A personal chronological landmark

Today I turn 65…. For most of us.. there are only a few really “Big” chronological event in our life span.. most notably turning 16 and the freedom of being able to drive… turning 18 and being able to vote , turning 21 with the liberty to legally drink alcohol and turning 35 which allows one to run for President of US.. but why anyone would do that .. is beyond me.. and now for me 65..  Medicare, social security and the “autumn of my life”

I have recently – for the time being – taken a slight shift in my career path.  Since I sold my store in 1996, I have only worked  for a little over a year for what would be considered retail/community, but both was in out patient mental health facilities that the vast majority of patients were poor or on Medicaid. So the patient population was not exactly a cross section of a typical community patient population. The pt population was neither good nor bad.. but definitely different overall.

For the last four years, have been working for a temp service in a couple of LTC pharmacies, but as with many pharmacies today.. there are payroll cuts and the number of hours that I had generally been needed has been reduced. Since I work for a temp service, I am more costly than a staff RPH.

Just as one door closed, another opened.. Another temp service… that I  had been signed up for but never had any free time to accept an assignment.  They called one morning recently at 09:30… how soon can be  at this big box store.. RPH didn’t show up… so off to work I go.

I have since worked three days at another one of these big box stores in what would generally be considered a fairly affluent part of Louisville,KY.

What I have noticed, back in retail.. I don’t know if it is because of my age or the fact that I  have mellowed over the years… but the interactions with the typical patient seems to be quite different… Seniors seem to understand that I can relate to them .. on many levels.. life’s experiences .. including only those that can experienced with aging. Almost a instant kinsmanship with many… Of course, I had these or similar interaction with the pts in my store, but that was after a period of getting to know each other… in working as a temp.. it is first impressions is all you got.  The wrinkles and thinning gray hair seems to expedite that positive interaction…

At the other end of the age spectrum, I get to talk to people who could by my daughter/son or grand daughter/grandson… many having to deal with medical issues with their children… and since I have a 6 y/o grandson… I can often relate.. to some degree… depending on their relationship with their own parents/grandparents..  the potential of a almost instant bond and a recognized wisdom… besides that which can be expected of a Pharmacist… sort of that intangible plus.

Since I temp, metrics are meaningless to me. If a patient needs 10-15 minutes to resolve their issue(s), they get 10-15 minutes.  I try to determine their depth of understanding of what they are trying to accomplish so that I can explain in terms -at their level – what they need to do … to optimize their therapy outcomes. I have learned -over the years –  that those “eight-bit  medical terms/words” that I learned in college.. are virtually useless in the community setting.

I may have reached my optimum stride.. without even really knowing it, maybe I am just a “old school RPH” and just refuse to let go of that philosophy.

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