Sunday, December 20, 2009
While my GPA may have suffered a bit this semester, every thing else in my life seems to be going abnormally well. I don't hate my job all the time, I've been getting in better shape, and I actually met someone.
Amazingly, this girl became interested in me not because of my extreme good looks or ridiculously hot body, but because of my writing. That's right people, I have started dating someone because of my writing skills.
Un-freaking-believable. I'm not complaining.
Now I can look forward to three weeks of reading for fun, being lazy, and hanging out with this girl while not trying to learn anything new.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Granted, they aren't on the useless products of Zolpimist or Ambien CR, and they aren't spending an extra arm and a leg for Lunesta (eszopiclone - oh yeah, I've been studying up on the Top 200).
But still, why waste the money each month when, for a one-time payment of $180, a patient could get the best sleep aid I have ever come across? This sleep-aid can be used over and over again and never lose its effectiveness. Actually, I only paid $60 for mine, and it's even more effective at putting me to sleep than the $180 version.
That sleep aid is my Biochem textbook. I seriously believe that Lehninger could make much more money by marketing his book as a sleep aid.
He could even mark the international version (the one I own) as a fast-acting version, because nothing puts a person to sleep faster than an all black and white Biochem textbook.
I have a quiz tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be asleep in 20 minutes. Goodnight.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I once called down and informed her that the 400mg/5mL existed, and she told me she knew that, but had been informed that the 250mg/5mL tasted better.
I informed her that we get the two different strengths from the same manufacturer and they taste exactly the same, but still to this day she still will not write for the 400.
While this is just a minor annoyance, seeing that we can fill the prescriptions with whatever strength we please, it is when the doctor writes incorrect instructions that obviously means she does not look at the prescription she writes that pisses me off. An example:
Take 6mL tsp today, then 3mL tsp days 2,3,4,and 5.
Now, anyone with a brain would know that she accidentally put the tsp in there, but according to the law I had to call and confirm the prescription. Unfortunately, that took about 10 minutes. 10 minutes I had to stand there and listen to the little kid cry and cry and cry and cry and cry while his mom tried without success to calm the little womb fruit down.
Oh well, it really isn't anything to get all worked up about, but it still gets on my nerves when I have to listen to a screaming kid because some doctor does not check the prescriptions she writes.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'm happy to say I have an A in every class except Biochem, but after this last test, I'm hopeful I can scrape by with a low-low A if I do well on the final, and a 90% is the same as a 99% when it hits the transcript. I don't think I'll manage to pull off the A, but a B isn't bad either.
I would apologize for my lack of posts, but all the writing I've been doing has been for my school newspaper, because I get paid to do that.
So... I've got another batch of ways to remember the Top 200, and I'll get to that in a couple days.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
A mother comes in with a prescription for her daughter. I ask if we've filled for her before.
Awesome. I pull up the profile and see we haven't filled for her since 2007. I then ask if she got new insurance since then.
"No, it's the same."
Awesome. I enter in the prescription, it gets rejected by insurance claiming "FILLED AFTER COVERAGE TERMINATED."
Ok, the patient obviously has new insurance information. I ask to see her card. She hands me a card from a different state than her old one was from. I give her a look that I hope conveys my feelings toward her. It was my "You're a fucking idiot," look.
I'm about to enter in the information when the woman pipes up and says:
"In the past, most pharmacies have found that it only works when you don't put the letters in for the ID number."
Oh holy shit, by the time she was half finished with that sentence I was smiling my sarcastic I-want-you-to-be-hurt-by-what-I'm-going-to-say-next smile. I said:
"Oh, really? Huh, because -"
"Yeah we know all those little tricks," the pharmacist bursts out, completely interrupting me, which is probably a good thing.
I was planning on finishing the sentence with something like, "I've been working in this pharmacy for a while now, and I've never seen that. Weird."
Of course, the patient might still have thought that I was being serious. Oh well. Maybe I'll get another chance to ridicule a patient on Friday.
One can only hope.
1. You hand me the prescription. This is pretty simple stuff that 99% of people understand.
2. I look at the name on the prescription and ask "Have we filled for (name) before?" There are only two answers to this question.
1) "Yes." 2) "No."
A third possible answer, "I don't know," is not what I am looking for, but I can understand if you really do not know. That's ok.
If you answered "Yes," or "I don't know," skip down to #4
3. I will ask, "Do you have insurance?" This is always a tricky question, because some people will just say "Yes," and about 90% of the time it's "Yes, we have MA." They then stare at me until I say, "Well, can I see the card?"
This is when you have your first opportunity to either be a pain-in-the-ass customer or a good customer.
If you say, "No, I don't have the card on me, don't you have the number from when we checked in?" I will want to punch you. No, we do not have the number. My computer system is completely different than the clinic's system. I will then direct you out to the clinic to obtain the number from the receptionist. She will not be happy.
Of course, if it isn't my state's or any neighboring state's MA or BCBS number, you're fucked. There are too many different processors and BIN numbers and especially group numbers to keep track of them all. Go find your card and come back.
If you say "Yes," and hand me a card, I will not dislike you.
Skip to #5.
4. I will pull up the patient's profile; if I see we haven't filled anything for that person this year, I will ask if your insurance information has changed since then. If it has, you better hand me that card.
5. Once I have the profile all set up, I will ask if there are any allergies to medications. Do not tell me "pollen." We do not dispense pollen in my pharmacy.
6. This is all the information I need. I will tell you it will be a few minutes. Take a step back, sit in a chair, and wait. Do not hover around the drop-off area. I will be able to feel your eyes on me, and while it does not make me nervous like it did when I first started working in a pharmacy, it does make me want to choke you.
7. Once the prescription is entered and successfully made it through insurance, I will then fill the prescription while the pharmacist checks to make sure it is correct.
8. If everything is peachy-keen, the pharmacist or I will ring you up, get you through HIPPA, insurance signatures, and about 1/3 of OBRA 90 (maybe 1/4). You are then free to leave. Please do so.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Of course, if we had universal healthcare this wouldn't be a problem...
It looks like the hospitals in this country are following the lead of the airline industry and charging obese people more for their services. Instead of charging them for an extra seat, hospitals are charging more for an ambulance ride. This really shouldn’t surprise anyone, considering an ambulance ride for an obese person is often double the cost of what the Associated Press calls “normal-weight” people.
I felt the need to quote the Associated Press on normal-weight because I am not sure it is fair to classify people with a healthy BMI as “normal,” knowing the fact that over 60 percent of this nation is overweight, according to the CDC. Actually, if someone described me as “normal American weight,” I would be offended.
The reason costs are so high to get obese people to the hospital is that many stretchers and ambulances just cannot hold the weight, and special equipment must be used. Equipment such as forklifts, flatbed trucks, and Sawzalls to cut open the obese person’s house because they just can’t squeeze out a normal doorway.
These are extreme, although real, examples, but the cost to purchase new stretchers and ambulances that can support an obese person will double in the coming years, which will contribute to the total cost of health care. We all know that the cost of health care really hasn’t been a big issue lately, but we should still address this issue as soon as possible. I bet Congress will get around to it in a couple years.
Of course, the obese of this nation think that charging more to haul their extra weight is a form of discrimination. Joseph Nadglowski, president of the Obesity Action Coalition, stated that "Ambulance services are a critical public service and should accommodate the needs of all of those who require them at a fair cost.”
I know what you are thinking: “There’s an Obesity Action Coalition?” I am here to tell you that yes, yes there is. Obese people have become so prevalent that they need a coalition to speak for them, presumably because they are too busy using their mouths for breathing instead of speaking.
The coalition states on their website that one of their proudest moments was when they organized 3,000 people on a “Walk From Obesity” march on the Capitol. According to my calculations, that is about .029 percent of all obese people in this nation. I’ll let you decide where the rest of them were. My guess is on the couch.
And here I was, thinking it was funny when my friend made fun of the Greek community for only getting 200 people to their pep rally. My calculations indicate that that is about 1.4 percent of the entire campus, so if his estimation was correct, Greek life is way better at organizing events than obese people. Now that is what I call an accomplishment.
I do agree with Nadglowski though; I believe we should accommodate the obese at a fair price. It would be fair to charge them more, right? If I need to get my car towed, and I have a strange model that requires a different, more expensive hitch, I should have to pay more to get my car towed. If I need to send a heavy package, I should have to pay more to cover the extra cost to transport it.
I would not be saying these things if people could not control their weight, but they can. An obese person has essential chosen their lifestyle by not staying fit, and they should have to pay for the costs that are directly increased by their choice. I don’t see how that is discrimination. I just see it as fair.
This is as Republican as I get, folks.
I understand that some people cannot control their weight. Genetic defects and certain medications can cause weight gain, and these irregularities should always be taken into consideration.
If someone does not want to put in the effort to overcome obesity, I do not have a problem with it. However, I think it is completely fair that they pay for the increased health care costs based on their decision.
If an obese person wants to roll up to the drive-thru pharmacy for their Lipitor, Benicar and NovoLog prescriptions, I honestly do not have a problem with that, just as long as they don’t complain about the co-pays.So yeah, that's my article that decided not to publish in the newspaper. I figure the relative anonymity that blogger provides protects me from getting flamed by my campus.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I also take labs that require extra studying and writing lab reports. My life is fucking hectic. I wonder why I accepted a TA job. I wonder why I said I'd write for my school newspaper (well, that was for the money).
My friends ask me how I do it.
To be honest, I'm not, I'm not doing it. I'm coasting by on my relatively intelligent brain, but in pharmacy school it just isn't enough. At least not for the A's that I'm used to. Yeah, I can squeak by with B's and the occasional C, but I'm not OK with that.
It's come to the big decision. Do I keep up my grades by studying all the time or do I keep blowing off steam by getting hammered 2-3 times a week? I think a comprimise is in order. I need to study more often, but just drink to forget the pain once a week... I think that's the solution.
That's a terrible solution.
Is it relevant?
Fuck pharmacy school.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Newsflash people: there's a shortage everywhere, and our pharmacy is no different. To be fair though, my pharmacy probably stocks more solution than yours does. However, does anyone consider that our pharmacy goes through more Tamiflu solution in 3 hours than most will go through in 3 days. Luckily, we got in 72 bottles of the solution on Tuesday from our state's emergency stash. We ran out early Wednesday morning.
This is absolutely crazy, and on Tuesday night, I finally snapped. We filled 60 prescriptions in 3 hours. While you may think that's not too bad, remember that it's just me and the pharmacist at the pharmacy. That's an average of 1 prescription every 3 minutes, and we have to enter those, fill those, and then counsel them. Oh, and put them through the cash register. A 3 minute average under these circumstances is insane. We were working at break neck speed, all while being completely accurate and making zero mistakes.
At the end of the big rush, we had a father come in with 2 prescriptions, one for Tamiflu suspension (surprise!) and one for a cough medication (I don't remember what one, as I had never filled it before). Well, turns out Medicaid didn't cover it, so this is the conversation that ensued:
"Sir, I tried to bill the cough medication, but the insurance won't cover it."
"Cough medication?" the father asked, confused. "What's that for?"
"Probably for the cough," I replied. I immediately realized that that wasn't the most polite way to go about things, but after 3 hours I wasn't in the mood to be polite.
I thought I was going to be reprimanded for the my comment, the pharmacist later told me she was trying her hardest not to laugh when I had said that, which just goes to show I work with one of the most awesome pharmacist ever.
As a result of all this compounding and crazy days at the pharmacy, I've been drinking heavily, and I think it shows in the lack of continuity in this post...
I think all-in-all though, this just goes to show that I'm probably not going to be a good pharmacist. I really can't hold back my sarcasm when I'm stressed out, seeing as it's the only way I know how to deal with the stress. Oh well, I'm already on the path, and I'll finish up my education, and become a jaded pharmacist. Awesome.
I'm already looking forward to it.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I'm sick of watching them check the prescription while I push little marbles around, trying count by five and hold on to my sanity at the same time. That isn't easy, and one of these days I'm going to snap. I don't care what you think your "job" entails, making me count out every single prescription for benzonatate is cruel, and one day you'll pay.
I can just imagine it, forcing a bottle's worth of pearls into the pharmacist's mouth and making her bite down on them. Oh, that would be sweet, sweet justice.
Friday, October 2, 2009
At first, I looked in the obvious places. I went to all the churches, but didn't feel His presence or encounter Him. I then went to the local prison, because I've heard a lot of criminals find Jesus in prison. Apparently, you need to actually be incarcerated to find Jesus in prison, because I didn't sense Him there either, although a couple of the inmates asked me if I wanted to "sense" them, and yes, they air-quoted when they said it.
After a long day of trying to find Jesus I had given up. Perhaps some other day I would see the light, and it would guide me toward Him. It was a little chilly, and I had worn a jacket, and as I opened the closet door to put my jacket away I heard, "Fuck! I'm so bad at this game!"
Startled, I jumped back. "Who are you?! What game?!" I shouted.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega. Hide and go Seek is the game," said the man walking out of my coat closet. There seemed to be a spotlight behind him.
"Wait, whoa, Jesus?! I've been looking for you today! You were here the whole time? Wait, did you just say 'Fuck?'"
"Ah yes, I did say 'Fuck,' didn't I? But what sin is committed in swearing?"
Jesus had a point. I couldn't think of a single reason why swearing would be a sin.
"Would you like some wine?" He asked, as he tapped the kitchen faucet. I watched, breathless, as red wine flowed out in to the sink.
"Uh, sure," I choked out, "Hide and Seek? You play Hide and Seek?"
"Duh, dude," he replied, "Why do you think people are always trying to 'find' me? I thought it was pretty obvious."
I was beginning to feel pretty stupid, and as I took a sip of wine it just got worse. "This tastes like iron!" I exclaimed as I spit the wine all over my hands.
"Well come on dude, this is my blood; I need oxygen too, you know."
His logic was overwhelming, I could see why people pray to Him. "I'm sorry, but who exactly do you play Hide and Seek with? I mean, if it's just me and you wouldn't you win all the time? Because you're always the last one to be found?"
"Ah, another common misconception," he said. I began to wonder how many times He's had this conversation. I began to feel ashamed of all the times I've gotten annoyed with someone who called to see what time we closed. "I play with the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause, but those fuckers cheat because they only come out once a year, where I have to be out all year round. It's bullshit."
"Wait, the Easter Bunny is real? And Santa?" My disbelief was palpable.
"Oh for My sake, of course they are. Me," Jesus said, obviously annoyed.
"Did you just use your name in vain?"
"Technically, no, asshole," Jesus spat back.
"Whoa sorry dude," I replied as I went to the sink to wash the wine off my hands. "Hey! This is still wine! Can you change it back to water?" I asked.
"I just performed a miracle, and you want me to undo it? Fuck you dude. I'm out."
And then He was gone.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I then wondered why doughnuts got their own water fountain. Yes, they are delicious, especially because they're pretty much a piece of cake shaped like a bagel with sugar coating the entire thing. That's pretty awesome, but why should that give them the sole right to a water fountain? The powers that be must be prejudiced against non-doughnut breakfast foods. They can't even argue "separate but equal," because the doughnut water fountain is closer to the bathroom and taller than the other. Can you imagine the strain bending over to drink from the smaller fountain will put on the average breakfast food's back? Do you think eggs can handle that when they can't even decide if they're healthy for you?
Cereal is completely screwed. Every time it wants a drink of water milk will spill out due to the increased angle it must dip to to receive the water, and we all know that milk is the life-blood of cereal. A couple drinks from water fountain and cereal will need a milk transfusion. Emergency rooms will need to stock more 1% milk, which is the universal donor of milk. The skyrocketing demand for 1% milk will cause hospitals to stockpile it, forcing them to use more energy to keep it refrigerated. Thus, more carbon will be spewed into the environment, causing more global warming.
Separate water fountains for breakfast foods is causing global warming. I brought this up to the Dean, and he gave me a blank look and told me to leave. I'm beginning to think that perhaps this is a conspiracy the doughnuts are using to destroy the world. Doughnuts are notoriously bad spellers, so it makes perfect sense.
Or maybe someone just forgot to hit the spacebar.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wow. Just... wow. I can honestly say I would never think a single pharmacist or pharmacy student, or anyone who's worked in a pharmacy would ever, ever, think that. These are fighting words, and I'm never one to back down from a fight, especially when I'm drunk.
Our role as pharmacists is to make sure the patient is getting the best care possible. We provide a service that takes at least 6 years of schooling to be able to do, and we are considered doctors when we are done. It is our responsibility to know everything about every drug. It is our responsibility to not give a patient a drug that will harm them. I asked him if he would give a patient Imdur and Viagra because "the patient wanted to take both, and he's just the middle man." Of course, he failed his Top 200 test so I had to tell him that Imdur was isosorbide mononitrate. I then had to tell him that taking Viagra and nitrates is a BAD IDEA. I wonder if his total lack of knowledge towards drugs is why he thinks pharmacists are middle men.
We are NOT middle men. We are professionals. We have the knowledge to help people, we have the knowledge to kill people.
He somehow related his entire argument to the Bible, and Jesus. Once religion popped up I stopped listening to him entirely. Religion has no place in pharmacy. I don't dispense pills because Jesus loves me. I argued with him for an hour and a half and he threw away his entire argument when he mentioned Jesus.
Oh, and his wife is a recovering drug addict. I can't figure out exactly how ironic it is that he thinks he should dispense anything the patient wants when he's seen what drugs can do to a person. I'm going with "groin-grabbingly ironic."
Monday, September 21, 2009
Lopid = gemfibrozil "I put some gem fibers on my low moped."
Altace = ramipril "You've got to ram that alt button when you're typing."
Diovan = valsartan "Val died in a van."
Depakote = divalproex sodium "Pro divers can dive deep with coats on."
Nasonex = mometasone "I want to meet Antonio Bendares' mom." Yeah, that one's a stretch.
Accupril = quinapril "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, was accurate."
Lotensin = benazepril "Benzene groups have a low solubility in water, and water has a high surface tension." Yeah.
Novolog = aspart insulin "The Spartans went out like a Supernova in 300."
Xanax = alprazolam "Alprazolam kind of sounds like palindrome (no, it doesn't), which is what the word Xanax is."
Nasacort AQ = triamcinolone "I tried to court sin alone."
Dilantin = phenytoin "It would be funny to die lying in tin."
I have more, but I think you get the picture.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The difference between the 20-something sexes is their definition of "hanging out." Have any of you noticed that girls think guys want to hang out with them to just hang out? They honestly think we hang out with them because we enjoy their company. False. Guys my age do not, I repeat, do not, hang out just to hang out. We want something, and 99% of the time, that something is sex, or a good BJ, we're not too picky. Hell, a PB & J + HJ is usually enough. I have told this to a few girls recently and they just would not believe me. I tried to explain to them that, yes, if a guy wants to just "hang out," that means he wants to seduce you. There are a few exceptions to this, which I will get to.
These "young women" see things differently. If they don't find the male in question attractive, they assume that he doesn't find her attractive. Unless the "young woman" knows she's a bombshell, then she'll just assume everyone wants her. That's a given. But for some reason, most of these girls think that guys are just nice and caring people that don't want to explore the areas under their undergarments. This makes for some confusing and quite awkward moments when the guy goes for it and gets immediately rejected with a "What the fuck?!"
So let's just set the record straight here, and I'm going to be talking to the ladies out there from now on. When guys ask you to hang out, or to come over to his party, that means he's interested in you. The only exceptions are:
-He wants you to get with his friend, who is too cowardly to ask you himself.
-He wants to get with your friend, who he knows you'll bring along.
-He 's your relative (this exception is void in the south).
-You're his friend's girlfriend.
If you say yes and go to this guy's party, he thinks you like him. Period. That's how our brains work. It's not our fault. Now that the guy thinks you like him, this is where it gets messy, and sometimes sticky... (usually not...)
He will then ask you out on an honest-to-goodness date. This will be somewhat difficult for him, if he actually likes you. "What's the worst that could happen?" you ask, "A simple 'No,' and it's over."
Yeah, this is true, but it still fucking sucks. But wait, it's not over.
Now here comes the messy part, the part girls start to complain about. The guy won't give up. He will keep asking you out on dates. The terms "creeper," and "stalker," will be thrown around. For some awful, terrible reason, the guy will think you actually were busy that night, that you had to stay home with your sick dog, or go out with the girls, or even wash your hair. Because honestly, we know Friday nights are prime hair-washing nights.
Guys, I'm talking to you now. If you ask a girl on a date and she says "No," but doesn't say, "but maybe some other time, like this (specific day)?" It means she does not, I repeat, does not, want to date you. Tough luck dude, move on.
Guys don't understand that. A "No," is just a speed-bump. He'll keep building up the courage to ask the girl out and keep getting hit with the "No," for eternity, or until he finds someone better-looking than the girl in question. It's science. It's Darwinism.
The problem is with the perception of "hanging out." Guys refuse to believe girls don't want to fuck them. Girls refuse to believe that guys want to fuck them. This is a nation where most prescribed medications are for depression and pain. Coincidence?
Saturday, September 12, 2009
This week we filled 3 prescriptions for a fake patient, one was for pills, one was eye drops, and one was a compound that we had to compound. We then pretended one of our classmates was that imaginary patient, and counseled them. This is always interesting because it's painfully obvious who has counseled before and who hasn't. It's hilarious when the book smart quiet girl who's never even seen a pharmacy has to counsel me. Watching her stutter and stammer her way through OBRA while avoiding eye contact is entertaining. It then gets frustrating and scary when I realize this person will actually be a pharmacist someday. *shudder*
I've been doing a lot of counseling lately, but like every pharmacist I know, I don't follow OBRA. OBRA can sometimes seem so redundant that you literally watch the patient's eyes glaze over as they stop paying attention. We're supposed to introduce ourselves, give them the name of the drug, the dosage, and a million of other things. I think we have to offer to give them our 1st born son somewhere in there too. It's in the fine print.
When the instructor came over to listen to us counsel each other, I didn't introduce myself or tell them the strength of the eye drop that I was counseling on. Whoops. The instructor seemed impressed with my interacting skills, as she said "Well I can tell you've worked in retail, and I'm sure you've counseled before, but remember you have to introduce yourself and give the strength, which would be 5% for this one."
I gave her a look that must have told her my feelings on the subject, which are "Really? I mean, like, I know... But Really?"
She responded to by saying, "I know, but it's the law, and we have to teach you do things correctly." I was sympathetic. She just wants to teach, and she's a good teacher. I won't forget to introduce myself ever again.
Monday, September 7, 2009
My cousin asked me an interesting question as we were watching a town hall meeting where the senator was actually yelling at an average Joe in the audience for not following protocol and yelling obscenities. It was awesome. My cousin asked me what this health care reform was going to do to my job outlook. I told him absolutely nothing, people will always need their drugs, that will never change. He then asked me about my pay, if my salary would go down because of this reform.
Now that's an interesting question. I really didn't know what to say. I told him I would think about it and get back to him. I've done a little thinking, and I can honestly say that I think it won't affect our salaries one way or the other. The way I see it, it doesn't matter where the pharmacy's income comes from, that income is going to remain the same, or go up. I say go up because I've never had to call the Medicare or Medicaid office because they weren't paying enough on a claim. I've had to do that with private insurance claims. Erythromycin Ophthalmic ointment is the latest and greatest of these bang-my-head-against-the-wall calls. The price of the ointment went from $1.06 to $16.78 in the space of about 2 weeks, and Medicaid made it's adjustments, while not a single private insurance company did. They all seemed ignorant to the drug shortage, but I'm sure they'll know the minute the price goes down, and we'll be forced to unload the $16.78 ointment off our shelves at a loss.
Perhaps this is faulty reasoning. I will not even pretend to have a more than a basic knowledge of how insurance companies work and the various contracts they have with pharmacies and drug companies. If there's anyone out there who wants to shed some more light on the subject of reform and the possible effects it will have on pharmacist's salaries, I would like to hear all about it. Intelligent answers only, please.
Friday, September 4, 2009
The best part of school is going into lab and learning how to do things we'll actually be doing when we're honest-to-goodness pharmacists, and that's pretty cool. I particularly like the labs that teach me something new that I've never experienced before, like IV bags. Coming from retail, I didn't have a clue how to mix IV bags until we had that lesson in lab. That was a fun day.
However, when we do important, yet boring retail shit like filling prescriptions in lab for a "refresher" is when I want to just excuse myself from class. The worst is when they teach us to do things incorrectly, or tell us information that just doesn't happen in the real world. They showed us how to fill amoxicillin 250/5 for a non-existent pediatric. The directions were 1TSP PO BID 10D (for acute otitis media). My teacher told us that the doctor should include what the drug is being used for specifically on the prescription. I actually laughed out loud. Doctors write what the drug is for on maybe, maybe, 2% of prescriptions, and my teacher refused to believe that. I wanted to ask her exactly where she obtained the knowledge that doctors write what's wrong with their patients on every script, but I'm sure that would just have embarrassed her more than she already was. Turns out I can be a nice person occasionally. Weird.
She also didn't understand insurance. My friend screwed up the days supply on one of his scripts and I jokingly said "Don't forget to reverse that through insurance, we don't want to get audited." She asked me what I meant. I found it unsettling that the person who was supposed to be teaching us how to work in retail didn't have a clue what the legal ramifications would be if a pharmacist sent the wrong days supply to insurance companies. I believe it's called fraud. She understood that the days supply needed to be correct, but didn't understand that had my friend actually sent that to insurance, he would've had to delete the script, reverse the claim, and re-bill it with the correct days supply. I did my best to explain it, but it was really really hard to do it without making fun of her, so I felt it best to just give up on it. Once again, I took the high road. It made me feel uncomfortable to be so nice, so I kicked the nearest helpless animal I saw when I left lab. It was a squirrel; I offered the little guy an acorn then punted his ass across the lawn. My day was better after that.*
One more thing I hate about Pharm Lab: Our work stations are desks. We have desks where we sit down, enter the scripts, and then count them out. Sitting down. We have to wear dress pants, dress shirt, dress shoes, and a tie to look professional and yet they let us sit down. Nay, practically force us to sit down. I just can't do it. I've worked in retail way too long to be able to sit down and comfortably count by fives. It just doesn't feel right, the counting tray is too high when I'm sitting down, so I end up on my feet hunched over a Protonix tray, not minding the uncomfortable feeling in my upper back because I'm used to it. I welcome the familiar feeling, even though it's much more extreme at lab than when I'm at work. I bet there's a two foot difference, but that feeling is still more comfortable than sitting down. Strange, huh? I'm going to make for a nice little Nazi for some corpo-pharmacy chain someday.
*Relax, the whole squirrel kicking thing didn't happen.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Picture this: It's 78 degrees, Ben Stein has been saying "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller, Ionic bond, Bueller..." etc. for the past 30 minutes, and you've been sitting in the same chair for 90 minutes. Sleepy yet?
I can't believe they expect us to learn like this. I was too busy focusing all my concentration on keeping my eyelids open rather than on my professor that I can't even recall what the hell the third lecture was about. I don't even know what class it was. I think it was pharmacuetics, but I could be wrong.
I'm going to have to start drinking coffee or something, because this is ridiculous.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
First off, they have a special insert about brand name drugs about to go generic, and whoever wrote it seemed to have a very limited vocabulary, plus no access to a thesaurus, or an internet connection (yes, the internet can be used for more than blogging and porn, who knew?). Seriously, the word "blockbuster" was used about 10-15 times. Now, I know some drugs are very popular, and occasionally our line of customers extends out our door, but in no way, shape, or form has a single drug ever caused a line to go around the block, which is quite literally what the word means. A lesson to you young ones out there: "blockbuster" was first coined to describe movies that were so popular that people would line up around the block just to see it. Think Harry Potter. Now it's used to describe anything popular. That's fine, but do you have to use it 12 times in one 4-page article?
Second off, they say that Imitrex is about to lose its patent and that GSK is working on approval for it's spin-off drug Trexima. As you know, there are three things wrong with that. Imitrex has already lost it's patent, and the spin-off drug is Treximet, not Trexima. Yes, originally it was called Trexima, but it's currently August 2009, and it's now called Treximet, probably because it sounds less pussy. Oh, and Treximet is already on the market, so obviously it's been approved.
Third and final thing, in the article about how technology will free up pharmacists to focus on MTM and counseling and blah blah blah, they show a pharmacist using a Parata machine that Parata doesn't even make anymore. My pharmacy has this robot, and there's a reason Parata discontinued making it. We get vial cap feed errors constantly, and it's filling error percentage is sometimes alarmingly high. Parata has other machines that are much newer and better than the one Drug Topics depicts in it's prestigious magazine, but apparently DT couldn't be bothered with locating pictures of one for their article about emerging technology.
Come on, Drug Topics, get your shit together.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
"Oh, that lab doesn't start until September 14th," the secretary told us.
Now I know it's really hard to communicate now-a-days. It's not like we've got a series of tubes that Al Gore invented that can share information with a click of a rodent. Wait a minute...
So, instead of sleeping in until noon like I normally would've, I got up relatively early just to come sit and do nothing.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Not to be a stickler, but why oh why do you manufacture BuPROPion 150mg SR with two different NDCs? Because of this, my robot will not let me add your drug into it until it runs out of that same drug with a different NDC. So as I wait for 3 or 4 more prescriptions of BuPROPion 150mg SR to come in, I stand and look at the other bottles of BuPROPion 150mg SR sitting on my shelf. They turn green with envy as I tell them I cannot dispense them until I have run out of the other NDC. It is obvious they do not like this.
Watson, why must you put this strain upon me and my drugs? I fear a civil war will break out amongst the BuPROPion 150mg SR species. I fear for the safety of my drugs as well as my coworkers. There could be much powder spilled. It does not need to be this way. You can stop this.
Please, please, for the sake of your children, make only one NDC. Many lives will be saved.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great article. I know a good persuasive article when I see one, and this is one. The only problem with the article is that it identifies a problem, but doesn't provide a solution. All across the country pharmacists who are taking a shit will be inspired to do something to change their working conditions because of this article, but they won't know what to do. In Speech 101 they teach you to convince your audience there is a problem, then show them how to help solve it in a simple way. He did not show us how to solve it.
Of course, anyone who reads his blog would know that he has already shown us what we can do. We can donate to Bill Monning, who seems to be the only person close to Washington to give a shit about pharmacists. This is the easiest, simplest, most convenient way to show we care about our profession.
I assume Drug Topics would not allow Drugmonkey to ask people to donate money to an Assemblymember in its magazine, which is why he didn't. Either that, or he couldn't fit a call to action in the one sheet of paper he had to make his argument. I choose to believe Drug Topics didn't want to get politcal.
Donate. You'll feel better about yourself, knowing that you helped others and yourself.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Recently my Mac crashed. It would turn on and show me a picture of a file with an exclamation mark next to it. I took it into The Computer Store (yes, it's an actual store), where they said they would look at it. As it turns out, my hard drive went to hell, or something. I asked the guy who worked on it why it crashed, was it something I did, or what? He had information that I wanted. His response, as he made a slight shrug, was "Apple got a bad batch."
"What do you mean?" I asked, "What happened? How did it fail?" I wanted to know what the fuck happened to my computer.
"It just failed," he told me.
I kept phrasing my question in different ways to see if I could get some sort of explanation out of him, and I got none. Now I'm pissed. I was already unhappy that my computer decided to commit suicide, but this guy didn't even explain what had happened. I just wanted to know exactly what had happened. I don't know the first thing about computers, but I wanted this guy to explain to me why I was paying $250 to him to give me my computer back with a new, blank hard drive. The most I got out of him was "It just failed."
The next day I see him come in to my pharmacy with a prescription for an antibiotic, and a big cut on his nose. I assumed some angry customer punched him in the face, because I know I wanted to do the same thing. I was running the cash register at the time and when we finished filling the prescription it was obvious that he did not know why he was taking the medication or even how to take it. I had information that he wanted. I saw the opportunity to repay the asshole who didn't give me the time of day the previous day, and I let it pass. Instead, I explained to him why he was taking the antibiotic, what it did, and how to take it. He stared at me, obviously grateful that I was giving him information about his medication and not unfolding the stapler and whacking a few staples in his face, which is what I wanted to do.
I showed him what it was like to give people the information they want. I gave him good customer service. I would like to think that he started treating his customers better, but since I'll never go back to that store again, except to possibly staple his face, I won't ever find out.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
It was a day that I wish HIPPA would go fuck itself so I could stop a nice person from being taken advantage of. It was also a day I wish I had a license to kill. I don't remember the last time I've felt such hatred towards anyone. Well, actually I do, but that story is irrelevant.
We got a prescription for Oxycodone for a patient that is a well-known addict. This guy is on all the lists; everyone is watching him. We called the doctor to let him know. He knew, but still prescribed it. There isn't anything else we can do, so we fill it.
After filling it, the patient calls in to ask if it's finished. We tell him it's finished, and ready for him to pick up. Ok, good, he says. Oh, and I was wondering if I could get a copy of the prescription?
Well, yes, we say, but we're going to have to write VOID or COPY on it.
Oh, really? So it won't look exactly the same?
No, we cannot give you an identical copy of the presciption. That would be illegal.
Oh, well how much is it then?
$62.79 (or something like that).
Now, this is where I start having a problem with this guy. He got his prescription. He convinced his doctor to give it to him. If he wants to roll on Oxycodone every day without hurting anyone that's his own business. But the fact that he wanted a copy of the prescription tells me that he isn't necessarily using it. He's probably selling it. Maybe he isn't, maybe he just wants to use more, but that's not what I think. It gets worse.
We get another phone call. This one is from a church. They were wondering if a certain patient has a prescription with us, and also if they could pay for it. It just so happens to be our Oxy patient. We tell them that yes, we do have a prescription for him, but it's pretty expensive, around $60.
"Oh, the price doesn't matter, we just want to help him."
Now that is a direct quote from the person on the phone. I'm sure he just told them that he really needed his medication but couldn't afford it. All I wanted to do was tell them not to do this, that this man was taking advantage of their kindness in the worst possible way. I wanted to throw HIPPA out the window and explain the situation, but I couldn't.
I felt dirty as some nice, kind, caring lady came in to my pharmacy and paid for this man's "needed" medication. Notice that I said a lady paid. The church didn't pay. The lady wrote a personal check for this guy's Oxycodone. She unknowingly fueled his addiction, all because she wanted to help someone, and there was nothing I could do. That didn't stop me from feeling dirty.
When the man came in to get his prescription. I walked to the back. I couldn't give him the prescription. I asked the pharmacist to do it. I stood in the back of the store while the anger inside me welled up past critical mass for the second time in my life as I watched the man smile as he received his monkey for free. I wanted hurt him. I wanted him to feel the pain he says he has. But in the end, he won't. He took advantage of the kindness of others.
And there was nothing I could do.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
"You've pissed me off now."
"I need my hydrochlorine refilled."
"Are you the druggist? You don't sound like him. (Spoken to a female pharmacist.)"
"I have ammonia." (Perhaps pneumonia?)
"I was really sad when I had to give up square dancing. I don't know which I miss the most - the square dancing or the sex."
"I think my prescription has perspired."
"I suppose this bladder infection has something to do with the terrorism."
"You mean I have to pay for the medicine?"
"What's the best pain reliever for my poop?"
Patient #1: "What's the best thing to give me the runs?"
Patient #2: "Chinese Food."
"I'll just go somewhere else, then, YOU BITCHES!"
"So, how old is your Peter?" (This is why you don't name your son Peter. Or Dick for that matter.)
"I've never had blood pressure before!"
"The doctor didn't know her ass from her butt."
And my personal favorite, spoken by a noticeably pregnant lady:
"My throat is dry. I suppose I'm coughing because the baby is breathing all the air."
Monday, July 27, 2009
The best part about this product is the overdose information.
Oral ingestion of 100 mg oxybutynin chloride in association with alcohol
has been reported in a 13-year-old boy who experienced memory loss, and in a
34-year-old woman who developed stupor, followed by disorientation and
agitation on awakening, dilated pupils, dry skin, cardiac arrhythmia, and
retention of urine.
Holy fuck! 13 years old and popping 10 pills (I'm assuming he took the 10mg pills, or maybe 20 of the 5mg ones) that say "oxy" on the bottle and then drinking alcohol. Suicide attempt, anyone? Fuck, I know I hated Jr. High, it wouldn't surprise me. I love how he "experienced memory loss." Sounds like my Saturday nights...
My all-time favorite line in all the literature is the fact that overdosing on oxybutynin caused "retention of urine." Uh, well... Duh.
Which brings me to this joke.
A man walks into a pharmacy, points a gun at the pharmacist and demands all the Oxy's. The robber sees the oxybutynin and demands those too. He's caught 3 days later when he walks into the emergency room and yells out "I CAN'T PISS OR SHIT!"
Thursday, July 23, 2009
So I ask her her name, she tells it to me. I can't find her in the computer system, so I ask her if she's filled here before. "No," is the answer I get. I ask her what pharmacy she normally goes to, and she tells me it's one down the road. Then she goes on and explains she tried to talk to her doctor blah blah blah, but the best part was this quote right here.
"Well I tried to get them filled at that pharmacy but they told me the refill was too soon."
I just stared at her, speechless.
I finally sputtered, "Well, it doesn't matter what pharmacy you filled them at, your insurance company is going to tell all of us that the refills are too soon, so you'll have to pay cash." I almost felt bad, because the only controlled substance on her list was Tramadol, so she obviously wasn't a seeker. Then I saw it, she had Seroquel on the list. A 90 day supply. Then I felt bad. That is one expensive mistake. Whoops.
She then asked me if she could get them cheaper here or at the other pharmacy. I told her there was no way I could know that, seeing that I don't know their prices. I then told her she would probably get the best deal at Wal*Mart. I then threw up a little in my mouth, said I was sorry, and she left. This was 10 minutes after we were supposed to close. The pharmacist was nowhere to be found. She let me handle this. So much for "Let me get a pharmacist for you," huh?
Now here is a lesson in responsibility. Take care of your medications. They are expensive. Don't drop them to the bottom of the lake.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Have you consumed any alcohol in the past 30 days?
Yes Only a little... 2 cases in 3 days is a little, right?
And when you drank, how many drinks did you have?
Oh, somewhere between 14-18, I don't know exactly. 5. Oh shit, 5 is still considered binge drinking.
Ok, do you ever feel the need to drink first thing in the morning?
No Only during Moondance...
Has anyone told you about something you've said or done while drinking that you don't remember?
No Hell yes! Like that time I punched a Canadian in the ribs... Whoops.
Have you ever done something while drinking that you wouldn't normally do?
No Um, duh! Like dancing? I'm totally awesome at dancing when I drink. At least, I think so...
Has your performance in school or work ever been affected by your alcohol consumption?
No Whew, that one's actually true.
Have you ever woken up regretting your alcohol use?
No Oh hell no! Well, maybe that one time I drank Keystone Ice. Biggest headache EVER!
Have you ever felt depressed or "down?" (she actually made the air quote move)
No Only when I have to deal with customers.
So I'm not an alcoholic. Hah! By the way, Moondance is awesome, I totally recommend it. We get drunk before the early concerts, sober up during those, and let the big names rock our socks off. Then we get drunk again next to the fire, and then pass out in the tent. We do it all over again the next day. Awesome.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I thought that was it. I was wrong. An hour after I arrived a very feminine-looking man came in with his head shaved and bangs longer than hers. He also had a chin-strap beard and mustache. I decided the reason he still looked quite womanly was due to the extremely thin plucked eyebrows. I just stared at him.
Then I saw his son. Mohawk-mullet. I shit you not. The kid had a mullet and a mohawk. I stared once more.
I don't know what it is about summer that make people make such bad decisions, but I hope I'm never that "creative."
I got poison ivy on my arm recently. I've never had poison ivy, so I scratched the shit out of it right away, and now it covers a relatively large portion of my arm. Instead of using calamine lotion or hydrocortisone, I just grabbed a "Poison" sticker from our collection of stickers and prescription taped it all up. This didn't help with the itchiness, but it made for some fun conversations at the register.
I'm starting to work a lot more 8 hour shifts as people take their vacations, and I noticed that we never sell any condoms, but we sure run out of them. So, I decided to have a little experiment. I put "For Anal Use ONLY" stickers on 1/3 of the condoms, "For Vaginal Use ONLY" on 1/3 of them, and "For External Use ONLY" on the remainder. We'll see if we've got more anal, vaginal, or masturbating patients who steal in a few days.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Patient calls the pharmacy.
"PDS pharmacy, this is PDS."
"Hi, my doctor was supposed to email a prescription to you, did you get it?"
"Well, first off, what's your last name?" I hold back a snigger at the "email" comment.
"Well it was for Vicodin, did you get it?"
"Well, we get a lot of scripts for Vicodin, what's your name?"
"The doctor was Dr. Johnson from the pain clinic."
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! JUST TELL ME YOUR FUCKING NAME!!!!! I didn't scream. "Ma'am, Dr. Johnson sends us a lot of prescriptions for Vicodin, because he works in the pain clinic, now what is your name again?"
Two siblings, same exact insurance, same exact prescription. Different copays. What the fuck? The copays were off by 14 cents. What's the deal here Humana?
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
1. If you haven't already, get an apartment.
Don't do what I did and live in the dorms again. You have friends, you don't need to make new ones that'll just mooch off "your" lab reports and old tests. Get an apartment, pay the bills, and live a life independent of parents, hall directors, and RAs. Yeah, it kinda sucks having to make your own food, but that's what grilled cheese, pasta, and frozen pizzas are for.
2. Stop drinking every night.
Now that you're in classes that will actually teach you something worthwhile, you can't be hungover during them. Pay attention in Human A&P, well, not necessarily to the Anatomy part, but definitely the Physiology part, your brain will thank you for years to come. Drinking is now a weekend activity. Make up for the lost drinking during the week by consuming gargantuan amounts during the weekend. Some of my best stories are from wandering through my city, trying to find campus or a friend's apartment.
3. Sleep Through O. Chem I.
Actually, I don't recommend this, but honestly, this class sucks balls. I went to every class and slept through almost every class. It was so hard to stay awake just to hear my Asian professor ramble on about alkenes and alkynes and alkanes, all of them sounding the same coming from her mouth. The class isn't as hard as they make it sound, but it isn't easy. To top it all off, 90% of the information you learn will never be used again. You will know that dex and lev mean that the certain isomers rotate light positively and negatively, respectfully, but you won't give a shit. Well, that is until you learn that certain drugs contain both isomers, and the new, improved (read: original drug's patent is running out, quick, make a new one) drug has only one isomer, because the other isomer causes "side effects." Plus, who gives a fuck what DIBAL does to a double bond? (Hint: it makes an epoxide, another useless piece of information in my brain) I got a B in O. Chem I and called it good.
4. Get a job in a pharmacy.
Actually, I recommend getting one your first year if you can, but I waited until my second year. You will be able to counsel patients as soon as you apply for your student license, and it's nice to actually know something about drugs when you do that, so learn up on those easy drugs (antibiotics, pain meds) before you're allowed to counsel.
5. Take as many pharmacy school classes you can.
I finished all my microbiology and English requirements to graduate from pharmacy school before I was even in pharmacy school. It's comforting to know that you only have to take 16 credits a semester instead of the 20 the rest of your friends are taking. Then you can make fun of them when they're doing work you did 2 years before.
6. Find a hot pharmacy chick and date her.
And for fuck's sake, hold on to her. Ever notice that every good-looking P4 has a huge rock on their finger? Yeah, it's because hot, smart, successful women are damn hard to come by, and most guys are at least smart enough to realize that. I didn't have any luck with this, I still don't have a girlfriend, and guess what? Almost every single girl in my class is taken, and some are even engaged. Get them before they're in pharmacy school.
7. Apply to pharmacy school.
Yeah, I know this seems like a no-brainer, but out of the 80 or so kids that lived on the pharmacy floors I believe 10 applied and 8 got in. Hmm... so that one comment from Anonymous was pretty on track when "she" (I'm looking at you, Pharmgirl ;) ) told me I was giving out inappropriate advice, and that my advice would only work for 10% of the population. I guess I owe "her" an apology. Haha, sorry, but I'm just assuming Pharmgirl posted that; what is interesting though, if you'll look at my advice on the PCAT, and her advice on the NAPLEX, you'll realize they are quite similar. In fact, I'll link you to her advice here. Now look at the dates of my post compared to hers... Hmm... Haha I'm just fucking with you Pharmgirl, I like you.
8. No, seriously, apply to pharmacy school.
Because out of the 500 kids who started out in pharmacy your freshman year, only 100 of those kids have made it this far, and about 10 of them won't apply because they think their scores aren't good enough. SoOoOoO, you've got a pretty good chance of getting in, even with unremarkable scores. I just learned today that two of my friends got in with PCATs in the 50s.... I mean, wow. So for fuck's sake, APPLY!!!!
9. During the interview, avoid common subjects.
Don't talk about the donut hole, that is the most generic conversation ever. They won't remember you. Instead, talk about how evil drug companies are. I can honestly say that the Drugmonkey helped me get into pharmacy school. I didn't talk about the Part D plan or the North Dakota ownership law (which I know was a popular subject during the interviews this year). Talk about the isomer thing I mentioned before, or the fact that PBMs have a different MAC list for different pharmacies, or that drug companies will add two drugs together and call it a new drug, and charge insanely high prices for it. I'm looking at you, Treximet.
10. Once you get your acceptance letter, coast through the year.
Give your brain a rest. Hopefully you've accumulated enough points where you don't need to get an A on every test to maintain an A in the class. Just get your work done, learn a thing or two, and just be happy you got in. You may regret getting in when you look at your schedule for the next 3 years, but don't let that bother you now. Stop stressing, be happy, have fun, and live life.
Monday, June 29, 2009
-Doctor calls the pharmacy
"PDS Pharmacy, this is PDS."
"Hi did you get those scripts I faxed down for vicodin and Levaquin?"
"Well, what was the patient's name?"
"Yeah, I have them right here."
"Ok, well should I give Joe the hard copy?"
"Well, only if you want him to have 2 copies, but considering you're giving him vicodin, I bet you don't want that," I say in a slighty smart-ass tone.
It's at this point that I realize the doctor is either A) retarded B) drunk or C) retardedly drunk.
"Well since I have the prescription already you wouldn't want to give another script to him, because then he could get twice the amount that you prescribe for."
"OH, well what if he doesn't want to fill it at your pharmacy?"
"Well, we don't have to fill it, he could come pick it up from us, or you could tell us to destroy this copy and give him the hard copy, but why did you fax us if he didn't want to fill it here?"
"Well, he does, I just don't really understand this whole process."
Wow, you have got to be kidding me. I honestly never thought I'd have to deal with a doctor that didn't know how the prescription process worked. I mean, was there a class this "doctor" missed? I would never say that with my as yet unfinished schooling that I was smarter than a doctor, but...
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Anywho, here are some tips on doing better on the PCAT!
Oh shit! Remember all that information you didn't learn freshman year? Turns out you're getting tested on it. Whoops.
1. Get the Kaplan book.
It's like $26, and has all the information that you forgot 10 minutes after they tested you on it in school. In fact, I would recommend buying the Kaplan book instead of your university chem or bio books (Actually, buying a Gen Chem book was the biggest waste of my money ever, I returned it still in the shrink wrap). Don't worry about reading all of it, just make sure you're up on your basic algebra and plant biology, they seem to love asking questions about plant biology.
2. Learn how to name compounds.
Yeah, I know you haven't taken O. Chem yet, but trust me, knowing how to name compounds will skyrocket your Chem score.
3. Take the practice test.
Yeah, it fucking sucks, but take the practice test, and time yourself. Make sure you know how fast you need to answer the questions. Try to finish each test with at least 5 minutes to spare, this will come in handy later.
4. Do not go to bed early.
Go to bed when you normally do, you will be groggy and out of it if you get too much sleep. Drink a few (3 max) beers in the hour before you go to bed, since you've built up a tolerance it's not going to even produce a buzz, but it will calm your nerves. Once again, no Everclear. I recommend doing this instead of taking a sleeping pill because alcohol doesn't stay in your system as long, and you'll get more normal sleep cycles.
5. Eat oatmeal.
Or something similar. Something with a lot of calories and volume. You'll need the calories for this test, and you don't want to be distracted by a growling stomach.
6. Arrive almost late.
There's nothing worse than sitting and waiting and waiting and waiting for it to be time to start. Plus, somebody will come late, forcing the test to be delayed anyway.
7. Try to distract others.
Remember, the PCAT is percentile, so the worse other's do, the better you do. Plus, most of the people taking the PCAT in your room will be applying to the same schools as you. I can spin pens and pencils around my thumb. This mesmerizes people, they stare at it like they're in a trance. If you can't master the pen spin, anything that makes a small amount of noise will do, but you may be asked to stop by a moderator.
8. Finish at least 5 minutes early.
This way, you can either look over your answers (I don't recommend this), or, use this time to start the next test. NO, don't turn the page dumbass, instead, flatten the book out so you can see through the paper to the next page and figure out the answers to those, and if you can read backwards you can do the other side too. This is not cheating. It's strategy, plus the chem test is fucking hard, you need extra time.
9. Don't worry about the essays.
They just grade those by having a drunk chimpanzee whack a keyboard anyway. A standard 5 paragraph 8th grade essay will suffice.
10. Don't worry about it!
Everyone takes it, but it really doesn't have a huge effect on your admission to pharmacy school. Two of my friends got into pharm school with PCATs in the 60s. My school was super-secretive about the admissions process, but I found out through someone in the know that most of the emphasis is put on your GPA, and a "good" GPA is considered 3.6. This is just a "good" GPA, an "acceptable" GPA is a 3.2. After the GPA, the interview is the next biggie, then the PCAT, then the ethics test. How did I pass an ethics test you ask? I don't have a fucking clue.
So that's what I did to take the PCAT. I fucking bombed the chemistry section the first time, but all my other scores were pretty good. Do not take the August test, wait until October to take it again. Your score will just be lower in August than it was in June because you forgot everything from freshman year. I fucking bombed the chemistry section again in October, I actually got the same score, but my other scores were much better than before, and my cumulative ended up 5 points higher my second time. Go out and celebrate with the rest of your little pharmacy friends afterward. Try to finish off half your 1.75 of plastic-bottle vodka. Find out you can actually drink more than half before you puke your guts out and come to the realization that you really can't. Now go draw on your friend's face. Ah, good times.
Monday, June 22, 2009
1. Live in the dorms.
For fuck's sake, live in the dorms. If the college has a pharmacy floor, live there. Yeah, there will be a couple "nerds" that will think that the pharmacy floor is a place to be quiet and study all day. This is wrong. Our pharmacy floor was notorious on campus. We had more write-ups than any other floor on campus. Coincidentally, none of those write-ups came from our RA, they were always from RAs from a different floor, because pharmacy kids stick together.
2. Get out of your room.
Your room is for sleeping and masturbating. Get out there and meet people, they will come in handy for some of the later steps. If you don't, the people that do go out to the lounge will make fun of you and laugh when they do better than you on the tests.
3. Stop studying.
The test isn't for 2 weeks, why the hell are you even opening the book? In fact, why did you even buy that chemistry book? You wasted $180. Go out in the lounge and talk to people. Shoot the shit, this is your freshman year, the friendships you make now will last for at least the next 5 years. Studying is for the night before the test. Yeah, the test covers 7 chapters, but who cares? All information from freshman year is irrelevant, you will not need to know Boyle's law after this test. Learn it for 8 hours, then toss that information, your brain is put to better use memorizing the house rules for beer pong at different houses around campus.
There's a reason they let you use graphing calculators, use them in any way possible. This way, learning Boyle's law for even 8 hours is optional. In the real world, looking up stuff is not only accepted, it's expected. Writing lab reports is for the people who took that lab last semester, not you. Remember those people you met in the dorms? One of them has all their lab reports from the lab you're in now on their computer. Delete their name and date and slap yours on there. Saves 4 hours. Now go shoot some shit.
5. Drink. A lot.
Use your network of friends to find a buyer, and find out what's the cheapest beer and vodka and stock up. Anything that comes in a 30 pack and a plastic 1.75 liter bottle will suffice. Learn to love the burning of cheap vodka as it flows down your underage throat, you'll appreciate the good stuff more later in life. Avoid Everclear, you may feel like a total badass drinking it, but you'll forget that it's over twice as strong as that vodka you love so much and start thinking that taking shots is a good idea. It is not. I cannot even count how many times Everclear has blacked me out waaaaaaaaaay before I wanted to.
6. Get caught drinking. By the cops. On campus.
You'll never have a better story than the one where you ran from the cops in a drunken panic, only to realize you're right next to your dorm and you're essentially fucked. When this happens, throw your hands in the air, drop your backpack, and calmly apologize to the officer for running. Then after you've blown your .24 and been issued your ticket, go up to your room and crack another beer that you've stocked up on. The fact that you can function at that BAC is worth the celebration, it's a damn good thing you've followed step #5.
7. Tell the judge you puked. A lot.
Who gives a fuck if you didn't? He doesn't know that. He will empathize with you, and reduce your sentence, then laugh when your friend gets a minor the next week after blowing a .03 and gets the full sentence.
8. Stop going to class.
It's early, it's cold, it's a half-mile away. Get some sleep. Seriously, who gives a fuck about Punnett Squares? Not you, not anyone. Those notes are posted on the internet anyway.
9. Get an apartment.
This is something I didn't do until halfway through my sophomore year, and I regret not doing it sooner. Living at home during the summer sucks, and cuts into what should be drinking time. You have friends in your college town, stay with them.
10. Laugh when you make the Dean's List.
Laugh your ass off at the kids who stayed in their rooms and didn't make the Dean's List. They won't ask you how you made the Dean's List, but tell them anyway. Explain to them that they need to relax and blow off steam more often. They will deny that that is their problem. Do not let them weasel out of it, make sure they know that the human brain is not capable of learning all the time. Being drunk at the time is optional.
So this pretty much sums up my freshman year. Ah, the memories.
Ok people, this is obviously not the best way to get into pharm school. I'm just telling you all how my freshman year was. I obviously went to most classes, with the exception of chemistry and biology. The thing is, if you think your freshman year of college is really difficult, and you feel the need to study all the time, then you will not make it. You will not be able to survive pharmacy school. Yeah, calculus sucks balls, but that should be the only class you have much difficulty with. This is your freshman year, the rules change for sophomore year, which I will get to soon.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
If the teacher hadn't moved out, his class would've been cake. Yeah, he writes new tests every year, but after looking over 10 years worth of tests I can get to know what kind of questions he asks and what kind of answers he's looking for. It's like the second time I took that PCAT; I knew what the Reading questions would be just by reading the article. It makes the test extremely easy and quick to do. Now I'm not only going to have to learn the material, I'm actually going to have to try.
Don't get me wrong, I do want to learn, I love learning. I just don't want to bust my balls doing it.
I fully expect most of you to be playing the world's smallest violin for my little sob story. Feel free to tell me to stop bitching. I really have nothing to complain about...