What Would You Do? – March 29, 2016

Scenario: You are an intern at a major retail chain pharmacy. It’s been a busy day, a patient comes into the pharmacy to receive a Hepatitis B vaccine an hour before the pharmacy closes. You checked and made sure that the vaccine is in stock. Before you returned to the customer, the pharmacist pulled you aside and told you to tell the customer that hepatitis B vaccines cannot be administered at the pharmacy. This way both of you will be able to finish work on time.

If you were in this situation, “What would YOU do?”

Answer: The pharmacist reserve the right to decide whether or not to dispense a medication. It is however unprofessional to lie to the customer by telling him the vaccine cannot be administered in the pharmacy; especially when you don’t know whether the customer is familiar with the pharmacy regulation and laws. Remember, the customer also has the right to report untruthful behavior to the corporate management and there will be consequences to your words.

Take Away: Always be truthful to your patient. Offer sincere apologies and let the patient know that you are experiencing heavy workload and it can be a while before the pharmacist will be available to administer the vaccine. Ask the patient whether he can come back the day after, complete the patient’s registration so that the process is smoother when he comes back for the shot.