Patients are Real People with Real Stories

Nurses and physicians are reminded every day that patients are real people, just like them, with real stories. Pharmacy staff, however, may need a little more reminding. Unless a pharmacist or technician has a role that brings them into regular contact with patients, we may need the reminder that on the other side of the medication order or delivery is a human being. That human may be scared, lonely, in pain, or confused, but one thing they probably all have in common is they expect us, the Pharmacy Department staff, to do our jobs well and take care of them. That means identifying order entry errors, identifying when labs are needed, when meds need to be adjusted, preparing meds accurately, delivering meds timely and accurately, just to name a few. Most of us are behind the scenes, but that does not mean our responsibilities are any less important or serious. If you have a staff member that seems a bit careless or unmotivated, consider doing something that will get them engaged in the realization that there is a real person who is counting on them. It all looks different when you are the patient or the family of the patient. We somehow need to get our staff to put themselves into their shoes as a reminder of how important it is to do their job well.

Change happens in the boiler room of our emotions–so find out how to light their fires. -Jeff Dewar

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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