The only thing is, I suspect they are cheap. For a long time, I thought the reason the office hadn't undergone any redecorating was the original doctors didn't want to spend the money on new window covers or new chairs or paint or wallpaper or floor covering or any kind of expansion of an increasingly cramped lab. But, the original occupants have been gone for a while, now, and the only change I've seen in 40 years is the removal of drapes in the waiting room and new paint and the addition of a little bit of wallpaper in my doctor's office. I don't know about the other offices, as I've never seen them. This leads me to believe, sadly, that they are simply - dare I say it?- CHEAP.
I believe that this "cheapness" applies to the salaries they pay to their nurses, clerks, receptionists, etc. Well, nobody's perfect. But, when the inevitable turnover happens, they have to hire new people, and although I don't know this for a fact, I suspect every new nurse, clerk, receptionist, etc. they hire is paid less than they paid the ones before. I'm convinced that they "lowballed" themselves right out of competent lab techs, and took to outsourcing that job.
So, it came as no surprise when my doctor hired a new nurse who has proved herself to b incompetent in the area of renewing prescriptions from the pharmacy, in this case, Walgreen's. I have had to be super-vigilant with the prescription renewals that have to be ok'd by the doctor and by that I mean, watching his nurse like a hawk. Once, I had to get her to correct a prescription she had called in for the wrong medication so many times that the insurance company finally refused to pay until we started over from scratch. She swore it was the fault of the pharmacy, and she was so convincing that I had some naughty thoughts about Walgreens, until the pharmacist presented me with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Sorry, Walgreen's. Maybe I should retract those ugly comments I made about you on Twitter and Facebook, too, not to mention what I ranted on this blog, but it was long ago, now. I'm just glad I didn't write an angry letter to the editor, which I have been known to do in times gone by.
This week, I called Walgreen's for a refill on a prescription I had been taking for a couple of years and was told it would take an extra day, because they needed an ok from my doctor. I waited , and when my prescription wasn't ready after three days, I called the doctor's office and told his nurse that Walgreen's had been waiting for an ok, and, as usual, she said she hadn't received a request from Walgreen's. But, she would call them, and then she read off the doctor's instruction about dosage to me, just to double-check.
Then, she turned right around and called the pharmacy and ordered double the number of pills that the doctor had ordered. Of course, Walgreen's filled it the way she ordered it, and now, I have a six month supply instead of three month's worth. As far as I'm concerned, this is not a bad thing. I know how much I'm supposed to take, and I wouldn't mind not having to have another refill for a year, even, come to that.
But, I can't help wondering how often she screws up prescriptions. And, in the case of the wrong medication she ordered for me, what if it had been another patient? One who, for one reason or another, didn't notice that she had gotten the name of the medication wrong. What if that patient had taken the pills and had gotten steadily worse while he/she unnowingly took the pills as directed? What if that patient had died? That's one way to hide the evidence, I guess, but what if it has already happened! Let's not go there.
This mistake was minor, I realize, but, I'm wondering. Should I have a little heart-to-heart with my doctor? I haven't actually made a list of all her mistakes, so maybe I should start memorializing them some way before I talk to him about her. I don't want to be the cause of her losing her job.
But, in the meantime, what if she kills somebody?