Cash Handling: A Pharmacy Graduate’s Dilemma in Pakistani Tertiary Care Hospitals
Have you ever helped out in a school party or as a proctor in university, worked as a volunteer to handle cash? It can be a headache to collect the accurate amount of money and its submission to higher authorities. In practical pharmacy, a big disappointment faced by health care professionals is “cash handling” at the pharmacy counter.
To say the least, it’s difficult for a graduate who holds a degree in pharmacy, having a command on medicine to count cash like a Bank Cashier. Moreover, sometimes the pharmacist forgets to counsel the patient about their original health complains or precautions just because he or she is busy in counting bucks and afraid of falling short of cash at the end of the day. As a result of daily record-keeping the pharmacist should disclose the amount and reason for the cash shortage to the finance department and deposit the surplus amount on the same or next day. To make matters worse, the pharmacist is required to exercise caution by depositing the cash into the bank by standing in a queue after a long busy day.
It feels so awkward for professionals to ask “Sir, do you have some change?” or “Do you have hundred or fifty rupees?” for which sometimes a harsh, abusive tone comes from opposite side making it very difficult for the professional to tolerate the routine. Additionally, it has also been noticed that after a hectic day, a pharmacist pays a thousand bucks or even more from his/her pocket because of receiving counterfeit money as they’re not experts in originality of currency notes as a bank cashier might be.
Apart from this, abroad there is a separate window for Pharmacist to just counsel the patient, answer the queries related to medicines, give information to patient regarding Drug-Drug interactions, Drug-food interactions, check the dose according to patient’s weight whereas in our country, cash handling creates a barrier to fulfillment of a professional duty in order to reduce mortality and morbidity rate.
Besides this, when well educated people come into the pharmacy, they’re shocked by this tragic unprofessional situation. Due to lack of pharmacy technicians and increased workload, pharmacists are going through a lot of difficulties in playing a professional role which they are assigned to. Consequently, this is a big dilemma these days which convinces pharmacists to either switch their field or to move from the hospital pharmacy to the industrial side on a large scale.
About the Author: Azmina Nayani has received his Pharm D from Hamdard University, Pakistan in the year 2009. Currently, she is working as a Pharmacist at Dow University of Health Sciences, Pakistan. She received hospital training from AKUH, Pakistan in 2010 and worked with that hospital for 2.5 years. She is also a member of FIP (International Pharmaceutical of Federation).
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