Monday, May 10, 2010

"Why you ask so much?"

Among so many FAQs I get during work (i can probably compile a book on that alreadyt), one of the most hated one would be my patient turning around to ask me why do I ask so much. I wonder - are they are doubting my professionalism or my ability to assess their health conditions?

Pharmacists are not doctors (and so I do not charge consultation (; ) but as a health care professional, it is just as important for us to assess basic information of patients like his health conditions, allergy to medicines, or current medications. Not for the fun of it (as if I take pleasure in repeating those words like a parrot) but to make sure one doesn't get adverse reactions or experience any form of drug-drug interactions from taking the medicines I dispensed even if it is just a common 'yellow flu tablet'. I have every right not to sell the medications under my custody, not like a drug-dispensing machine by your DEMAND. "I want one plate of Hokkien Mee, sell it to me or else..." These are the 'rudies' . Most of them would refuse to answer any question (even though I emphasized that it is for their own safety) and walk away or threaten to walk away if I don't give them the medicine(s) they want. Ok fine, make your demands elsewhere then. Look who's the one at loss in the end. Is taking just that little bit of time to answer that few simple questions so difficult?

There are another group of people who might think 'I know my own condition best' or some have the mentality of 'I don't want to know what's wrong with me'. These are the most difficult group of patients to tackle and most of them come from our graying population (the elderly).

Sometimes I wonder is it because our service is "free-of-charge" that's why people do not appreciate it. If they were to pay a consultation and wait one hour before their turn, they would probably be willing to answer even a dozen questions.

Singaporeans like 'fast-food' service, but please have the brains to know that pharmacy is NOT the place for that.

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