8 Things You Didn't Know Your Pharmacist Could Do For You
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Politics and Activism

8 Things You Didn't Know Your Pharmacist Could Do For You

They are willing to help.

8 Things You Didn't Know Your Pharmacist Could Do For You
Duquesne APhA

Pharmacist are the most accessible healthcare professionals in the country. However, most people do not even know how valuable these "pill counters" can be. In fact, one common misconception is pharmacist only count pills and slap a label on boxes. This is far from the truth. Pharmacist are highly trained professionals and the experts on drugs with typically six to eight years of training and a doctorate degree to show for it.

1.) Stop the spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria from taking over the world.

Okay, that may be a little dramatic but this one is a real threat that pharmacist can help stop. Antibiotics are being overused. Often times patients expect an antibiotic for the flu or another viral infection and often times they are prescribed an antibiotic. Due to this overuse, bacteria are becoming resistant to drugs. Pharmacist study and understand antibiotic protocols in order to ensure physicians are properly prescribing these drugs.

2.) Manage medication profiles

Not only do pharmacist know the drugs, they also know the absolute best prescription for your treatment. Think of pharmacist as your personalized care plan creator. Pharmacist have ample training in creating care plans that are individualized to each of their patients in order to have the best outcome. While managing medication profiles, pharmacist can review compliance on medications to help patients stay as healthy as they can be. On another note, they are also able to review side effects and ensure the patient is receiving the best suited medication therapy and at the correct dosages.

3.) Vaccinate

Most people know their pharmacist can give them their flu shot, however, they can do so much more. Pharmacist are able to administer any injectable after they have training. This means so much more than flu shots! If you're going on spring break to Cancun, check with your pharmacist to see what shots you may need! This also means clinical pharmacist in hospitals are even able to assist in emergency situations to administer life saving medication to a patient.

4.) Advocate

Pharmacist are the advocate for their patients. If a pharmacist thinks their patient is at risk for any interactions, they are responsible for advocating to the physician on behalf of the patient. Not only do pharmacist act as the link between the physician and patient, often times the pharmacist is the advocate for the patient to the insurance companies.

5.) Avoid serious drug interactions

Some may think pharmacist just "slap a label on it", however, this is the furthest from the truth. What the pharmacist and technician are actually doing behind the counter are insuring that the prescription is correct, everything from the correct patient to the correct drug and dosage. It's hard to believe any medical professional could make a mistake but healthcare professionals work together to check each other.

6.) Point of Care Testing

What is Point of Care Testing? This simply means pharmacist are able to perform quick and informative tests such as sugar levels, A1C, cholesterol, body fat composition, check blood pressure, rapid strep tests, influenza tests, along with 100 more tests pharmacists can legally perform. As the most accessible healthcare professionals, this means more people are able to receive some form of care without needing access to a doctor. Now, this isn't to say people should forgo going to the doctors, but it does contribute to increased overall health.

7.) Disease State Management

On that note, pharmacist are specially trained to help patients control different conditions they may have in a multitude of ways. Not only are they able to specifically review patient's medications to reduce side effects and slow the progression of disease but they are also able to perform minor, routine testing at the pharmacy in between doctor's appointments. For example, reviewing medications, performing a foot exam, and taking blood sugar levels are just a few things a pharmacist can do for you.

8.) Help pick out OTC (over-the-counter)

Have you ever walked up and down the cough and cold aisle looking for something to help ease your symptoms? Picking out an OTC pain killer, cough medication or allergy medication can be intimidating if you aren't sure what you need to treat your symptoms. Pharmacist are there for you to ask for their help. Once you give them your symptoms, they can find a medication specifically for you. This also applies to rashes you may acquire. Pharmacist are able to determine which type of cream or ointment you may need or if you need a referral to the physician.

Whether or not you may utilize your local pharmacist, remember they are there for you! Unfortunately, despite all these services pharmacists can provide, pharmacist are not yet recognized as providers. If you're interested in supporting pharmacists, please consider visiting the Senate and House of Representatives to contact your representatives.

Senate Action link for Senate Bill S.109: click here

House Action link for House Bill H.R. 529: click here

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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