Know your Pharmacists

By Selena Gerrish

November 4, 2018GeneralNo comments

People know that doctors play a significant role in health care and many are willing to discuss their health issues with their doctors. Like the doctor, a pharmacist can provide you with information on your health. Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who can dispense medications and can tell you how these medicines work to treat illnesses.

They undergo rigid training and have to be certified before they can start working.  All Congaree Pharmacy health professionals have an intricate knowledge of, and can talk with you about your medications: what they are for, the doses, if they are safe to use with the other drugs you are taking, side effects, the correct and safe way to use them and any other vital issues regarding your health.

With an extensive six-year training on a wide range of subjects including pharmacology, pathophysiology, therapeutics, laboratory monitoring, clinical problem solving, and physical assessments for numerous diseases, pharmacists at are proficient enough to counsel you on the medications prescribed by your doctor. Pharmacists also have to engage in ongoing education to keep them well informed of new treatments and other features of within the profession. 

Behind the Pharmacy Counter 

While your local pharmacists have several responsibilities including distributing and dispensing medicines, educating patients, and working with your health insurance company, they duties involve more than filling prescriptions as noted here.

Here are some of the things that pharmacists do:

  • Assess your medications for likely interactions, especially in the case of a new medicine being added to the list.
  • Provide you with advice on the correct use your medication and relate to any concerns you may have regarding when it will start working and the purpose of a treatment.
  • Provide several vaccinations, including pneumonia and flu shots in those states where applicable.
  • Offer guidance about which over-the-counter medicines may be suitable for you based on your symptoms.
  • Provide resources and give instructions regarding the safe disposal of unwanted and unused medications.
  • Conduct health and wellness checks such as cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Assist in finding ways to minimize your treatment costs, including coupons and patient assistance programs.
  • Work in partnership with other healthcare professionals such as MD and nurse about matters that relate to your health.

You can find pharmacists working in a different setting including the local retail drug store, the corner pharmacy, long-term care, hospital, pharmaceutical industry, and home infusion pharmacies. See–pharmacists-in-a-changing-health-care-environment

Communicating with Your Pharmacist

Your pharmacist is a professional and will welcome your questions and concerns at any time. So never, be afraid to speak with your pharmacist about any medications prescribed by your doctor. Remember, they are trained specifically to talk to you about the correct and safe use of your medication

Here are a few guidelines to help you have a meaningful chat with your pharmacist:

  • Approach your pharmacist and start a conversation, for example, “I have never taken this medication before- what advice can you give?” “Is there anything I should know about this medicine before I start taking it?”
  • If you have not changed your pharmacy, it will have a history of your medication on file and can see the medications you have been taking. However, if the pharmacy is new, you should provide a full list of the medications you are currently taking when you start asking your pharmacist questions.
  • It is always good to remind your pharmacist of medications you have had allergic reactions to, whether it is prescription or over-the-counter drugs it is important to do so.
  • If you keep forgetting to take your medicines, ask your pharmacist for advice on what to do.
  • If you are taking alternative medicines (herbal), it is important to inform your pharmacist. When combined with prescription and non-prescription drugs alternative medicines can lead to reactions resulting in more health issues.
  • Let your pharmacist know about any changes in your health or your conditions. Inform your pharmacist if you are pregnant. Get advice about medications you can take during your pregnancy. Your pharmacist knows the medications that are safe and unsafe.
  • Some pharmacies have phone interpreter services to help you get the correct information when there is a language issue.

Recently, pharmacy technicians have been playing a significant role in helping behind the counter. Their duties include dispensing prescription medications and giving instructions on how to use medical devices, thus providing more free time for the pharmacists to talk with customers.

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