written by Beatrice
Some of these patients felt offended that the actual box of medication prescribed had a label with the instructions and the legal name. To comply with management, we had to change the name on these labels. The software would not allow to change the patient’s name, resulting in us being forced to create a fake patient.
I worked in an outpatient pharmacy (a hospital pharmacy) for 7 years as a registered professional health worker. Every day we would see different patients with different conditions and needs.
Every Tuesday, we would attend patients from the sex clinic. The vast majority of them being trans people. As a professional and human, I treat every patient with dignity and respect. However, patients didnt want to be called by their legal name, which was written on the prescription. So we would write their preferred name on their prescription and call them as they wish, as strongly suggested by our managers.
Some of these patients felt offended that the actual box of medication prescribed had a label with the instructions and the legal name. To comply with management, we had to change the name on these labels. The software would not allow to change the patient’s name, resulting in us being forced to create a fake patient. This meant that the legal name would have no record of the prescribed medication or cause potential stock issues (because the medicine was given out to both the legal and fake name ). If we ever had to refer back to the prescription, it would be a nightmare to find the original paper. It was nonsensical.
What is worse is that this level of respect and attention didnt happen the other way around. A patient who had recently undergone ‘affirmation’ surgery (the removal of the penis and simulating the shape of a vagina) came to the pharmacy and asked about period products and different absorption capacities. He explained it was for him and why.
As a professional, I showed our products and explained the differences between them. I was pregnant back then. The patient asked how much do I bleed personally and how many boxes do I need each month. When I told him I don’t know how much I currently bleed he was perplexed. He was not aware pregnant women don’t bleed (or at least, not as a proper menstruation). As I noticed he was not very aware of the women’s reproductive system, I thread cautiosly. I said it varies and that every woman bleeds varied amounts. I also (and very carefully) explained that in this particular case, he won’t ever have a period, but that the pads would keep him dry from potential discharge whilst healing from his surgery.
He told me how insensitive I was because he would bleed exactly the same as me after giving birth to my baby. I corrected the person, I briefly explained how postpartum bleeding works and how it’s not the same (WTF?). Then, he physically pushed me to a side (whilst not being with force, it was uncalled for) and shouted for my manager.
A complaint was filed because of my behaviour and I had to speak to different people that shamed me and really tainted my reputation. I have changed careers since then. Couldn’t cope the NHS would let this happen. I’m a scientist, I can’t play this nonsensical game. This is no longer about respect, it’s about being real of who we are.