TalesFromThePharmacy: Worst Friday Shift Ever

Not entirely true, but it makes for a good clickbait.

Every Friday I work 12 hours. But Fridays are usually calm and relaxing. Usually.

Our pharmacy is locally owned and everyone’s really close with each other. As Fridays are usually forgiving days, when people say they’re not going to be here and are trying to find a replacement, we usually tell them “oh, everyone else will be here so we can cover for you.” We brought this upon ourselves.

Our pharmacy typically fills ~600 scripts a day and during peak hours the retail portion has 3 pharmacists, 2 input techs, 5 filling techs, 3 cashiers, 4 delivery drivers, and 1 floor manager. We also have a separate compounding center with another 1 pharmacist and 2 techs. We also have a Long-Term-Care section in the basement with another 1 pharmacist and 3 techs. No drive-through though thankfully.

Today started off calm, but we found out quickly just how short handed we were.

We were missing 1 retail pharmacist, 1 LTC pharmacist, 2 compound techs, 3 retail techs, 1 delivery driver, and 1 floor-manager for various reasons, such as death in the family, pre-planned family vacations, medical school finals, and general sickness.

So the two remaining pharmacists present took turns going to the LTC side to finalize scripts and a tech volunteered as tribute to take the floor-manager’s responsibilities when the huge order came in. As one cashier was new, the other cashier was busy teaching her new things.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it didn’t help that a tech’s girlfriend, who is also a pharmacist’s daughter, was in a car accident totaling her car so both the tech and the pharmacist rushed out to tend to her for an hour or so (she’s shaken but fine) so we were even shorter handed during that time.

Also, there was a power surge that took down a brand new workstation and crippled a cash register.

If that wasn’t enough, our water was turned off for an hour during the morning hours (with prior notice). They later extended hours longer because when the water was turned back on, the toilets contained yukky brown water and the sinks either didn’t work or spewed similarly colored brownish water. Plumbers were called in while we took extra time to use the restroom at a nearby coffee shop. The compounding center was also at a standstill by early afternoon due to lack of clean hot water to clean their equipment to work on additional scripts.

Anyway, it was a rough morning. Somehow we survived.

TL:DR: Too many people missing, car accidents, fried computers, and dirty water led to very interesting Friday

By: Kuebic