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How I Became a Pharmacist



During my freshman year in high school, my science teacher assigned us to interview people in the community about how they use science in their careers. Although I don’t remember most of the people I spoke with, I can tell you that I spent meaningful time with a local community pharmacist who changed my life.

What I saw was a man who loved his career and truly cared for his patients. In an instant, I knew that I wanted to become a pharmacist, and I never wavered from that goal throughout high school.

Knowing what you want to be when you grow up at age 14 is unusual, but it is very liberating. I simply had to work backwards to figure out how to achieve my goal of becoming a pharmacist.

After high school, I chose to attend Ohio Northern University (ONU) because it had a unique pharmacy program. Rather than attending college for 2 years and then applying to the pharmacy program, ONU students were admitted to the College of Pharmacy from day one.

Although it was expensive, being in pharmacy school from day one and avoiding the risk of rejection made it worthwhile for me.

In college, I spent a lot of time in the library. Although the classwork was difficult, I did well with one exception: organic chemistry.

I did fail organic chemistry—a notorious “weed out” course—but I successfully retook the class over the summer and graduated on time with the rest of my classmates. Failing a course is a difficult stumbling block, but I stood strong and persevered.

Today, I’m thankful for the wonderful pharmacy profession for so many reasons.

First, I’m thankful that community pharmacists are the health care professionals most accessible to the public. If my local pharmacist wasn’t accessible to me, then I likely would have taken a different career path.

Second, I’m proud of the work we pharmacists do, the diversity of our career options, and the relationships we share with our patients and fellow health care providers.

Pharmacy is a profession that makes a real difference in people’s lives. It certainly has made all the difference in mine.


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Old 11 Hours Ago   #4521
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A Graphic Train Of Thought

England, Patients, Revolting, Train, UK | Healthy | December 28, 2018


I’m notorious for not really thinking before I speak. Some people like it because they can count on me telling the truth, but others hate the fact that I say inappropriate things sometimes.

This is pertinent when I’m on a national rail service train. I have just spent three hours with my dad in an Urgent Care drop-in centre because a relatively recent piercing I got became infected. My mum isn’t with us as she stayed in London while we went to Nottingham.

She calls me on the train to check how I am after my dad texted her before we were seen by a nurse. I tell her the whole story.

As I’m telling it, I start to notice people around me looking uncomfortable, and one man puts his food away. I realise that I’ve just described, in graphic detail, how there had been clear fluid and blood leaking from my ear, as well as how, when I took the piercing out, I lost my grip on the front of the earring and pulled the 3-mm ball through my piercing, making it bleed all the more. I quickly change tack to a more vanilla version of events.

To all the poor people who shared that train with me, I’m deeply sorry for subjecting you to that and putting you off your food. On the plus side, I caught the infection before it got really bad, so there’ll be no even worse stories for me to horrify strangers with.
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He’s Crazy, But Can’t Quite Put His Finger On Why

Bizarre, Medical Office, Patients, USA | Healthy | December 27, 2018


(In the middle of a major snowstorm, my fiancé starts feeling incredibly under the weather. Not taking the risk, I get him to the doctor, taking an hour to drive a usual ten-minute drive because of road conditions. I decide to stay in the waiting room and read. It’s just me and the receptionist in the front when a man holding his arm oddly comes in.)

Man: “I’m here for an appointment.”

Receptionist: “Yes, are you…” *trails off and pales* “Uh…”

Man: “I’m [Man], here about my hand.”

Receptionist: “I’m sorry; it says here you cut your finger off?”

(I look up from my book, completely horrified, and now notice the man has a very bloody towel around his hand.)

Man: “I was cutting wood and missed. It’s safer to drive here than the hospital.”

Receptionist: “You need to go to the emergency room right now. I’m calling you an ambulance!”

Man: *turns to me* “She’s overreacting, right?”

Me: *notices he’s carrying a sandwich bag with a FINGER IN IT* “Absolutely not!”

(He kept protesting, but eventually got into the ambulance and left. I told my fiancé about it after the fact, but he’d thought it was a fever dream. The kicker? The doctor’s office was at the top of a hill, while the nearest hospital was maybe half a mile away in a very open area, much easier to get to in snow.)
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Getting A Gauge On Nurse Meanie

Canada, Hospital, Nurses, Wild & Unruly | Healthy | December 26, 2018


(I am in the hospital, about to give birth to my son. They have been trying to induce me for three days since I am far past term, the baby is large, and it is time for him to come out. Each time we go in to get another round of the lovely stuff they put up your lady bits to try and start contractions, I have the same nurse. She is terribly mean and has a horrid bedside manner. My hubby and I are very non-confrontational people, so we just deal with it and don’t say anything. Fast forward to day three: my water finally breaks at midnight. We head to the hospital to be admitted. Since it is the night shift, we have a new nurse who is a wonderful girl. She gets me settled and set up with an IV. She ends up having to use a smaller gauge since my veins are sometimes a bit difficult, but it’s no problem. The day shift comes and Nurse Meanie is back. She is in a mood and is fuming that the night nurse used a size smaller gauge on my IV. She then spends the next several hours trying to redo it with a larger-gauge needle. She has my hand wrapped in hot towels for a couple hours to make the veins pop, with no luck. After five failed attempts this way, she takes to slapping the back of my hand to make the vein pop out better. My hubby has had to step out to grab something from home we had forgotten, so I am on my own. My hand is hurting quite a bit and she just keeps slapping and slapping.)

Me: “Can you please just stop? I have an IV and it seems to be okay. That really hurts me. Please just stop.”

Nurse: “No. They never should have done this gauge IV. I don’t know what these young nurses think they’re doing; this is absolutely wrong and I will be having a talk with them.”

(She keeps slapping my hand, and has tried the IV another three times. I am now in tears from the constant poking and the prolonged slapping.)

Me: “Okay, this is enough. Stop it and leave the IV alone!”

Nurse: “No, I have to do this. This gauge is not large enough to administer the meds you need. I have to do it. You’re in labor; you can deal with a few needle pricks.”

(I am now full-on crying, and any sense of being nice is completely gone.)

Me: “That’s it! We are done with this. This IV is fine and I will not allow this to continue!”

(I pull my hand away and she tries to grab it back. I pull it close to my chest and glare at her as best I can. She is more than angry and leaves the room. My doctor comes in a few minutes later to check how I am progressing. Nurse Meanie comes in a moment later and proceeds to loudly explain how incompetent the night nurse was at giving me an IV, and how she has been trying all morning to fix it. She shoots me a look and then tells him that I have been incredibly difficult and refused to allow her to replace the IV. She has the smuggest look on her face and smiles at me, all sickly-sweet. The doctor looks at her as though she’s gone mad. He shakes his head.)

Doctor: “There is nothing wrong with that gauge of IV. I would have recommended the same since her veins are hard to find. I don’t blame her for refusing if you have been trying for hours. There is no problem here.”

(Nurse Meanie’s face looked so angry and embarrassed. She opened her mouth to speak and then shut it. And then she stormed out of the room. The doc turned to me and I just said, “Thank You!” He shook his head and said that he would make sure a different nurse was assigned to me from there on out. Thank goodness.)
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Don’t Get That Mixed Up With The Coffee

North Carolina, Revolting, USA, Vet | Healthy | December 25, 2018


(A worried-looking woman rushes into the vet’s waiting room, pulls out a double-bagged yellow liquid, and tries to hand it to the receptionist.)

Woman: “IS THIS A NORMAL COLOR FOR MY CAT’S URINE?!”

(It was.)
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That’s One Prescription Of Holiday Cheer

California, Health Care, Holidays, Nurses, USA | Healthy Hopeless Right | December 24, 2018


(It is just before Christmas and my son’s prescription needs to be refilled. The office gets the prescription written in a timely manner, but then my father is hospitalized. I spend the week bouncing back and forth between the hospital and getting our house ready to move him in. Finally, at the end of the week, I get everything settled so I can run over and pick up my son’s prescription so it can be refilled before it runs out over the holiday. Unfortunately, I arrive ten minutes after the office closes for the holiday weekend. I’m sitting on the curb in the parking lot… exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling like a complete failure.)

Nurse: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I screwed up. I was supposed to pick up my son’s refill this week so he wouldn’t run out over the holiday. “

Nurse: “Did anyone call you?”

Me: “Yes. I’ve just been in the hospital with my dad all week, and I finally was able to get over here. I forgot the holiday hours. It’s my fault.”

Nurse: “It’s a good thing I came out the front. I usually leave by the back door. Let’s go get his prescription slip.”

(The nurse unlocks the door, takes me inside, and signs over the prescription.)

Me: *still a bit teary* “You are the first thing that has gone right for us all week. I’m sorry I kept you late.”

Nurse: “I’m glad you caught me. Merry Christmas.”

(A heartfelt thank-you to healthcare workers. You do not get the credit you deserve.)
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This Practice Is Now Dead To Them

Ignoring & Inattentive, Jerk, Las Vegas, Nevada, Pets & Animals, USA, Vet | Healthy | December 24, 2018


(I have worked at a veterinarian office as a receptionist for the last ten years and know how to read people pretty well. At this particular practice, pets that are getting procedures done are scheduled to be dropped off no later than 8:30 am. This means that by the time I come in at 9:00 am, all the procedure pets are already at the office. The first thing I do is check the schedule to see what appointments are due to come in. A husband and wife come into the office looking visibly distressed. The husband is holding a bundle of towels in his arms very protectively. This is common for people who are coming in with very sick or old pets. I motion for them to come over to my desk.)

Me: “What’s going on there?”

Husband: “This is [Dog].”

(He looks like he is about to cry and doesn’t elaborate the reason for his visit. I remember from looking at the schedule that there is a pet by the same name due to come in to get euthanized. The office has a very strict euthanasia policy. The doctor must examine the pet prior to the procedure, and if the pet appears healthy we will not euthanize. I can partially see the pet wrapped in the towels and can tell that it matches the breed due to come in, but looks it to be healthy. I make a note in the chart so the doctor knows what he is getting into when he does the exam. I motion for them to follow me into the room we leave open for pets that are getting put to sleep.)

Wife: “[Doctor] said we can wait in the office until the procedure is over.” *sniffing into a tissue*

Me: “You can stay as long as you like; there is no rush. If you like you can even stay in the room with her. Let me just get you to fill out the forms, and I will let the doctor know you are here.”

Wife: “We already filled these out.” *barks at me without looking at the forms*

Me: “Okay, let me check your account and see if I can find them.”

(I check the account, and I don’t see any signed euthanasia forms.)

Me: “I am so sorry, but I was unable to find the signed forms. Do you mind filling them out again for me?”

Wife: “Fine.” *goes to sign forms again without looking at them*

Husband: “EUTHANASIA! WHAT THE F***?! [Dog] is here for a [drop-off procedure]!”

Wife: “WHAT?! OH, MY GOD! WHAT THE H*** WERE YOU THINKING?! WHAT IF I SIGNED THAT?! YOU WOULD HAVE KILLED MY DOG!”

Me: “I am so sorry. It was an honest mistake, but don’t worry; we never would have euthanized your pet. [Doctor] always does an exam…”

Wife: “NO! You tried to kill my puppy!”

(Both husband and wife left the room, all the while yelling that I tried to kill their dog to all the other clients in the waiting room. I went straight to the office manager and let her know what happened. I let her know that I didn’t know that there were two dogs that have the same name and breed due to come in on the same day, as well as having a drop-off procedure come in later then is required. I admitted that I didn’t ask the client’s name and that was my mistake. My office manager agrees that it was an honest mistake and anyone would have made the same one. Later an agent from the Better Business Bureau called and took my statement about the incident, and I never heard anything about it again, nor did those clients ever come back.)
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Hats Off To Good Drugs!

England, Hospital, London, Patients, Silly, UK | Healthy | December 22, 2018


(I am in the hospital, having an operation on my hand that requires me to be under general anaesthetic. I am fourteen years old and have previously had two generals, so I know I react well, if very strangely. The anaesthetist is prepping me for surgery, with my dad beside me.)

Anaesthetist: “Okay, now the next drug I’m going to give you is this [medicine], which [does something I now can’t remember]. Okay?”

Me: *already a little bit drugged up and very sluggishly cheerful* “Okay!”

Anaesthetist: *barely started administering the medicine* “Right, so, adults often say that it feels like you’ve had a little drink–”

Me: “Oooh, yep, got that! Wooowwwww! Dad, everything’s blurry!”

Anaesthetist: *trying not to laugh* “Yes, sweetheart, it does that sometimes. I always hear that it’s a bit like having alcohol from the adults, and some people say that it makes them feel very happy.”

Me: “It feels like I’ve had alcohol or something!”

Anaesthetist: “There she goes!”

Me: “And I feel really happy! Did you give me something?”

Anaesthetist: “I’m going to put you to sleep now, sweetheart, okay?”

Me: “Okay! See you in a bit! I like your hat!”

(Out like a light. I apologised to the anaesthetist afterward, while still a bit drugged, and asked where his hat was when he came to tell me that I’d made his day. He’d never been wearing one.)
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Have A Heart (Attack)!

Jerk, Medical Office, Patients, San Antonio, Texas, USA | Healthy | December 22, 2018


(I work in a clinic that has regular patients who have treatment three times a week, sitting side by side each treatment. We are very short-handed today and I have the section where [Patient #1 ], who is very demanding, is located. She wants to get off treatment early, at 1:00. However, right before [Patient #1 ]’s turn, [Patient #2 ] begins to have a heart attack. As the rest of staff is on break, three other nurses and I immediately begin to perform CPR and attend him.)

Patient #1 : “[My Name], are you still going to take me off treatment at one?”

Me: *obviously doing compressions* “Right now is not a good time; I’ll get to you when I can.”

Patient #1 : “Well, could you get someone else to get me off treatment, then? Is it so important you need four people there? Where is everyone else?”

(The other nurses and I continue to perform CPR. As one nurse is talking to the 911 operator, [Patient #1 ] starts bothering the nurse.)

Patient #1 : “[Nurse], can you take me off treatment? Hello? Are you listening to me?”

(She repeats herself, getting louder and louder each time, but we continue to tell her we’ll get to her when we can. Finally, paramedics arrive for [Patient #2 ]. After paramedics take [Patient #2 ], we are finally able to return to our other patients. All the other staff who were on break are returning now. I am finally able to get to [Patient #1 ].)

Patient #1 : *two-faced* “Well, you sure know how to make me late! Is [Patient #2 ] okay? I was so worried about him! Did you know his kids were going to visit him this weekend?”

(She continued to tell me all his kids’ business as if nothing had happened. I quietly just took her off treatment because I was so disgusted someone could be so concerned with herself despite the fact that he could’ve died. Thankfully, he is doing well since we acted quickly.)
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Welcome To Private Healthcare!

Doctors, Great Stuff, Insurance, Lazy/Unhelpful, Medical Office, USA | Healthy | December 21, 2018


(I’ve recently had to change my health insurance, and I’m still getting used to its quirks. I realize that one of my medications can’t be refilled on this insurance without a Prior Authorization — “PA.” Basically, the insurance wants my doctor to formally request that I be allowed to take it, because it’s a name brand that’s relatively expensive. My doctor sends the PA request in a few days before I have an appointment with him, and I don’t hear much else about it until I go into the office, where my doctor seems irritated.)


Doctor: “So, I wrote a letter to your insurance company for the PA. Actually, I wrote them two letters. They won’t fill your prescription.”

Me: “What? I thought the point of the PA was so they’d fill ones they normally wouldn’t?”

Doctor: “Generally, but sometimes they deny the requests because they want you to try a generic first. When I sent the first letter, they replied with a denial and said that you were required to at least try [Generic #1 ] or [Generic #2 ]. The problem is, they contain [certain progestin], which interacts with testosterone.”

Me: “Which is what I’m taking [Medication] for in the first place?”


Doctor: “Yes! So, in my second letter, I told them that if they couldn’t approve [Medication], I needed anything from a long list I gave them, but specifically any variation that did not include [certain progestin]. And they absolutely will not budge. They sent me a list of more options, and every single one of them contains it.”

Me: “Um. Okay. What does that mean?”

Doctor: *looking like he wants to kill someone* “It means your insurance company won’t let you take any medication except for the kind that will only make your problems worse.”
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Maybe The Neurology Ward Has A Telepath?

Crazy Requests, Medical Office, Patients, Texas | Healthy | December 20, 2018


(I work in a clinic with eight doctors in it, and a staff of about 90 between our multiple locations. My job involves acting as the operator, so I am one of three women who answer the phones initially, and usually get this call

Patient: “Somebody called me.”

Me: “Who was it, please?”

Patient: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Was there a voice message?”

Patient: “I didn’t check for one.”

Me: “I apologize, there are almost a hundred people who work here. I couldn’t say who tried to call you.”

Patient: “You mean you don’t know?”

Me: “Since you don’t have a name, no, I don’t.”
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