Pharmacists Recognized for Their Valuable Role in Healthcare
October is a special month here at Drugs.com – it’s American Pharmacists Month, spearheaded by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). We are pharmacists ourselves, so naturally we like to take time this month to recognize the many pharmacists in the U.S. that work to improve patient care, expand healthcare access, and foster medication knowledge. From the bottom of our hearts, we say “Thank you!”
Pharmacists, numbering over 300,000 strong in the U.S., are one of the most accessible health care professionals in the nation. Pharmacists work at local community and retail pharmacies, in major hospitals, outpatient clinics, managed health care organizations, pharmaceutical industry, and academia around the country. Pharmacists are an integral member of the health care team in today’s society and work to promote the safe and effective use of increasingly complex treatment regimens.
You, or someone you know, has probably had that experience of caring for a sick child at night and seeking some advice at the pharmacy. Pharmacists remain available after normal business hours to counsel concerned parents about prescription medication use, and clear up confusing questions about the myriad of over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. Pharmacists immunize patients against the flu and other infections, review a patient’s array of medications to screen for possible drug interactions, and offer help in seeking out a lower-cost medication alternative. It’s no wonder that pharmacists consistently rank near the top of the list of the most trusted professionals in the U.S.
Today, a U.S. pharmacist must undergo extensive education and on-site training, culminating in the Doctor of Pharmacy professional degree. Registered pharmacists are licensed in the respectives states in which they work, and must complete required yearly professional continuing education. Many pharmacists go on to complete specialized residency or fellowship training, certifications in diabetes care and training, and board certification in many diverse areas including ambulatory care, oncology, and nutrition support.
This month, take the time to speak to your pharmacist, and have them review your entire medication profile, including OTC medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Inform them of your health conditions, be sure they know your medication and food allergies, and let them know if you prefer to utilizing cost-saving generic medications. By maintaining an ongoing relationship with your pharmacist, you can help to protect yourself and your family. Pharmacists truly are the last line of defense against medication dosing errors, drug interactions, and allergy screening. Get to know your pharmacist – always your partner in good health.