3-21. GREETING THE PATIENT
One of the steps in filling a prescription is greeting the patient. A smile and a
pleasant "good morning" can make the patient feel at ease. After this initial contact, you
can gather specific information (like the patient's telephone number or address) required
on the prescription. This time also provides you with the opportunity of checking your
pronunciation of the patient's name (if you are the one who will call the patient to pick up
the medication). The patient can then be told to be seated until his name is called.
A well-lighted patient waiting area equipped with a television and comfortable
seating can make the waiting period seem shorter to the patient. Posters and bright
colors can be used to provide a cheery atmosphere in the patients' waiting area. A
screened-off area for the patient to obtain his prescription can provide the patient with
3-23. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE OUTPATIENT PHARMACY
Each individual in the pharmacy has certain types of highly personal and
confidential information available to him. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each
person to safeguard such information.
a. Information about medications a patient is taking must be safeguarded. You
may know that a patient is taking a particular drug. You should never tell anyone
(unless it's a medical emergency) anyone what drug(s) a patient is/are taking. Doing so
is an ethical, as well as a legal, violation. Questions about medications being taken by
another person should be directed to your supervisor.
b. The patient's name, address, and/or telephone should never be given to
another person (except in the case of a medical emergency).
c. In any action you perform, you should be aware of your obligation to protect
the right of the patient. Providing anyone with any information (except in a medical
emergency) about the patient can have serious consequences for you.
3-24. PROVIDING INFORMATION TO THE PATIENT
Some patients have questions about the drug(s) they are taking. Some patients
may be hesitant to ask these questions. When the drug(s) is/are dispensed to the
patient, you should inform him of any cautions and warnings, side effects, or other
dispensing information important to his safe taking of the drug(s). If the drug you are
dispensing must be dispensed with patient information (for example, patient package
insert), give it to the patient at this time. If a patient asks you why he must take the
drug, refer him to his physician. Lastly, ensure the patient knows how to safely take the
drug(s) being dispensed. Ask him questions if necessary to verify this fact.