Tag Archives: pharmacy staff

Pharmacy Night before Christmas

‘twas the night before Christmas, when all through the pharmacy.

Not a dispenser was stirring, not even Tracy.

The Activa stockings had been ordered with care,

in the hope that the driver soon would be there.

Mrs Jones had already rang 6 times to ask where her stocking was. Frank Dispenser and the rest of the pharmacy team were shattered. It was 5.45pm and it had only just quietened down. Frank hadn’t even had time for lunch. He was working his way through the celebrations tin that the area manager had left.

They had got lots of biscuits and chocolates from patients too. Some were not out of date which was a bonus. Mrs Smith had baked one of her special cakes for them. Frank had been initially dubious about selling citric acid to Mrs Smith. He had asked her what the w/w% of citric acid there would be in the final cake. Mrs Smith didn’t know but said that she would bring in some of the cake for Frank. He accepted as he was a reasonable man. Carol the dispenser was singing in the staffroom. She always sang at Christmas.

Mrs Smith and Mr Smith could not have been more different. Couples who order their repeat meds together, stay together longer. This didn’t apply to the Smiths. Mrs Smith used our repeat prescription order scheme. Mr Smith did not. It was then that he burst through the door. A feeling of dread came over Frank. Mr Smith was a large man in his seventies and always dressed in red for some reason. ‘Here is my list of medicines that I want’ he bellowed as he handed over his prescription.

Mr Smith was holding a sack. Susan the technician wondered if it contained biscuits for the pharmacy team. Susan was unfortunately mistaken. Mr Smith had been naughty, not nice.

‘I don’t want these tablets anymore’ he said.

Susan sighed. ‘As well as safely disposing of unwanted medicines, we also dispose of uneaten, in-date chocolates, cakes and biscuits, you know?’

Mr Smith looked confused.

 ‘We don’t have all your tablets’ said Frank.

 ‘Why the hell not?’ Mr Smith replied.

‘Well it is 5.45pm on Christmas eve’.

‘I’ll come back tomorrow then’ said Mr Smith.

‘You can come back but we are shut for the next two days’ Frank sarcastically replied. One day Frank would get a punch because of his sarcasm.


‘We told you last year too….’ 


The Book

I have a dream. It’s not quite as powerful as Mr King’s but it’s important to me. I want to write a book about life in pharmacy. There is too much doom and gloom surrounding pharmacy and I want it to make people laugh.

A similar book was published recently. I have not read it but I believe with the help of social media, we could create something special. I need your help.

I want people to send in anecdotes and jokes about pharmacy. I would love to hear from community pharmacists, pre-regs, technicians, dispensers and counter staff. Also hospital, primary care, prison, academics, pharmacy journalists, students, GPs and even GP receptionists. I will add in some of my blogs too. I have no idea how I will publish it but that will be part of the adventure.

You can reply to this blog, via email mrdispenser@hotmail.co.uk, or Twitter @mrdispenser

I look forward to hearing from you and will keep you updated!

Tell your friends too!

Mr Dispenser’s Follow Friday Pharmacy Awards

Best young looking grandma hospital pharmacist: @mumgonecrazy

Best hospital pharmacy baking technician: @Clareylang

Best dressed pharmacist: @sarayummymummy

Best travelling pharmacist: @frandavi99

Best anonymous pharmacist: @pillmanuk

Best fruit sounding pharmacist: @AdamPlum

Best primary care pharmacist: @s9njay

Best ACT: @impure3

Best pharmacy magazine editor: @garyparagpuri

Best pharmacy magazine: ChemistDruggist

Best film directing pharmacist: @i_Q_Balls

Best non-pharmacist manager: @23Becka

Best Independent pharmacist: @patelsuk

Best A Level studying future pharmacist: @_junel_

Best Academic pharmacist: @HelenRoot

Best running pharmacist: @kevfrost

Best former Bradford uni student:@l1ttlepetal

Best pre-reg: @aisha_adnan

Best blogging dispenser: @xsophiaalicex

Best Uni school of pharmacy president: @amyotway

Best oversees pharmacist who works here: @Anj17

Best MUR queen: @zams123

Best Reading pharmacy student: @Sareenuh

Best Manchester pharmacy student: @miss_njun

Best Keee pharmacy student: @lil_rea_rea

Best pharmacy student who used to be a rep: @jainybums

Best newly qualified hospital pharmacist:@laura_jane88

Best singing pharmacist: @cathrynjbrown

Best pharmacy blogger: @redheadedpharm


Welcome to the new comparethepharmacy.com website.

The aim is to help patients choose which pharmacy to use based on key categories and choices.

All pharmacies in England, Scotland and Wales that agreed to join are on the website.

Please choose one of the options for each category.

a] Waiting times should be:

1] 20 mins

2] 10 mins

3] 5 mins

4] 1 min [The pharmacy cannot guarantee the correct medicine though]

b] Pharmacist appearance:

1] labcoat

2] Suit

3] Jeans

4] Not bothered

c] Deliveries:

1] same day

2] next day

3] only during ad breaks of Jeremy Kyle

4] Pharmacy does not deliver

d] Staff conversation:

1] miserable staff who dont speak

2] Polite chit chat

3] Interrogation from staff about your private life

4] Gossip about other patients

e] Prescription ordering method:

1] phone

2] in person

3] email

4] twitter

5] facebook

f] Medication use review:

1] happy to discuss medication with pharmacist

2] Do not want to bothered. I know what I’m doing.

g] New Medicines Service:

1] Happy to be contacted

2] Stop bleeding ringing me!

h] I would like the consultation room to be used for:

1] discussing my medication

2] Showing the boil on my ass to the pharmacist

i] The time that the pharmacist is allowed for lunch is:

1] No lunch

2] Eat while standing up

3] 20 mins

4] 30 mins

j] I want my tablets to come in:

1] capsules when the prescription states tablets

2] the colour of my choice

3] The manufacturer of my choice

4] chocolate flavour

k] Patient satisfaction survey:

1] I am happy to fill it in

2] I will tick random boxes

3] Cant be bothered. The Pharmacy is crap. Would rather be in the pub

l] Patient returns:

1] I will return all unused medication

2] My next of kin will return all unused medication

m] Do you require a 24 hour Daily Mail article advice hotline?

1] Yes

2] No

Your list of pharmacies will be emailed to you.

Thanks for using comparethepharmacy.com!

What would you do?

Its 9.00pm on a Saturday evening and you are still at work. A patient brings in a prescription for 500g E45 cream and you don’t have the item in stock. You are closed tomorrow.
Do you:
A] Say that you don’t have it in and ask them to try elsewhere
B] Offer to order it in for Monday
C] Ring your competitor across the road and if they have it in, send the patient across
D] Ask patient to ring out of hours doctors to get an alternative prescribed
E] Try [probably in vain] to convince them to buy a small tube of it for over the weekend
F] Other

Some like it hot

Some people cannot function in the morning without some caffeine. The United Kingdom Tea Council (http://www.tea.co.uk/teafacts) state that 80% of office workers now claim they find out more about what’s going on at work over a cup of tea than in any other way. The figure is 98% in pharmacy.

You go to some branches and there is a hot drink offered to you as soon as you walk in. In others, you are pointed to the direction of the kettle. Sometimes it’s so busy that no one makes a drink all day and you never go back to that pharmacy.

It may be wise to bring a travel mug with you as it’s rare that you get to finish a full mug of the hot stuff. My own philosophy is to drink hot blackcurrant or orange cordial. This is normally met with strange looks. Hot cordial is like a placebo Lemsip. Once it cools down though, you can still drink it. Cold coffee is vile.

Some people don’t like making tea and always say that it’s not their turn. Some pharmacies have a rota and SOP in place. This includes a list on the wall stating who has what. If you give Sarah black tea instead of white coffee, then the near miss log is helpfully on the wall too. People have their own mugs too. Some have their names or age on which is helpful.

If you time tea making just right then a patient will always chime in that they want a cuppa too. It’s a rite of passage for the 14 year old work experience boy to make tea for everyone. This is generally the first time they have ever made tea in their life and they need advising that you need to actually switch the kettle on to get a hot drink.

Most pharmacies collect tea money from staff in order to finance hot beverages. One person is usually put in charge of this complicated and not to forget important task. Often excel spread sheets are used to name and shame staff who conveniently forget to pay up.

Staff are generally on a diet so have no sugar and opt for three biscuits instead. On a good week of offers at the supermarket there may be sightings of hot chocolate and “fancy” caffeine options available at the Phraamcy. Upper class pharmacies, offer soup. Bovril however, is not allowed in my pharmacy. Yuck!

The hot drink is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the day. Lets face it coffee is like lubrication to the work flow, an essential uplift. It may possible to hook up freshly brewed coffee to the Methameasure machine. Staff would be allowed 200ml TDS after successful fingerprint recognition. I’m still waiting for the patent to be approved.

For a few brief seconds, when your lips touch the warmth of your mug and get soaked by the milkiness of your perfect cuppa, you can forget about the chaos and imagine a better place.