The Minimally Trained

I can't imagine how a serious shortage of RNs will impact a medical office. I can, however, take a gander at how it will affect the pharmacist.

It is estimated that there will be a shortage of 285,000 Registered Nurses (RNs) in the USA in just a few years. Eight years is what an expert at Vanderbilt says. Make that a half million in 2025. That is an awful big hole to be filled. I don’t think you are going to see RNs giving “patient care.” How can they? It will be the less trained who will dress the wounds, take out the stitches and generally pat fannies to simply help make people feel better. Minimal attempts to give good “bedside manner.”

Nurses are getting older and that feeds the problem of a shortage. Most nurses are female and women are noted for not working the same “full” careers that men work. They go for part-time during the child-raising years. They become a second income for the family.

I can’t imagine how a serious shortage of RNs will impact a medical office. I can, however, take a gander at how it will affect the pharmacist. The RNs are just too busy and too scarce to have them continue at the job of telephoning prescriptions into the pharmacy. Even RNs have difficulties with prescriptions at times. Can you imagine what it will be like when minimally trained “technicians” are asked to call in prescriptions?

No, you can’t imagine! These people can often be so ill-prepared that they say things like this:

“It has a Tee with a dot over it and then an Oh or is that a Cue?”

You get the drift. The absolute best (or worst) example was a long time ago. Around 1985. A voice was calling in a prescription. She was chewing gum noisily and yawned a couple times. Bored! But this was a prescription for an Rx Only drug. I asked her:

“Was that Seldane or Feldene? Say it slowly please.”

Her answer was spoken slowly. Only one measured word and I did not like the inflection of impatience.

“Yes!”

We don’t want to share the witness box. Please give your best employees the telephone duty. Your other employees, especially the receptionist or your high school-aged daughter, need to be properly trained or kept off the phone.