Please provide a brief overview of your product/service.
Like any other pharmacist, I also provide medicine and other health-related information to the patients such as treatments for common complaints such as colds and minor illnesses. Being in this industry for several years has made me well-versed with the mindset of the patients and I try my best to help them understand the benefits of their medication and how they must use it. Some patients are easy to handle while there are many who need more motivation than others and so, I give them examples to understand better.
I have a team of staff/pharmacy technicians working with me. As someone they follow, I try to set an example with everything they do because a patient’s health is the most important thing for me and I want my technicians to have the same kind of mindset to serve better.
Why did you choose a career as a pharmacist?
I would say that I was lucky that I chose to become a pharmacist. From a very young age, I was interested in math and science. I always wanted to know how the medication works and how pharmaceutical research is conducted. Apart from this, I once visited a pharmacy and got really impressed with the way the pharmacist was helping patients in choosing the best medications. The scene had a great impact on my mind and I thought to myself if there is any other profession that helps and motivates people this much and so, got into it.
What is the biggest challenge the pharmacy community is facing?
The biggest challenge that I would like to mention is that we are still not able to accurately match patients to their previous medical records. It has hindered the quality, cost, and safety of the medication. I wish there was a universal patient identifier that contains all the information about the patient so that accurate exchange of prescription data and other critical health data.
Have you previously worked in a high-volume pharmacy?
Yes, I have, and trust me; it was so hectic every day for me that I had to skip my meals several times. But yes, I would also like to mention that working there made me learn the most important lessons of my career. I got in touch with the patients with different medical histories and that made me realize that there is no limit to learning and there is a lot more that I am yet to learn.
Describe the biggest challenge you’ve faced on the job.
I feel honored to be a pharmacist but I have to admit that working with people in different environments was the biggest challenge that I faced as it brought conflicts. I have handled patients who fought with me about what their doctor wrote and customers who were not happy waiting in line. But dealing with such things made me learn and get better at my professional. Now, you know what all I would have been through. Hahaha!!!
Describe a situation when you went out of your way to provide exceptional performance.
While I was working at a pharmacy in the past, there was an old man who used to come to our pharmacy to pick up his prescription alone. I was curious to know why he didn’t order the medication to avoid the stress of coming to the pharmacy. That’s when a fellow pharmacist told me that he didn’t have enough money for that. On asking the man from where he came every day, I got to know that he lived near my house and so, I decided to take the responsibility of his dropping off his medicines at the doorstep whenever he needed at no extra charge.
What is your best professional habit?
I would say that I understand others very well and so, I put their needs first. Whenever there is a conflict, I try to understand others before trying to make them understand me. When I am making a patient understand his medication, conflicts can come and it is nothing uncommon. But I try to keep myself calm and patient until I understand the patient’s concern because helping them is what I strived for when I chose to become a pharmacist.
What is your greatest weakness and strength?
I believe I am really good at communicating with the patients and make them understand all about their medications and treatments I can go through. Talking about my weakness, I lacked computer skills at the beginning of my career but now that I have learned them, I think I am a food pharmacist. Hahaha!!! Just hope others have the same thing to say about me. ☺
How do you educate patients in managing their medication?
For me, the patient’s education is a priority and I don’t compromise with it at all. I make sure that I ask every patient if they have any questions or want some help with their prescription or not. On knowing about their queries, I discuss what the medication is and what it can help with. The next thing I discuss is how it should be taken to cover things like its frequency and whether it should be taken before meals or after.
Then, I tell them if there are any side effects of the medication to ensure that they already know what is happening and can watch out for it. I found the approach really efficient and I try to share it with as many technicians who talk to me regarding my ways of management.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
I like to meditate and so, I keep going on treks to find peace in the lap of Mother Nature. I also like to be at home and spend time with my family because that’s the best therapy I need at the end of the day.