When most people think of pharmacists, they imagine their community pharmacist behind the counter of their local drug store. The community pharmacist role is an important one in the field of pharmacy because of the level of interaction involved with the general public. And, during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacists are more essential than ever!
While a big part of a community pharmacist’s job is to fill prescriptions, there’s so much more to their role! In a recent article from Costco Connection, Linda R. Bernstein, PharmD outlined some important points about community pharmacists. We were inspired!
So, in honor of National Pharmacy Week, we want to highlight some of the unique things your community pharmacist can do for you—besides filling your prescriptions!
1. Administer Vaccines
Pharmacists across the country are equipped with the skills and training needed to administer vaccines. And not just the flu vaccine. Pharmacists also have the ability to administer vaccines to protect and prevent polio, shingles, tetanus, chicken pox, and more!
This skill will also allow pharmacists to play a particularly integral role in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming year.
2. Help You Quit Smoking
Pharmacists are trained to assist with smoking cessation. Aside from recommending possible medications to assist with kicking a smoking habit, your community pharmacist can also provide ongoing support and resources.
3. Offer Advice Regarding Dietary Supplements
If you’ve visited a pharmacy, you know that the aisle filled with dietary supplements can be very overwhelming. Your pharmacist can eliminate the confusion around dietary supplements by providing recommendations and advice about which supplement type, brand, and dosage would be best for your needs.
4. Create a Personalized Medication Calendar
When you have multiple prescription (and non-prescription) medications to take, things can get complicated. Your community pharmacist can help you develop a personalized calendar for your medications so you know exactly when and how to take each one.
5. Educate You On Medication Interactions
Pharmacists serve as the medication experts on every health care team. This means that they work closely with your prescribing doctors to determine which medications are best for you.
As your health care team’s medication expert, they can tell you exactly how your prescription medications will react with each other so you can avoid any life threatening issues.
6. Help You Manage Health Conditions
Oftentimes, pharmacists have the ability to run basic tests (like blood glucose levels) to determine if more specialized care is necessary. Additionally, pharmacists can assist with educating patients on actions they can take to reduce the symptoms they experience due to ongoing health conditions.
7. Advise You On Over-The-Counter Medications
Not only are pharmacists experts in prescription medications, but they’re also very knowledgeable when it comes to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines! They help you to find the right OTC medication and can ensure it won’t negatively interact with your prescription medications.
Community Pharmacists Play A Big Role in Keeping Us Healthy
As you can see, community pharmacists can do so much for us! Whether it’s filling prescriptions, administering vaccines, or presenting medication interactions, the role of community pharmacists is essential in keeping our communities healthy.