Have you ever witnessed this situation? - page 3

by RNewbie | 9,998 Views | 64 Comments

I went to the pharmacy to pick up a new prescription. When my name was called the pharmacist came out, opened the medication package, announced what it was for, held it up in front of everyone, and proceeded to give me detailed... Read More


  1. 5
    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I'm not getting what the big deal is. Does he really have time to take you to a private room to discuss your meds? Couldn't you have interrupted him if it bothered you that much?

    Also, if I'm giving a resident a new med, I might tell them what it is and what it's for out in front of everybody. I don't have time to wheel them to their room or something. Yes, that would be "best" practice but I have many many other pts to pass meds to. In the real world there just isn't time.

    Now, if I were giving someone some Viagra or ciallis, I might not broadcast it for all to hear. But what exactly are you worried about if the lady behind you in line knows you're taking metformin or an ABX or something? If you're privacy is that important, maybe you shouldn't buy your meds in a public supermarket with a dozen people lined up right behind you.
    Brandon, how interesting that you, a male judging by your name, think that men using pills to help their sex lives require privacy but a woman who needs DM or infection or "something" treatment should just be thrilled to have anyone and everyone know all about her health situation.

    Also, please re-read the OP's story. She had no insurance, went to the free clinic, then to the pharmacy the clinic was used to dealing with. She nowhere stated that it was in a supermarket.

    Further, she'd had her annual exam. Can you say Pap smear? Maybe her Rx was for something gynecological. I am guessing that she's a nurse or would likely not be posting here, although I know we have non-nurses post here. Being a nurse, she has some knowledge about Rx and maybe didn't want the whole world to know that she is being treated for whatever she's being treated for.

    Also, we are all so very aware of privacy these days. Every bank, every doctor, every everyone sends us privacy statements in the mail, we have to sign them everywhere we go, we are reminded all day every day at work not to discuss patients in public.

    The pharmacy needs to set up a more private area. The pharmacist should be asking each patient if he or she needs help to understand the prescription(s). The voices should be low, inaudible to other patrons.

    Maybe this is a small town where folks know each other. The OP should have some courage and should have spoken up to tell the Pharmacist that she was embarrassed to have him doing what he was doing. but she didn't. I hope she will next time so that the whole town doesn't get to know that she has warts or herpes or needs estrogen.
    nursel56, rammstein, mazy, and 2 others like this.
  2. 1
    Quote from djxpress
    I think you're getting way too gung-ho here. What the pharmacist did was pretty common, though it may not be right. What we're taught in the books are ideal/theoretical situations. Nothing in the real world is ever that pretty. How many times have you heard coworkers talking about things in the breakroom? Are you going to be super nurse and tell them to pipe down too? 99% of the people won't and don't pay much attention to it. Honestly to me, it only becomes a big deal when someone calls attention to something, thus making it a big deal.

    When people start posting stuff on FB and saying names, etc. then it becomes a big deal and those people should be dealt with.

    I'm sure if you would have called out the pharmacist and caused a scene, you would have created a more memorable situation for the people around you, and this would have been the exact opposite of what you want.
    The break room is one thing. The elevator or public toilet is another. Please take HIPAA much more seriously than you apparently do. I've known people who've been fired and fined over it.

    And she needn't have "called out" the pharmacist. She could have simply lightly touched his hand to get his attention and then, after he'd hushed, told him to please speak more quietly.

    Once something is on social media, it's on. Too late to close the barn door after the horses have escaped.
    EtherealChick476 likes this.
  3. 0
    Quote from Meriwhen
    My pharmacy has signs stating that they cannot guarantee auditory privacy at the pharmacy counters. The same sign also states that if privacy is desired for the patient to ask to speak to the pharmacist in private. This is understandable given that the pharmacy is located an open and public area: one needs to be realistic about the level of privacy to expect while standing at the pharmacy counter at the local CVS.

    Also, given the volume of customers that they deal with, it's also not feasible for the pharmacy to automatically pull every single patient aside to discuss their medications in private. Imagine how long that process would take: 20 minutes to wait on the prescription to be filled and verified then another 40 minutes waiting because the pharmacist is counseling...and most pharmacies only have one or two staff at most working the pick-up lane. Neverminding that there will always be that one patient with a million questions, not all of which have to do with the medication...

    So while I'm not saying what happened to you was acceptable, you do need to realize that you are not in an entirely private setting and need to be realistic about what to expect. And now you know what to do the next time you need to pick up a prescription--immediately request to speak to the pharmacist in private.
    The CVS's near me are all newly built - within the last 2 or 3 years. HIPAA has been in effect much longer. These pharmacies should have been built to accommodate privacy requirements. I think there might be a lawsuit there.

    Maybe pharmacists should not talk so loudly, should not automatically go into teaching mode? Patients can query them by phone if they need to.
  4. 1
    I would be thrilled beyond belief if my pharmacist or tech would even check birth date or address anything to identify it's ME....after having a real scare where another person with the same name (but lacking middle initial and different birth date) was given the right Rx but charged to my insurance and then I couldn't get mine filled...and I really really need my PB med!!!!
    I had to practically scream at the tech to tear her eyes away from the pc screen and LOOK at ME!!! She did finally and realized I wasn't hysterical but was extremely concerned and wasn't going away. She was able to determine that I had received the medication but at a different branch of the supermarket chain. When she insisted it was me and turned the screen toward me I realized the signature wasn't mine......
    The pharm. manager insists procedures are in place to prevent this from happening but clearly they're not being adhered to so I've taken it into my own hands and called my insurance company to alert them to never fill Rx from the other place for me. I also insist the dispensing tech corroborate ID with me even if the pharmacist is "hiding" and pretending he can't hear me.
    Be thankful your pharmacist is following procedure albeit with less-than-sensitive tact and respect for privacy.
    Meriwhen likes this.
  5. 1
    While we're on the subject of pharmacy teaching, has anyone noticed them pre-checking the little boxes that say you've been counseled or refused counseling ? I call them on that and then sign my name with ALL my credentials!!!
    rammstein likes this.
  6. 1
    Since I am an older nurse from the Dinasour era, this does not apply to me..but my younger friends have encountered Pharmacist who would not even fill their birth control prescriptions..it was against their religon..I thought this was against the law, apparently it is'nt..and I also would have filed a complaint with the owner of this store. Not taken the medication home..leave without paying for it..go elsewhere..and if necessary, tell next druggist you wish privacy if he has to speak to you..yes, sad as it is..some are just plain stupid..sad this must be done..learn to leave nothing to chance....we have train tracks near by..and a sign had to be posted, NOT TO PARK ON THE TRACKS..I laughed so hard..it made my day..and the world gets worse as one gets older. Had closed caption on my tv..due to loss of hearing..thought it might help me..However who ever was hired to type it..had so many mistakes typed, one could not make out what was being communicated..so had to get rid of it..hang in there..and learn to see the humor in it all...bluewillow7
    alwayslookingnp likes this.
  7. 0
    It was clearly a violation of HIPAA and to add more wood to the fire, sounds like the OP's integrity was at stake. More so that she could not openly complain to the pharmacists face. Bottom line is, OP should have picked up the phone and complained up to her last breath.

    I too was uninsured once and had to go to "free" clinics. I must admit the quality of service you do receive from some places, note some not all is down right outrageous. But it's up to you to speak your mind and stand for what you believe in and especially for what is right, being that HIPAA was clearly violated. Regrets come in too late sometimes. Should've, would've, could've....
  8. 0
    Quote from Kooky Korky
    Maybe pharmacists should not talk so loudly, should not automatically go into teaching mode? Patients can query them by phone if they need to.
    That is the fault of the pharmacist, and all it would take is a simple "can you please talk quietly?" request from the customer to reel them in. That's what I've done whenever I felt that was necessary. So yes, a shouting pharmacist is outright wrong.

    Regardless, people do need to be realistic: one can't expect a public pharmacy to automatically permit the same level of privacy as a doctor's office. Yes, all efforts should be made to make sure that a consultation is kept as private as possible...and most of the time it succeeds.

    But it is also on the part of the customer to speak up if they are not comfortable with either settings or pharmacy staff, and request a private consultation or if possible, take their business elsewhere (I've done that too).
  9. 1
    For all those who c/o the HIPAA violation, there will be an equal number complaining of the horribly long wait when the pharmacist has to "consult" privately with half the customers.
    .
    NutmeggeRN likes this.
  10. 0
    This is shameful. A few years ago the pharmacy tech called out from behing the shelf that my birth control pills would be ready in just a few minutes. Whether anyone thinks I should have been or not- I ws mortified! This was an absolute violation of my privacy. I never went to that pharmacy again but should have filed a compliant immediately before leaving the pharmacy with the manager.


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