Monday, March 14, 2011

Saving lives, one fetus at a time.

FYI: From the title you may think this might be some kind of pro-life post. It is not. For the record, I am pro-choice because I am a flamingly liberal homosexual. There. I said it.

I was filling in at one of my stores a while ago and the pharmacist for whatever reason was trusting me to consult (under supervision of course). I found this rather surprising since I had never worked with her before and most people would rather just do it themselves than have to watch a student do it slowly. It was actually a really busy day for us. I'm only a first year, so I know better than to just consult blindly. Hell I'll still be asking questions if I don't know something years from now. Most of my consultations were really easy that day on antibiotics, NSAIDs, etc. I've become quite confident in my ability to consult on antibiotics especially.

As I was going over a seemingly routine consult with a patient, I look up and into her eyes and say "Do not take any alcohol with this." I find that if I do this, they take it more seriously and are actually listening to what I am telling them. She smiles and says "Don't worry, I'm pregnant, so I'm not drinking alcohol anyways."

I'm not very comfortable with what medications can be taken during a pregnancy, so I asked her who prescribed this medication for her. When she told me it was her OBGYN I thought, well I'm assuming her doctor is aware of the pregnancy, but in my experience people make crazy mistakes all the time. That and something about it was really bothering me. I asked her to give me a few minutes, since I am a student and I just wanted to make sure that the medication would be safe for her to take during her pregnancy.

My pharmacist and I were discussing it and looked it up on clinical pharmacology. The words contraindicated in first trimester of pregnancy stood out to me because she was in her first trimester. Shit. At that moment I was so relieved I didn't just let that go. When we told her what we had found out, she was furious. Well, not furious with us, she was pretty thankful that we checked. I guess she's been having a lot of problems with her OBGYN. She thanked us and stormed off (without the medication obviously).

I kind of stood there in a bit of shock. My pharmacist told me I had done an excellent job in catching that and should do great when I take the boards soon. Soon?? I'm only a first year! I guess she thought I was a third or fourth year. I think that caught her off guard, but she had a good laugh about that. I'm just glad I didn't give a prescription to a pregnant lady that could cause birth defects or miscarriage.

Days like these, reminds me how much I love what I do and that I really am where I want to be.


Brahmin in Boston said...

That is so awesome! You are perfect for this job!

I have heard countless stories of zero communication between the docs and the patients! Wow... she was lucky to have you as her pharmacist! :)

About the make-up - I love make up. But the problem is I can't carry off bold colors (I end up looking like a hooker so I have to choose very carefully! :D)

The Surprise Dyke said...

That is awesome! I'm the annoying customer who asks you to check that what I'm being prescribed will not interact with what I already take. I trust my doctor and all, but sometimes mistakes happen-and I'd rather the pharmacist take an extra few minutes to double check than me be very very sorry I didn't ask. If that moment doesn't solidify you are good at your job, nothing will-go for the boards!

Erin said...

Thanks you two!

TSD- I don't think that makes you the annoying patient. I really think a lot of patients really need to be aware and be their own advocate because of the amount of patients doctors and pharmacists see every day. Always better safe than sorry and I'm always glad when patients are aware of what they are taking instead of blindly taking medications.