“To Fill or Not to Fill”?, That Is the Question

Mar 09, 2017

“In all chaos there is a cosmos; in all disorder a secret order.”

Carl Gustav Jung
Swiss psychiatrist

“To Fill or Not to Fill”?, That Is the Question

TISA Description of the Problem: Deciding to try a medication is a personal and, I believe, difficult decision. Despite its difficulties people are often placed in the situation of ostensibly making up their minds quickly, often in the same office visit in which the medication is first recommended. Is accepting a prescription a reliable indicator of motivation to follow-through with taking a medication? Nancy Lundborg, RN, MS has found the answer is not always “yes” as described in the following excellent clinical interviewing tip.

Tip: I ask people – once a medication has been suggested, discussed, side-effects reviewed, prescription written etc. – in a straightforward fashion:

“At this point in time are you actually planning to fill the prescription and begin the medication?”

I find that people often respond – surprisingly – that they aren’t/ don’t know/or whatever. Such answers open the door to a great discussion, that can be very rewarding, helping the patient to make a more informed decision – that is right for them, not me – one way or the other. At other times it suggests they might want to wait before making a decision.

TISA Follow-up: I don’t have much to offer to this excellent interviewing tip. The speed of today’s clinics has caused many problems, putting undue pressures on both patients and providers. This tip helps “to put the brakes on” in a sensitive and wise fashion.

Tip provided by:

Nancy Lundborg, RN, MS
Allina Behavioral Health Services
St. Paul, Minnesota

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