Alcohol results 6


Everyone comes back into work the next week and things continue as normal.


Our pharmacist confides in you that she is concerned about her drinking. Our pharmacist insists that her pharmacy work has not suffered as a result and she can handle the situation with her help.


Our pharmacist discloses to you that she has been drinking heavily during a stressful period. She tells you that occasionally she finds it difficult to stop drinking but that her drinking has so far never interfered with her work. She confides that she is embarrassed about what happened on the night out recently.


What would you do next and what factors would you consider when making these decisions?


“Speak to her in confidence. Encourage her to seek professional help as she knows she has a problem. Raise concerns with the manager and involve her in these.”


“At least she has some insight. Encourage her to get help.”


“Offer support and referral to counselling and treatment.”


“I would offer to sit down with her and discuss the issue and refer her to her GP. I would also recommend that she seeks help from AA as this is another confidential source. I would also meet with her regularly to see how she is getting on.”


“Reassure her that she has my support. Ask her if you could contact Listening Friends together for help and advice.”


“Would still speak to the employer- patients are still at risk and support pharmacist to access support.”


“Talk to them about getting help. Maybe speaking to someone and stopping drinking while she gets her personal problems sorted..explain that I think it will affect her work and that being hungover at work is not acceptable behaviour.”


“I would ask her to consider counselling or a support group. I would also offer to check her work on days she isn’t feeling well as an additional safety check. Many pharmacies have it in their SOP that dispensing should be checked by at least two staff anyway, and talk to her if she is making mistakes.”


“Suggest that she contacts, for example, Pharmacist Support.”


“Help her figure out ways to start addressing this problem. Her willingness to work on this matters the most. Accessibility to resources etc would be key for her to stick to a decision to reduce or stop her drinking.”


“I would recommend her to speak to her GP, to find herself a counsellor so that she can deal with her stress in a positive way, and to contact AA if necessary.”


“Signpost, encourage to discuss with line manager.”


“Encourage her to speak with a counsellor and address the issue. Possibly talk to her on a day off and just understand what the underlying issue is.”


“Report it to the governing bodies, in the aim to get her the assistance she may need. Unlikely if she has been abusing alcohol as long as she has disclosed that this has not affected her work in any way.”


“Ask how she plans to reduce her drinking and offer to help keep her accountable. Take into consideration the relationship you have with her and whether she will listen to your advice and whether you are able to provide support at the moment.”


“She has shown she is aware she is out of control with the drinking so I would ask what I could do to help and try to support with reducing stress suggestions and advise her to speak to someone about the drinking.”


“Suggest she seeks help from an addiction counsellor, admitting the problem is the first step to addressing it.”


“Support her to get help. To see her Dr or AA.”


“Encourage her to contact alcohol services.”


“She is contrite and recognises there’s a problem. Thus she needs support.”


“How can you support them to help overcome their current situation, how can you help with stress levels to help manage without the need for alcohol, are there separate personal reasons? Signpost to appropriate support groups/counselling if feel appropriate and will help.”


“Suggest she needs to contact someone to discuss her concerns. Pharmacist Support/AA.”


“I would advise her to seek professional help and inform her that in my view, her ability to have an objective view on this matter is impaired – she must seek urgent help for her professional / health and social status.”


“Help her seek support.”


“Agree how she could get help together. Become a sponsor. Look at stressors in her work life.”


“Ask her what she’s going to do about it. Her assessment of whether her drinking is affecting her work is unreliable and I’d tell her this. Offer to help her find help for her problem.”


“Offer her support to change her behaviour, signpost to the relevant alcohol recovery programme. She has admitted that there is a behaviour that needs to change so she is already on the cycle of change she now just needs the support to keep going. What is her commitment to change like? There may be other data to look eat e.g. the number of near misses, error logs that could either back up or go against her theory that her drinking had never affected her work, written logs of previous issues could be reviewed. I’d be completing a written record of this discussion with clear outcomes for each of us too.”


“Support her and encourage her to get help before the incident is repeated.”


“Chat further in a safer space and offer support.”


“Encourage her to be honest and that there’s no shame in seeking help.”


“Speak to pharmacist see if she would go and see GP.”


“Offer. Support and signpost to more. Formal support.”


“Ask her if she needs support to help her with her drinking and advise her to contact pharmacist support or Drinkaware.”


“I would talk to her and explore what she means by a stressful situation and see what I can do to help her. I would consider patient safety if the pharmacist is putting members of the public or patients at risk then this would mean that I would report her to my supervisor, or line manager and follow their advice.”


“Offer to help her find out about alternative ways to deal with her stress.”


“I would ask permission to contact the area manager for support if I had not already done so. I would offer support and advice and find out how she would like to proceed. I would explain I had also had concerns and agree that perhaps things were getting out of hand. I would ensure we were somewhere quiet to chat.”


“Help her contact AA.”


“Urge pharmacist to get help for her drinking. Speak to pharmacist line manager. Consider well being of patients first.”


“She is unlikely to be able to judge objectively what the impact on her work is and needs referrals to professional help. I would also be concerned about her working without supervision.”


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PIP editor

A pharmacist led training provider.

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