More than a dispensary: Your Pharmacist is a healthcare asset.
Pharmacists are an essential part of the medical field and an asset to the healthcare industry, however, few of us know of the extent of services that a pharmacist can provide, beyond the dispensing of medication.
Did you know that pharmacists are trained in drug therapy, patient communication, healthcare essentials, and patient care? They may also have specialised training in geriatric, orthopaedic, paediatric, holistic, sports, psychiatric, and nutritional pharmacy. This means that they are able to help you with general enquiries about your health and wellbeing, provide information regarding drug effectiveness, and assist with products available in front and behind the counter. Let’s look at what your pharmacist can do for you.
Drug Interactions Dispensing medication is only one part of a very large picture. Pharmaceutical companies provide pharmacies with standardised medications, meaning your pharmacist doesn’t actually make your medications, but rather provides them to you in a controlled way – along with information on how best to take them. Your pharmacist is trained to interpret how drug interactions will or won’t affect you. For example, they may advise you to not eat certain foods when taking antibiotics, or tell you about various symptoms that may be associated with specific medications. They’ll also ask if you’ve taken a certain type of drug before, helping you if you’re filling a prescription for the first time and ensuring that you know how to get the most out of your medication. They’re also aware of the fact that no two people are alike, and that you may react differently to something that had no effect on another person. This may be due to your genetics, other medications you’re taking, or simply your diet and lifestyle. With this information, your pharmacist can help you tailor your treatment.
Feeling ill but not ill enough to go to the doctor? Got a recurring ache, pain, or itch? You can actually talk to your pharmacist about some of these things. Your pharmacist can help you find the appropriate products for basic health care needs, including nutrition, skincare, sun care, sleep, and wellness items. According to Justin Armstrong of Ashmore Plaza Chempro, “Some of the issues people commonly inquire about include health-related equipment, better sleep, snoring remedies, first aid kits, the best thing for headaches and muscle pain, skincare for your specific skin type, weight loss and weight gain, travel essentials and so much more!”
Your pharmacist is trained in patient care and health, not just drug dispensing! If you have any health concerns or queries, you can ask them. If it is something serious or beyond their training, they can direct you to the nearest healthcare professional equipped for your case.
Provide Medical Equipment, Vaccines, and Services
Justin explains some of the other areas a pharmacist can be of service. “The product ranges available in a pharmacist have grown significantly. This includes products such as wheelchairs, walkers and crutches, as well as more highly specialised items including commode chairs, bed rails, arthritic walking frames and more. The pharmacist will even help you make your equipment more comfortable and ensure that everything is fitted, safe, and useful for you.”
On top of this, a pharmacy may provide you with vaccinations. Many pharmacies across Australia offer flu shots, amongst many other vaccinations, saving you valuable time otherwise spent in a doctor’s waiting room. You can literally pop into a pharmacy, chat to the pharmacist, and be vaccinated that day. Furthermore, Justin states that your pharmacy may even, “Provide Medical Certificates, blood pressure checks, diabetes screening checks, and appropriate weight loss programmes.”
They’re Healthier than the Internet
The rise of ‘Doctor Google’ has seen many people self-diagnose. Pharmacists can tailor information to you that the internet can’t, often removing the fear and uncertainty that comes with online research. On top of this, they are professionals in the medical field and can do far more for you than Wikipedia and your
pharmacist will stand by the advice that is given. All you have to do is ask.
Did you know that more people get their blood pressure under control when they go to their pharmacist for clinical services? They are also great at helping control diabetes, cholesterol, asthma, heart failure, anticoagulation, and multiple other diseases. Justin sums up, “Pharmacists can go above and beyond when it comes to patient care. Your pharmacist can do a lot for you! They are present to do more than fill prescriptions. So go up, say hi, and ask questions.”