass.

anon., CPhT. said...

Ah, this reminded me of a dosage change I came across today. You want 100 mg thiamine, Doctor, not 1 mg.

Oh, if only we could add innocent smiley faces onto those...

Mama Mia said...

OK - you should know that you are killing me. I have read backwards to this point and I frequently find myself rolling my eyes with you and chortling. Thanks for the laughs. I'm sure there will be many more as I continue backwards through your archives.

Ariel said...

I agree... you did a fantastic job! People just don't appreciate what we do behind the scenes....all they care about is the number of pills they get. I get people coming in because they got shorted 1 pill!!!