Its a fine, (if not lost) art to get the point across to a patient that they are too stupid to manage their medication without sounding like an asshole. Unfortunately this skill is not taught in school (but really should). We all know the types of patients that really have no clue what they are doing. They still have bottles from 5 years ago (and call in those numbers when they want refills). You insist that they did sign for some pickup (which they deny) only to magically “find it” once you already have the replacement refill done. Patients like this really do gum up pharmacies all over the nation and are a source of not only stress for the pharmacist and their staff, but themselves as well. Sometimes they are so stupid that they don’t realize how much danger they are putting themselves in, which is why Mommy/Daddy pharmacist needs to have a “time out” and tell the lady who’s ship should of sailed 10 years ago why they are so confused.
So how do you break the news that taking a pill twice a day is beyond their mental capacity? To be honest, there is no easy way. Well, I take that back; there is an easy way, but “You’re too stupid to do this by yourself” tends to drive patients away.
Some pharmacists take the “confusion” route. By saying they are “confused” instead of “stupid”, it takes the blame away from them, and puts it towards their age. Old people are confused, its a fact of life. You have a car engine that has 600,000 miles under its belt and see how well it runs. Confusion is always a safe bet that won’t make the patient feel that they should be wearing a helmet and winning a medal at the Special Olympics.
Another avenue you can try is by telling the diaper-wearing drooling patient that you want them to bring all of their bottles in so you can “Make it so they all get filled during the same time of the month”. Uh huh, right. This is translated pharmacy speak for “Throw away all of the 10 year old bottles so you’ll call in recent numbers” or “Seeing if you are actually taking your Aricept and Haldol”. The retard thinks you are doing him/her a favor, so they will have no idea that you are mentally murdering them as they bring in their shoe box full of empty vials.
Speaking of retards:
What really makes my blood boil are people who live in these “assisted living” joints. These people aren’t old, they are just truly borderline retarded and are too well to be in a 100% ass-wiped-by-Filipinos nursing home, but too mentally challenged/retarded/handicapped/etc to live on their own. Whats truly retarded about this whole thing is that the “caregivers” allow the patient to manage their own medication to give them a sense of independence. Trusting someone with a IQ thats my shoe size to manage medication so they feel independent is a REALLY dumb thing to do. If you want them to feel independent, then let them use the shitter by themselves, or don’t clap when they do a somersault without help. I know that I’m going to hell for making fun of retards here, but we need to draw the line at how mushy-political-correct-huggy we are willing to take without having common sense step in. If you think I’m an asshole, then you try correcting their blister-packed medication 4-5 times a month because they thought it would be a good idea to make little pill piles sorted by color.