I'm reading a few of the pharmacy blogs that I follow, and I saw posts about people just starting out in the pharmacy field. Made me think of an incident when I first started working as a technician...
I had only been working for perhaps a month or so. I knew nothing about any medications whatsoever. I thought fluoxetine was for the flu, that GoLYTELY is pronounced as "golly-telly" (though thank goodness I never said it aloud... It's "go lightly" for those who want to avoid embarrassment), and often confused Motrin, Aleve, and Tylenol and their generics with each other.
It took a while to build up the courage to answer the phone calls into the pharmacy. One day I answered to a woman asking if a doctor called in a prescription for her husband. They had: it was for Valtrex.
She asked me how much it cost, and more importantly, what it was used to treat.
Not knowing what it was for, I pulled up the "patient information" sheet that resides in the computer database. The only thing it really said is that it is used to treat herpes. I told her such. She seemed a bit put off and surprised, and we hung up rather quickly after that.
I told the pharmacist about it later, rather proud that I had figured it out the computer system by myself and was able to help a patient without pestering another technician to assist.
The pharmacist looked at me with horror on their face. I realized what a major mistake I had made (not to mention HIPAA, especially for that type of medicine), and now refer to any medicines of that caliber as general "anti-virals."
I hope I didn't cause marital stress. I mentally cringe any time I think about this situation. A lesson I will never forget...