On November 26, 2013, I had the pleasure of shadowing Mrs. Jackie Becks, a registered pharmacist at CVS Pharmacy in Bellevue, Ohio. The six hours of shadowing seemed to go by very quickly and was very enjoyable. Mrs. Becks graduated from the Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. She has been in the profession for at least two decades.
I observed Mrs. Becks as she verified each prescription that the pharmacy technicians filled. She showed me the system that CVS uses with the bar codes. It was very different from when I shadowed at CVS about four years ago as a freshman in high school. Mrs. Becks told me that when a certain queue had so many listings in it, there would be an orange circle around it. This happened a few times, but that day was a particularly busy day in the pharmacy. I never really expected there to be that many prescriptions going through a pharmacy in my small hometown.
Mrs. Becks also administered several influenza vaccinations to patients. She told me that once you have been giving vaccines long enough that it is very simple, but did not like it at first. I would have thought it did not take a lot for a pharmacist to give flu vaccines, but sometimes it interrupts the flow of work they had been doing prior to that. In a community pharmacy, there is one pharmacist on duty with generally three or four technicians, which allows the technicians to keep working while the pharmacist gives the vaccines.
While the technicians have access to most of the pharmaceuticals, they do not have access to the narcotics. Mrs. Becks had to count and fill those prescriptions herself. She has to be careful that she grabs the correct prescription because certain prescriptions have very similar National Drug Codes (NDCs). Mrs. Becks explained how the NDC works and now each NDC has its own bar code for that drug. I expected each code to be more distinct for each drug, but it is actually similar in some cases depending on the product.
Mrs. Becks introduced me to two of the people involved in management above the individual store level. They were very polite to me and they were glad that I am going into the profession of pharmacy. Mrs. Becks met with them to talk about the training that CVS has employees go through.
Mrs. Becks also had to mix prescriptions that are typically liquids, which most commonly was amoxicillin. She explained that each pharmacy has a way of doing certain...