Let’s Add A Year to Medical School

10 03 2011

We’ll call the extra year “remedial skills.”

First semester: math!

Do the math with me, won’t you? 24 hours ÷ a dose every 6 hours = 4 doses. 4 doses x 5 milliliters each = 20 milliliters.

So…why, exactly, are we cautioning the patient not to exceed 30 ml in 24 hours? Because math is hard, and I’m guessing because we assume most patients will take more than they’re prescribed. So either the doctor’s math is lousy or his faith in humanity has been crushed. Yeah, I’m going with the latter.

Second semester: penmanship!

You know, this one isn’t as bad as others I’ve seen, partly because the quantity is a big tip-off when determining which medication the doctor intended.

I know doctors’ bad handwriting is a long-standing joke. We see someone with horrendous penmanship and say, “Ha ha! You should be a doctor!” But this isn’t funny. Sloppy prescriptions slow us down, and they increase the odds of medication errors. The prescription above is for a 12-year-old patient. Would you want your child on the receiving-end of this prescription?

I know I’m generalizing, and many doctors are wonderful, conscientious individuals who do their best to get it right. To those doctors I say thank you—I appreciate your efforts and wish all doctors were like you.

To the rest—the doctors with lousy handwriting with stupid instructions…the doctors who become angry when we call with questions—you aren’t God. You aren’t even God’s gift to the medical profession. Get over yourselves and remember who your customers are.

Whoops. This was going to be a light-hearted post about silly pharmacy stuff. Apparently I have some anger issues. Who knew?

*Adding to the “who knew” list for the evening: I’m British. At least, according to the WordPress Proofreader, which gave me this suggestion:




7 responses

11 03 2011

Yeah, i have no idea what the Rx said. You’re a freakin’ genius if you can read that. But of course, you are, Jenny my love. All the doctors we see print out their prescriptions, so the only handwriting is their signature.

11 03 2011

I’m a fan of printing prescriptions too. Crimeny–You’re practically a hieroglyphics reader.

11 03 2011

I am so thankful that all the doctors we go to print out their prescriptions now. It makes it so much easier.

11 03 2011

my handwriting is worse than a doctor’s. it’s like I’m a pirate terrorist on death row. for reals. thank the lard for typing.

10 03 2011

For the penmanship problems, the best trick is to make doctors take drafting courses. You’ll be able to read prescriptions clear as day once they’re done

10 03 2011
Mrs. Organic

Oh! And I know someone who almost died from the same dosing info above. She took it every 4 hours, just like they told her.

10 03 2011
Mrs. Organic

I still can’t believe you cracked that doc’s code.

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