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Telling someone they are stupid

·2050 words·10 mins

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.

Comments #

Comment by Doug Kreeber on 2008-04-08 08:48:34 -0700 #

Before you start a rant on how people are stupid, you may want to take a look in the mirror. The first word of your blog is incorrect. An apostrophe would make it correct. Let me show you STUPID—-“it’s.” Have a great day and consider checking yourself at the door.

Comment by Jon on 2008-04-08 09:10:15 -0700 #

I am so sick of this PC stuff too TAP! In fact, if you can’t say something is retarded because of these “mentally challenged people” and you can’t call something gay because they are “homosexual”, or is that word too unPC nowadays? Do we have to call them “people that are attracted to the same gender” because even say “same sex” is probably unPC.
In fact, one of my friend’s wife is a Kindergarten teacher and she was taught in school not to use the term “Indian style” when sitting. It is called “criss-cross” or “pretzel” style. She of course calls it Indian style because she knows this PC shit is a bunch of tosh.

Comment by misanthrintern on 2008-04-08 11:43:38 -0700 #

Classic!! You just made my day with that rant!!

Comment by Person on 2008-04-08 11:51:44 -0700 #

I feel like a sinner every time I read your blog and I’m not even religious.
Keep ’em coming, TAP!

Comment by Kathy on 2008-04-08 16:14:32 -0700 #

What crawled up “Doug’s” (apostrophe included) ass and made him Editor-In-Chief???

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-04-08 17:04:58 -0700 #

Another one that gets me is the emphasis on “African American” instead of black, when most of the black people I know call themselves black.
Some African Americans are white. Think about it.

Comment by Zenne on 2008-04-08 18:21:21 -0700 #

@Doug Kreeber: Are you seriously judging someone’s intelligence based on an apostrophe, or could you not find anything more significant to direct your anger towards? 😉

Comment by one_angry_tech on 2008-04-08 18:49:55 -0700 #

Hopefully these people are procreating

Comment by http://openid.aol.com/snyffee on 2008-04-08 19:26:49 -0700 #

Is it me, or is it obvious that Mr. Kreebler has never had a phone conversation with one of these “special” people? I really hate the bleeding hearts. It’s hard enough to figure out which idiot is calling, let alone having to listen to them repeat all the information the care giver is feeding them. Why can’t the care giver call? Oh, because the care giver’s (notice my appropriately place apostrophe) IQ is about a point higher than the person they are caring for.

Comment by lisa on 2008-04-08 19:47:00 -0700 #

You’ve really crossed the line with this one. You can defend yourself however you like. Yeah, yeah, you’re only voicing your frustration, anger, etc…toward those few senile patients. You have compassions for the majority of your patients. Whatever. You know deep within you’re a bigot and advocate of hate.

Comment by PharmAd4lyfe on 2008-04-09 10:30:30 -0700 #

Doug, you do realize that ragging on someone’s grammar on the internet is just a sign of desperation? I mean really… if you can’t attack someone on the content they wrote, let’s call a _PHARMACIST_ who has all of the schooling, credentials, and experience stupid because he didn’t put an apostrophe in “it’s.” Go you… stick it to the man…. I’ve seen my fair share of MD’s who’ve written for “Vicodan” which compared to a missed apostrophe is little more concerning as they are actually prescribing the fucking med. I’d rather have someone call me stupid than be a whiny bitch… but that’s just me.
While you may be upset, the sad truth is many people are too incompetent to manager their own meds and it’s really a sad situation. Not all elderly are in this category, but there is a serious problem for a good many and the necessity for an active care giver is there. Being the person who has to “clean up” after an incompetent person has been left to their own devices is more than aggravating, it’s disturbing as you know that once the meds leave the pharmacy that they’re not being taken correctly. Unless families have more responsibility for their ailing relatives, the medical community will have to be their janitors and clean up their messes and society will have to bear the burden of the costs of their associated care.
Most of what TAP rants against is lack of personal responsibility on one entity or another and quite frankly that is the biggest problem in America today. So you fight the good fight as the grammar police, I’m sure it will be a benefit to society in the end.

Comment by Mellee on 2008-04-09 15:00:58 -0700 #

Tell me, TAP, why do people get so damn huffy, when you say the word retard? Retard..Retard..Retard..
RETARD..
Ok done, the PC people need to STFU. Keep ranting TAP I love you!!

Comment by erinsmerchek on 2008-04-09 17:52:37 -0700 #

True story of the day.
md calls in zithromax for a patient
parent comes in, I start counseling in zithromax
parent SCREAMS he is ALLERGIC to that
I ask what happen…rash and swelling
I page the doctor on call
I explain that patient is allergic to PCNs, cephalosporins, and zithromax
md says well what is wrong with the kid
i say pneumonia in the left lung
her answer: there is NOTHING I can do, have the patient go to the ER and have them give them a new script, and then she HUNG UP!
I try explaining this to the patient, she tells me that this fuckin pharmacy treats her like shit and she is never coming back.
explain to me how this is my fault again….ugh I hate stupid people and doctors

Comment by RxQueen2012 on 2008-04-10 16:33:48 -0700 #

I think another PC term that is on the rise is the “aging population” term. No longer are you allowed to say elderly or heaven forbid you say old people… My thought is isn’t the whole population aging?
Oh well, that’s life.

Comment by former pharmacy tech gone postal on 2008-04-10 16:55:30 -0700 #

I think the caregivers are usually worse than the patients. I once delivered medications to an elderly lady who’d lost her marbles a long time ago. When I got there, her caregiver said “Mary’s blood sugar is below 50, should I give her more insulin?” WTF!! Who certified this pond scum to be a care giver? So I got Mary some orange juice and toast and attempted to penetrate the density of the dumbass, which was completely useless because she stood there, mouth hanging open, looking at me like I was some alien creature. Please God, don’t make me ever need a “care” giver.

Comment by Mellee on 2008-04-11 08:21:32 -0700 #

In regards to comment # 2, Jon. I am certain thatthings will change as far as PCs goes. Gay will be socially unattracted to the op sex, bullies will be called nice challanged,they’ll have a name, and probably a new diagnosis for everyone on this planet. Hyper kids are called ADHD. Kids who purposely piss their parent off are ODD, They diagnosed my happy kid, my very active child ADHD, ADD, ODD, and Bipolar. My son is 6. Please!! I don’t give the meds though. How the fuck can you diagnose a 6yo as being depressed. Speaking of ODD, gotta end this now

Comment by nobody on 2008-04-11 16:45:35 -0700 #

deer doug kreeber
teh internetz is not aboot being a grammer NAZI–its about open spaces that share content like ideas or thoughts. if u want to fret over stylistic or gramur errors, u need to zeriously think about shutting down almost the entire intardweb–good luck with that. maybe u just need to start ur own blog, entitled, “doug kreeber: gramur RETARD.”

Comment by Gia on 2008-04-25 23:30:07 -0700 #

My dad’s been a pharmacist for thirty years – aside from insurance companies, that’s his biggest complaint. The grand majority of elderly people really are just too stupid to take their own medicine.

Comment by Rose on 2010-08-21 12:24:13 -0700 #

I hope you rot in hell. How dare you ridicule the “INNOCENT”. You bastard!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Rose on 2010-08-21 12:29:43 -0700 #

I will tell you why asshole, because I had a twin brother who was mentally retarded, whom I loved dearly and still do, since he passed away on 2-10-2004 at the age of 41. That is very, very offensive and surely not called for. They came into this world innocent!!!!

Comment by PharmStudent drinking from teching… on 2011-05-22 22:14:49 -0700 #

I honestly don’t know if this is serious or sarcastic….