After a recent appointment with my asthma specialist, I realized I’d forgotten to ask her about whether or not I should receive the pneumonia vaccine. However, as I was lamenting this fact on the phone with a friend, I realized that I actually had someone right in my community who is also an expert on things like vaccines and chronic diseases: my pharmacist! (Or, in my case, pharmacists!)
What do pharmacists do?
Pharmacists do a lot more than count out pills—they are busy ensuring that there are no interactions between the medicines you take, educating patients about side effects and drug interactions, and helping ensure patients can afford their medicines—just to name a few tasks, some of which they are assisted by Pharmacist Assistants or Technicians.
Often, and it depends on where you live, pharmacists often can provide a lot of health education and support patients, and general health information to the community—such as which type of cold medicine to take, what immunizations are needed for travel to certain destinations, and in some cases, pharmacists are also trained Certified Diabetes Educators or Certified Asthma Educators, that can immeasurably assist people adjust to a new diagnosis, or whenever questions pop up. Even if your pharmacist is not a certified educator, chances are they will either be able to answer your question or direct you to someone who can.
Pharmacists, if they are used to their full potential, can be a very important member of your health care team! So, if you—like me—forgot to ask an important question at your last doctor’s appointment, consider dropping by or making a call to your pharmacist for advice! As well, if you’re dealing with any side effects of medications, consider asking them about it, too. Sometimes, a change in the dosing schedule, or a trick they’ve heard from their own research or via another patient can make a big difference!
If you are a pharmacist…
We appreciate the work you do! If you don’t already provide advice to patients about wearing Medical ID Jewelry, we’d love to partner with you to help you do this! We can provide pre-engraved jewelry, samples for order, and medical ID wallet cards for your pharmacy—just ask!
Medical ID jewelry is very important, especially for patients receiving multiple medications or who have several medical conditions. Because every minute counts in an emergency, it is important for emergency medical technicians or paramedics to be able to quickly identify the medical needs of your patients—and medical ID jewelry can make a difference if your patient cannot speak or remember all of their vital information!
Remember to thank a pharmacist today for National Pharmacist Day!