Distractions and interruptions

One of my fellow pharmacy bloggers did a post on how distractions and interruptions can cause some potentially undesirable outcomes.. such as a needle stick..


Today, I drove 655 miles over 12 hrs from our Indiana home to our Fl beach condo.. a trip that we have been trying to accomplish since the first of Oct..

My wife of 43 yrs… is a very good at cooking and art projects… she has done oil on canvas paintings and cost me a fortune in scrapbook supplies..  admittedly these “right brain” functions, I am not even  up to being classified as “poor”… a huge task for me is to be able to draw a straight line with a ruler..

My wife is likewise not very good in “left brain” functions… when it comes to electrical/mechanical items… she is not always the sharpest knife in the drawer..and I accept this and try to accommodate and compensate for these “short comings”…   Many of our conversations when I am trying to explain something electrical/mechanical to her.. ends up with … “..it has to do with physics”… which is enough that we are probably not going to get very far in her understanding whatever is the issue at hand.

Over the years, we have had different model of cell phones… me the more advanced models and her the more simple models.. we would always run into a problem when we were in the car and my phone would ring and I would hand it to her.. not always was the call answered nor could she figure out to find the last number called to redial it..

So a couple of years ago when she sent her last cell phone thru the clothes washer.. I decided that since I had a Iphone – whose operation seems rather straight forward and nearly idiot proof … and the identical model was now on close out.. I would get her the same model Iphone model that  I had.. so that – hopefully – she could easily operate my phone.. under such situations…

In the meantime, I bought her a new car that has a Bluetooth interface with either Iphone… so now phone rings… I push a button on the steering wheel .. the phone is answered and everything is handled thru the radio system…

Of course, advances in technology always seem to complicate things..  Now we have texts .. to deal with…

During our trip… 75% of which is on a Interstate – zipping along at 75-80 MPH… I get a handful of phone calls and she is good with this.. since everything is hands free.

She has been going ape-shit on texting for the past couple of months… In fact, she just put two and two together and realized that if she is up in the middle of the night and she sends a text to someone.. it is going to make their phone to make some sort of sound..  maybe waking them up … unlike sending someone a email in the middle of the night.

Back to zipping down the highway… I had my phone laying on the dash… so that it would most likely have as good a signal as possible… So my phone goes off .. indicating that I have received a text… so I pick up the phone .. to read it… she starts on this … “you are going to wreck and kill us…”… So I hand her the phone and ask that she read the text to me… to which she replies … “.. how do I do that…?”

Now, if I am going to wreck and kill us trying to read a text… what are the odds something is going to go wrong.. if I try to instruct her in how to read a text on the phone – WHILE DRIVING ?

Back to the other Pharmacist blogger and his situation… We all need to stop … stopping in the middle of things and allow pt/customers to interrupt/distract us. It could be a life/death situation…. whether it is a needle stick or a medication error..

We need to learn and use the phrase… “… I will be with you in a moment, when I finish what I am working on …” and tell our techs to tell the pts the same thing… for you or for themselves.

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