Thursday, April 9, 2015

Rant about work - the 3-month update

Feeling a bit frustrated with work right now.
 I am the only clinical pharmacist in the entire hospital. There are four wards - male, female, paediatric and maternity. And I have only 8 hours a day at work (minus 1 hour for lunch).

When I first reported for work, the boss said: "You will be in charge of female ward."
I asked: "What about the male ward?"
"You will cover it if you have the time."

At that point, it occurred to me that he didn't really mind either way. Then, the previous clinical pharmacist - Miss T - told me that it would be best if I take care of the male ward. Generally, male ward has more patients and more interesting cases. So I complied.

On top of that, I am expected to be responsible for TDM. This means running to Outpatient Department (OPD) each time I receive a call from the doctors there. I would have to ask the patient if he or she is compliant to medications. Then I would have to give them an appointment time for blood-taking. It is not hard work, actually but just very annoying. Imagine following the doctor on his usual morning round when I suddenly receive a call from OPD - I would be pulled away from my routine.

Pharmacists are like the stepchildren of the Malaysian healthcare system. Like I always say, the doctors don't want us around, the nurses don't really need us and the patients don't know who we are.
So imagine my surprise when the doctors went to the hospital director to complain about the lack of pharmacists in the wards. Essentially they were complaining about me. And I feel slighted. What do they want from me? Do they expect to split myself into several pieces? I am the only one doing clinical and they cannot expect me to cover all four wards in the span of 8 hours.

Actually I totally can if I am not expected to clerk any cases and join on the doctors' morning rounds. But I have my own work to do as well. I have to clerk cases, counsel patients, follow the doctor on his morning round, and then document all of these things at the end of the day. These requirements are set by the state pharmacy department, and of course, the doctors wouldn't have a clue because they are only concerned about themselves.

If it is not enough pressure from work, my father just have to bring my confidence down further. He noticed that I was attending a lot of one-day courses or meetings in Ipoh. He wondered about the ward during my absence. Naturally there wouldn't be anyone else to take charge since I am the only one! I actually expect Miss T to do it, but she won't because she has other things to do in inpatient pharmacy.

"So you are actually not needed in the ward?" my father asked. (This might be rhetorical. I don't know).
"Yeah, pretty much," I said, pretending that he didn't just kill what was left of my confidence.

I don't even know if I am needed in this freaking hospital or not. Thank you everyone for the mixed signals.