Saturday, October 13, 2007

A day in the life of a would be pharmacist

Front door of Terry White Chemist

Here's a snapshot of my routine during my rural pharmacy placement at Terry White Chemists, Bairnsdale.

9.02 a.m. Reached Terry White Chemist Bairnsdale. Go through the front door, walk across the aisle selling cosmetics and to the locker room to put my bag. Then proceed to the dispensary.

9.05 a.m. Stationed at the dispensary. Do all sorts of stuffs like keying in the prescriptions into the computer, printing out the medication labels, finding and assembly all the medications as stated on the labels, putting the labels on the medication, and scanning it to check it is correct. Sometimes will get sent to counsel customer on how to take their medications, which is a bit scary.

The dispensary area where I spent most of my time.

10.30 a.m. By that time usually getting a little bored of doing the same thing. So if I had the oportunity, I will wander to the "scripts in" counter waiting for customers to come and hand in their medication scripts. Its more fun there then assembling medications, coz I get to greet and talk to people. "Good morning, how can I help you..."

11.00 a.m. Sometimes there are creams to be made. Will spend an average 30 mins doing one cream coz I want to make sure the cream is smooth and silky.

11.30 a.m. At this time some medications will be out of stock and the pharmacists will realised that for one reason or another they didn't come in today's stock also. So I had to be a runner and go to the other pharmacies to borrow them. This is how I discovered that the shopgirls at the two other pharmacies are prettier.

12.00 p.m. Stock time! All the stock's in today's order finally got through from the storeroom to the prescription area. So it's my job to arrange them and put them in the allocated space in the shelves. Quite like stock time becoz it gives me time to learn about the medications.

12.45 p.m. Lunch Time.

1.35 p.m. Back at store and back at the dispensary doing the keying in, sticking labels and assembling medication stuffs again.

The front-of the-shop. They sell lots of things here.

3.00 p.m. Sometimes will go to the front of the store at the vitamins and over the counter medications section. The scariest part of the day because I don't know anything about them and felt very foolish when being asked about it by the customers. The sentence that I used most often here is "Sorry I think I better get you one of the shopgirls.." The shopgirls here are amazing. They are just like the pharmacists in Malaysia - knowing everything about vitamins.

At the cashier with one of the pharmacist.

4.00 p.m. The time before going home is usally spent on the cashier area where I got to play with the till and say "cash or cheque or saving?" Said "thank you very much and have a nice day" so many times until I even said it to the cashier in Safeway when I go to buy stuffs.

5.00 p.m. Time to go home and sleep!

1 comment:

MDA said...

"shopgirls at the two other pharmacies are prettier"

Does S-P-G mean anything to you? What about the "Pinkerton" syndrome?

One thing I have learnt, fellow East Asian males are major sellouts and certainly have a deadly weakness for white gals. How deadly? Just ask Mr Bin Zhao, *was* also a Pharmacy student.

Btw, I hope you didn't call those shop attendants, "shop-girls". I think they prefer to be called "Pharmacist Assistants" nowadays.

As soon as the "honeymoon" (typically for foreign "guests" working in the natives' midst) period is over and familiarity (breeds contempt as they say) sets in, you will be taught that very quickly, I guess.

... oh, I came just like you - stayed for the "money-pie" and 20 years just sped by - so I know.

Old perceptions/prejudices die hard around here. East Asian males are viewed in the following manner:

1. wealthy suckers
2. effeminate impotents
3. hapless johns
4. plain weird in a very unsensual way