A few words to describe my 2 days of locuming in Ulverstone - friendly, laid-back, enjoyable, oh and cold! Day one I had to have the heater on in the lunch room. Day 2 I had to borrow a cardigan, which I wore the entire day - even after the girls put the heater on in the shop! Coming from Cairns, I am not bred for this weather.
The days were quiet, yet steady. Oh FredDispense, how I’ve missed you! The only dispensing program that really works the way it should. No glitches. Many customers have scripts on file, and the staff seemed to know pretty much all of them. This place had a real country feel to it.. a lot like Ayr where I did my intern year. I discovered that Laura, one of the girls had a Stella the same age as our Stella. And Jo, had a granddaughter Stella. Small world! I also met 2 Janelle’s that day.
The pharmacy uses Webstercare MedsPro to pack their websters. Basically, instead of having a separate basket for each patient, the medications are stored in bays and numbered. So when packing, you can use the same box for multiple patients, because the computer tallies up the number of tablets used per patient. When assembling the websterpak, you must physically scan every box used before the pack can be finished. It also shows you by diagram where each tablet goes, and the colour/appearance of the tablet. Therefore, if you happen to miss a medication, you cannot finish that patient in the program. In my opinion this means a very small margin for error. The pharmacy also has sachets packed for patients, which are outsourced. This is ideal for patients who have very little changes in medications, and have active lives where taking a sachet with them to lunch is more convenient than carting around an entire websterpak.
While many things are the same working in a pharmacy in Tasmania, the one main difference is the regulations surrounding S2 and S3 medications. Firstly S2 medications (as is NSW) may be kept in the shop, so long as they are in the direct line of sight of the pharmacist. So essentially customers can self select cough mixtures, baby panadol, fungal creams etc. S3 medications do not require recording or labelling in Tasmania. If the pharmacist is concerned with a patients use, they can choose to record it, however no particular instructions are typed onto the label. Pseudoephedrine is still entered into ProjectStop, but again is not recorded.
The pharmacy does not stock soaps, detergents or toilet paper. There aren’t items you would find in a supermarket. They do of course sell soap free washes and skin care. This is the first pharmacy I’ve come across that has taken a stand against this. i thought that was kind of cool. As was their weekend trading. They alternate with the other 2 pharmacies nearby, doing every third weekend - Saturday just 3 hours 9:30-12:30, and Sunday just 1 hour 11am-12pm. How about that?
The Loreal Rep also dropped in, bringing with her some makeup gifts for the staff. Always feel lucky to work on a day like that! Having been in desperate need for some new makeup I was stoked to receive a new foundation, mascara and lipstick. Maybe that is why there are so many women in pharmacy? Thanks to Michelle for sharing :)
I asked Amanda, the youngest staff member, what she liked the most about working in community pharmacy? She said "Its great working in a smaller town where you really get to know the customers". It is rare to be in a workplace, where you don’t even need to ask the staff if they like their job. It is clear they do; just by watching the way they work. Colin must be a good boss! Thanks girls I really enjoyed my time in Ulverstone.