Orin Autry started working for Walmart in 2015 as a pharmacy intern while going through pharmacy school. Since then, he’s been a Staff Pharmacist at three different Walmart stores in North Carolina. Today he’s settled in at the pharmacy of Store 1849 in Winston-Salem.
As a former schoolteacher and hospital chaplain, Orin enjoys meaningful encounters with people. “It’s where I get my sense of value,” he explains.
“I enjoy conversations with customers, especially when they open up,” Orin says. “A lot of people are hurting right now, for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes things in your background relate to their situation. That sparks a connection so that people feel cared for.”
Hands On Care
Sometimes, caring for people requires much more than meaningful conversation. Orin has seen a few health emergencies. He’s helped several people who fainted after receiving vaccines. He also cared for a customer who was having a stroke until emergency medical services arrived.
But there’s one specific event from March 2022 that stands out to Orin. “Two minutes before closing, a woman ran into the pharmacy, panicking. She asked if I had Narcan for an unconscious man in the parking lot,” Orin recalls.
Narcan® Nasal Spray is the brand name for naloxone, a medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose.
Orin acted fast: He locked the pharmacy gate and set the alarm before going outside. “I found the gentleman reclined in the driver’s seat—eyes shut, foaming at the mouth and making a gurgling noise.”
A grocery associate called 911. The woman wouldn’t tell Orin what happened.
The man had very shallow breathing and was sweating a lot. Orin lifted the man’s eyelids and saw pinpoint pupils, which indicates a possible overdose.
“I ran back into the pharmacy and grabbed the Narcan. Outside, a police officer had arrived. We worked together, tapping the unconscious man on his shoulder and sternum to try and get a response,” Orin remembers. “He was totally unresponsive.”
The police officer said he wasn’t comfortable giving the Narcan. But time was running out. “Someone had to do it,” Orin says. “So I did.”
Orin put the Narcan device into the man’s nostril and pressed the plunger. Following his training, Orin waited two minutes. Then he checked for a response by looking at both pupils and listening for changes in breathing.
There was no improvement, so Orin gave the second dose in the other nostril.
As emergency medical services arrived, the patient woke up. He was confused—but alive! Rescue personnel took over.
For his courageous actions, Orin was honored with Walmart’s Moments of Care pin. “My supervisor formally congratulated me for acting decisively in saving that gentleman’s life.”
How did it feel to save someone’s life? “It felt surreal and overwhelming,” Orin says.
Orin’s first training on Narcan was in pharmacy school. In addition, Walmart provides its pharmacists with continuing education and training. One of Orin’s continuing education modules was about giving Narcan. He always makes sure to note where Narcan is located in every pharmacy he works in.
Ultimately, the event made Orin realize the importance of training and continuing education. “I used my knowledge to make the best decision I could. I’m proud that I had the ability to think on my feet and respond in a way that saved a man’s life,” Orin said.
“Above all, I’m very grateful for the training.”
Sam’s Club and Walmart pharmacists play an important role in helping our communities stay healthy. We’re celebrating each and every one of them for Pharmacy Appreciation Month 2022. Check out more stories from the pharmacy on WalmartWorld.com.