Types of Patients (see what I deal with?)

These are the people that make pharmacist drink heavily. Enjoy!

  • The Waiter: This person loves to sit there and ask you or the staff every 2 min if their Rx is ready yet. If their Rx is not immediately taken down from the ‘waiting’ basket area, they bitch and complain as to how long its going to take. They think that having you respond to a question every 2 min (and break your train of thought) will make their Rx magically be ready sooner than just shutting up and sitting down.
  • The Starer: This person sits there at the counter and stares at you. Makes you feel like you’re in a zoo, or have a booger hanging out of your nose. Upon looking up, you find this person intently staring as if he/she can see behind the counter at everything you are doing. Also feels that by staring at you it will make your Rx magically get filled faster. Whoops, wrong.
  • The Inconsiderate Mother: Usually around age 16 with 2 children already, this patient sits patiently as her kids tear your shelves to pieces. Upon being yelled at, she half-assed disciplines her children and then continues to do nothing as they proceed to tear your store apart. This patient is usually getting OTC shit filled from the ER because she enjoys wasting taxpayer dollars with ER visits for free OTC Tylenol and dimatapp DM.
  • The Accident Waiting to Happen or The Liability: See “The Inconsiderate Mother” but have the two children be twins, with a names that only differ by 1 letter. Thats right, they have the same birth date, but one has an M in their name when the other has an N. Of course she gets offended when you get her children mixed up, because everyone should be able to pronounce Latafishina and Latafishima correctly. The saving grace is a different middle name, but you know that it wont be that easy.
  • The Palendrome: Usually found with Asian names, is the first name the last? Or the last name the first? No comma, they don’t speak English to ask a birth date, and both exist in your computer! Guess? Sure! Its only their lives and your license! Oh, and if they do have a birth date, its almost always 6/15/xx.
  • The Crackhead: Almost always seen 2 min before closing (when all of the doctors offices are close) with an Rx for any/all of the following: Some hydrocodone product, valium, soma, codeine containing product. Their profile consists of any/all of these medications and nothing else for the past 20 years. If they are on-time to get their dope..er..prescriptions filled (from your store), your computer magically tells you via their insurance company that they got a month supply 2 days ago from some chain down the road. Upon which the patient goes through the following stages:
    Denial: “Nu-UH! I did NOT get my Vico-DANS filled there!”
    Anger: “What do you MEAN i cant get my SOMAS filled!”
    Acceptance: “Yeah, I did, but see I take 9 a day because i’m in pain!”
    Bullshitting: “Call my doctor! He told me i can get them filled early! He’s not in? Well I guess you’ll just have to fill them and call me in the morning”
    Bargaining: “Can I get them if I pay cash?”
    and finally, Rejection: “Gimme my Rx back! Im going to Walgreens!!!”

  • The Mind Reader: This person loves to call in “All my monthly medications”, then proceeds to call and yell at you that you either forgot a medication that he/she got 5 months ago (that you’re supposed to magically know he/she needs now) or that you filled a bunch of shit he/she didn’t want and doesn’t want to pay the copays for. This person is the cause of most substance abuse among pharmacists.
  • The Pseudopharmacist: This person was either a Nurse or some medical person 100 years go, and somehow has the ability to know more than you do. He (but usually a she) knows ‘her body’ and ‘what her body needs’ (a kick in the ass) and will argue with you until closing that she doesn’t need that high blood pressure medication. Loves to use big medical words that really have no application in what he/she is talking about, but makes her look smart. Who needs to go to college to be a pharmacist, obviously this ex-nurse back in the 50’s must know vastly more than you do.
  • The ‘Is It Due Yet?”: This person will call you every day asking when his/her pain pills are due to be filled (See “The Crackhead”). This person unfortunately lacks the basic brainpower to realize that if you take 3 pills a day, that 90 pills will last 30 days (or 1 month). 90/3 is too hard to comprehend as well as a month has 30 days; so he/she must call you and check. This person really flips out in February when the month has 28 days.
  • The Closing Shopper: This person (who usually is on the state system) sat on his/her ass all day, but must come into your store 2 min before closing with a handful of Rx’s (that he/she wants right now). Either this, or they call you 2 min before closing with the phrase “Wait up for me, i’m on my way!”. What did you do all day asshole? Obviously not work! Must be nice.
  • The Mystery Name: These people will respond to any name you call saying their Rx is ready. Almost always are people who don’t speak English. If you shout out a name, they will come up to get the Rx regardless if its them or not. Quite a sight to see a name being called out and half the store come saying they are that person. Pretty sad when you need to interrogate your patients to get the proper name from them.
  • Whats Your Name?: These people have “ethnic” or “heritage” names that are unpronounceable by the human tounge, yet when you ask them how to say it they get offended as if you should of known. See “The Race Carder” below.
  • The Race Carder: “You wont fill my narcotic prescriptions early because i’m (enter race/color/creed/religion/etc here)”. Yes boys and girls, people still do play this shit. It doesn’t matter if the entire store is filled with the same race as him/her, or if some of your employees are the same race as him/her; he/she thinks you’re a bigot. These people end up pissing off the staff, and are usually booted from the pharmacy.
  • The Insurance Chode: This person appears in two forms: The first form is not having any insurance card, then getting upset when you cant fill their Rx’s with said insurance. Also gets mad when you refuse to sit on hold for 30 min to get their ID number when they live 2 mins away and can drive.
    The other form gives you an insurance card, but allows you to do 30 min worth of guess work (and asking them 30 times if they have any other cards) before giving you the correct and current insurance card.

  • The Frugal Shopper: This person asks for the cash price of all the Rx’s he/she brings in. He/she is okay with the prices and gives you the OK to fill. When you are finished, he/she sees the total and wants all but 1 returned to stock and the not-filled ones transfered to a mail order pharmacy because he/she gets “3 months for 1 copay”. This person also thinks that pharmacists work for free, the power that runs the lights for free, and your staff works for free. Obviously time has no value to them since they are either: old or retarded. They also think that $15 is too high for a $400 dollar Rx and decides to argue with you about it. These people should of not gotten a Medicare card upon 65, but a gun to blow their brains out with.
  • The Baby Momma: This person is like “The Inconsiderate Mother” but all of her children are named after their fathers so she can keep track of which one goes with which baby-daddy. Ouch!
  • The Cell Phone Shouter: This person comes in talking on the cell phone. The cell phone never leaves her (its always a her) ear, and she must always shout into the cell phone at 100x normal speaking voice. Its like the cell phone is a can connected by a piece of string or the person she’s talking to is across the street. She also gets rude and obnoxious when you ask her to keep it quiet or to use the phone outside. When you are explaining her medication to her, she continues to blab on the cell phone about the most pointless drama you’ve ever overheard. Makes your mind boggle as how someone on the state system can afford the luxury of a cell phone with unlimited mins.
  • The Blinger: This person is driving a car thats nicer than yours, wears clothes thats nicer than yours, has a 24k gold tooth ‘grill’ and/or gold chains and rings, and also has a state welfare card that copays are lower than your own private insurance. All this and not having to work a day in their life! Some people have all the luck!

    If you know any other ones that I missed, email me at druglord@theangrypharmacist.com and i’ll put up a part duex.

  • 13 thoughts on “Types of Patients (see what I deal with?)”

    1. Aaaargh. I’ve seen many of these before, but my personal most hated is the Mystery Name. While working as a clerk for the chain of K’s, I ran into one of these who picked up some diabetes medication. She even ripped open the bag and looked right at the label, and didn’t say a word about it. I got bitched at so badly for it by the rph that I went home crying, after calling her back and apologizing profusely while sorting it out. It’s made me extremely wary of any patient with an accent that I cannot understand.

    2. how about people who refuse to understand that prescriptions do expire. just because s/he has taken the atenolol for the past 3 decades doesn’t mean they don’t need the rx renewed by the doctor at least once or twice (depending on the state) a year. coincidently, they always come on a weekend and won’t appreciate if you offer to advance them a couple tablets until you get an approval from the md.

    3. I was wondering what type of hours do pharmacists work. There are kids who make $90k a year right out of pharmacy school. Is that off of a 40 hour work week? I know This has nothing to do with your post, but you seemed like a good person to ask.

    4. Haha, I saw a “race carder” while waiting in the dctor’s office this week. She was upset that the doctor looked at a patient who had arrived at the office earlier because her appointment was actually earlier. She was telling the secretary that she can’t run the office that way, and said, “It’s because I’m not Chinese, isn’t it?”

    5. Oh yeah, the woman who said that was white. I think only white people have the guts to say that crap (sorry for the stereotyping).

    6. LOL Actually no it’s not always white people. When I was working at Kmart a woman came in with a fat stack of prescriptions and her expired insurance. She stormed out saying we wouldn’t fill her prescriptions because she was black. She came back a few hours later and wanted them filled, then decided she didn’t want them and was taking them somewhere else. She said she talked to the “big wigs” at her insurance and they said her insurance was valid. Of course they did, she never asked about the PRESCRIPTION insurance. So anyway, she stormed out again saying “you ain’t gotta fill mah prescriptions cuz im black! you ain’t gotta see me again cuz i’m black! i ain’t comin back here cuz im black!” Every sentence that woman uttered had “cuz i’m black” attached to the end.

    7. Exactly what is an ear suppressor?

      What would be a day off is no longer a day off, and what was a short Tuesday shift is no longer a short shift. It seems like we’ve lost a tech, and so I might be going into work earlier on Tuesdays for a few weeks, and covering a 3 hour period …

    8. Oh, that goddam cell-phone shouter. I had one just the other day that was dropping off an rx for her kid, had never been there before, and after every question I asked (phone number, address, birthday- you know the frivolous stuff) she sighed into the phone, rolled her eyes, said “Hang on…” into the phone and stated the answer in a tone that says I clearly should have been able to glean that information out of the clear blue sky. By the time I got to allergies I was sick of her and I shoved the rx back across the counter and said “When you’re done with the call, I’ll help you.” and walked away. That bitch had the nerve to complain about me to corporate and say how rude I was!

    9. My name is Tim Redman.In reference to the automated dispensing machines,I have seen 3 types.Baker cell (sucks),Scriptpro (Rite Aid has this monstrosity-too slow and takes up too much room), and Parata (which we have).By far Parata is the best-very effecient and takes up only the space of a back-to-back bay (approximately 2 feet wide and 6-7 feet long).Filling the cells is easy but must watch for dessicants and product information packets.I highly recommend this machine.It is a little aggravating at the start,but it is worth it in the long run. Tim Redman,RPh Pharmacy Place-Port Huron,Michigan.Phone is (810)989-3455 if you want more info.No,I am not a rep for this company,only a staff pharmacist who has been working in a pharmacy since 1959.Your site is excellent!

    10. how about the sunday birth control girls. these are the girls who come in on sunday night 5 min before closing and want a refill but did not call it in and took their last pill yesterday. now they dont have a number, their pack or bother to look at their pack to see that they have no refills. they look at you shocked when you say you can’t fill it with out a refill or a prescription. “but they get it all the time.” “can they just pay for it” no dumbass, its a prescription. call your doctor tomorrow and double up. next time pay attention to the label on your pack when it says no refills allowed authorization required.

    11. My personal favorite is the non-stop talker. It’s not that they are bad people. It’s just that they don’t know how to end conversations in a timely fashion. They are usually older and the rest of their family is either dead or has long since learned not to talk to them anymore. At the pharmacy where I work, us techs will usually try to work it out so that whoever had to listen to their story at the drop-off window is not the one to ring them out.

    12. Absolutely love your blog. A visiting pharmacist told me about this site, and I enjoyed it so much I think I’ve read all archives in about 3 days. Now I recommend your material to ALL pharmacists I know.
      How about this one… I had a patient(retired MD) insist he count the tablets of his four prescriptions (full year supply for all) because he recently read an article about pharmacies ripping people off. I was stupefied, and told my pharmacist that I would (out of sheer curiosity) humor his request. I provided him with a spare bottle, a tray and spatula, and an area of counterspace to execute his madness. Instead of the spatula, he used his shaky and uncooperative fingers (good-god).. His nose was running and dripping on the tray full of tablets and my counter, but he was unphased (A-f’n-mazing).. Instead of the spare bottle, into a small cardboard box go the tablets (this is a joke right?).. He:”I lost count, did you follow my count by chance?” Me:”I’m sorry you were mumbling to yourself mostly.” He:”Oh…two,four,six”.
      To wrap this up he only got to around 200 on his first med before he conceeded that he could “geuss that they look okay”.
      Everyday it occurs to me that I have not yet “seen it all”.

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