I do not mean any disrespect. Honestly! Absolutely NO DISRESPECT, but I want to report some observations. According to the Encarta Dictionary, the word FOREIGNER
is defined like this: Somebody who was born in or comes from a country other than your own.
That’s good, but I want to present a definition that fits in pharmacy in the 21st century.
I made this one up: A FOREIGNER is someone who speaks with an accent so thick that you don’t have a clue as to what they are trying to say. AGAIN. ABSOLUTELY NO DISRESPECT. I’m just reporting what’s so these days.
I will not even go to that idea I have heard that foreign pharmacists and doctors go get help with the English language. Their English is fine. It is the accents. I moved down from New England to southeastern gulf coast Texas over a year ago and I still have problems with the accents of nurses who were born and raised in La Marque, Texas.
Yesterday, a doctor whose native language is Tagalog (The Philippines) called in a prescription for Bictor Pranks. “I would like Bictor to hab Bicodin por da pain.”
Tagalog has no vee sounds, they use bee instead. Effs come out as pees.
“The patient’s name is Victor right?” I was good with a Tagalog accent after 37 years on the west coast. “And you want Vicodin for his pain.”
The second prescription. “He needs Balium por his nerbs.” That was easy too. You guys who are not accomplished in a Tagalog accent might be stymied.
Another one from yesterday. A nurse said that her name was Fajita, I thought.
“Is that Fah-heeta, like the Mexican food?”
“No!” A little hint of indigation. “My name is Fah-Heeta.”
“That’s what I said, Fah-Heeta.”
“No! My name is Fah-Heeta. Not like the Mexican food.”
“How do you spell it? I have to note your name on the prescription.”
“Eff – Arr- Eye– Tee- Ae” Fah-Heeta!
“Oh, your name is Free-Tah.” I wrote it down. Frita.
“That’s right. Fah-Heeta”
This is nothing new. You have all been there. Just be patient, you guys. The medical system in this country would grind to a halt if we didn’t have these foreigners working as
pharmacists, doctors and nurses. Without foreign pharmacists, we could not get the job done. The number of prescriptions to fill would crush us if we had only American born
pharmacists. Our country needs foreign pharmacists. We need doctors from Pakistan and China. Some of the best patient-care nurses are Filipinos.
A digression coming up. Our USA born teenagers seem to be unable to focus on the future. They live for the kicks of life, it seems. No sociology lecture here. I don’t know enough. It just seems that the kids with names like Nadeen Prakash and Robert Thanh Nguyen, no matter where they are born, manage to focus on their future just fine. The kids with names like Armstrong or Bello can’t get into medical or pharmacy school. They never focused on their grades. End of digression.
Back to accents. Chain stores would have to reduce the pharmacy’s hours or even close the departments without foreigners who immigrated here just for the good job and the
life in America.
There is a local pharmacist who always bitches when I ask for a transfer and the doctor is a Quarshi or Saeed. “Why don’t they either learn English or go back to where they came from. We don’t need them here. This is America.”
I don’t say it, but I always form the words in my mouth: We DO need them.
I digress again. My big concern is our kids. They speak perfectly accented English, but they either don’t want to go to a professional school or they can’t get in. The taffy colored young boy named Gulshan Shah, whose parents run the convenience store, gets in with straight As. He disciplines himself to do homework because his parents are never home. End of digression.
I started this to tell you that you need to be patient. I am very patient with foreigners, but THEY BETTER BE PATIENT WITH ME. When I tell them that I want everything spelled, I mean EVERYTHING. And I want it SLOWLY. And there better not be any attitude or grumbling or deep sighs. Your accent is perfectly okay with me. But we are gonna make sure that the patient gets the right drug in the correct dose with accurate instructions. Enough! Come on. Tell me where I am wrong.