1 Part Bleach To 100 Parts Stupidity, Part 2

, , , | Healthy | October 25, 2017

(I am a pharmacy technician, not qualified to recommend drugs or dispense advice. Any questions about actual medicine, I am required to pass off to a pharmacist, even if I think I know the answer.)

Me: “Hello, how may I help you?”

Customer: *mumbling* “Um, I think I—” *mumbles* “—contact with bleach…”

Me: “I’m sorry, what? Could you repeat that?”

Customer: “I think I might have swallowed some bleach and was wondering if the pharmacist could recommend anything.”

Me: *trying not to look alarmed* “Well, if I were you, I would call the Poison Control Center, but I’ll check with the pharmacist.”

(I go back to the counter where the pharmacist is working.)

Me: “This guy says he might have ingested bleach and wants to know if you can recommend anything. I told him he should call the Poison Control Center.”

Pharmacist: “Yeah, that’s about it.”

(I go up to the front counter and repeat this advice to the customer.)

Customer: “Well, I drank some fluids and I’m feeling better now. I had some [soda], and some water, and some lemonade. My chest was hurting before but now it’s better. Do you know if bleach can make your chest hurt?”

Me: “Um… probably. If you swallowed bleach, it could hurt on the way down. You should probably call the Poison Control Center.”

Customer: “Eh, maybe I’ll call them tomorrow. If I’m not feeling better then, I can go to the emergency room, too.”

Me: “I would call them tonight if I were you, just to be safe. Do you want their number?”

(I write it down on the nearest piece of paper and hand it to him.)

Customer: “Yeah, thanks. I might call them tomorrow.”

(He wanders away, but comes back later. My coworker is an intern, studying to become a pharmacist, and gets to the counter first. I overhear their conversation.)

Customer: “I was wondering about water pills. What do they do?”

Coworker: “Um, they make you urinate.”

Customer: “Can I get some of those?”

Coworker: *realizing why he’s asking* “They don’t flush out your system; they’re used to lower blood pressure. And you would need a prescription.”

Customer: “Can I get one of those?”

Coworker: *bewildered* “We don’t give prescriptions here; we just fill them. You would need to go to a doctor.”

(The customer wanders away, apparently still confused about a lot of things.)

Me: “I hope he’s going to be okay.”

Pharmacist: “If he had really swallowed bleach, his throat would be burned. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but there’s nothing else we can do.”

Related:
1 Part Bleach To 100 Parts Stupidity

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