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Typical Day

Ziggy Zoloft’s alarm goes off at 8:15—after getting ready to start her day, she's in the car and on the way to work by 9:30. She arrives at her pharmacy—a CVS in the heart of downtown Rockford—a little before 10:00, relieving one of the pharmacists who had the early morning shift (it's a 24-hour dealio). A number of prescription orders that were called in within the last hour are passed off to her—she takes them and prepares to dispense the requested medications so they are ready for pick-up.

For each order, Ziggy looks up the patient in their system. Several of these patients have been into the pharmacy before, so she checks their medical history, makes sure there is nothing in the prescribed medication that could be problematic for them, and looks to see if there is any other relevant advice she might be able to give them. She also reviews each prescription that is being filled to remind herself what the drug is, how it should be taken, how often, and for how long—all information she will relay to the patients once they arrive to pick it up. If it is something that isn't prescribed often, she bones up on it a bit so that she can field any potential questions the patient may throw at her. "What happens if I take this and my pee turns purple?" You have to be ready for that one.

Once she feels adequately prepared, Ziggy goes through the pharmacy's stores of pills, selecting the required medications and carefully parsing them out in the correct dosages. She then places the prescriptions in bags, labels them with the patient's names, and places them in the "pick-up" bin. Or, as Ziggy likes to call it, "carry-out."

At 11:30 she takes over for a bit at the counter, fielding patients' requests for ordered prescriptions and advising them if they will need to wait a little longer. She knows that some of these people are ill or in pain, so she has to communicate to each of them with a great deal of patience, kindness, and consideration. Just because someone is being haughty or unreasonable does not give her the right to give it back to them. "Please have a seat over there and we'll let you know as soon as your order is ready" sounds so much nicer than "Sit down and shut up!" 

Ziggy goes over each patient's dosages and makes sure they understand how and how often the medicine is to be taken. One patient comes in to pick up a prescription of Xanax, and Ziggy notes by looking up his file in the system that he seems to be taking an unusually high amount of the drug, so she calls his doctor to make sure he's aware of this before verifying his approval. As it turns out, the guy was extremely adept at forging his doctor's signature, so the Xanax is denied. She makes a note in his file advising all other pharmacists of the gentleman's situation, the nature of his addiction, and his pattern of deceit. Hopefully this will be the last time he attempts to pull that stunt.

Too busy to take an entire hour for lunch, Ziggy downs a Luna bar while filling prescriptions with the other. Aside from putting in a call in the late afternoon to order some pharmaceutical supplies, her routine of filling prescriptions, researching medications, and advising patients constitutes the remainder of her afternoon and early evening. Fortunately, Mr. Xanax is the only forger she encounters during the remainder of her shift. Good. Ziggy isn't cut out for detective work.