What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word pharmacist?
Many of you probably imagine a grim-looking person standing behind the counter who performs unseen mysterious tasks before giving you the medicines you need.
But, there are more to pharmacists than what meets the eyes.
What Does a Pharmacist Do?
Now more than ever, the practice of pharmacy has become extremely essential for delivery of different health services. Pharmacists are health experts with the most extensive knowledge of drugs and medicines, their level of effectiveness, and how they work.
The duty of pharmacists goes beyond simple preparation of drugs prescribed by general practitioners and other health professionals. A pharmacist also ensures the delivery of optimal pharmaceutical care through assessment of whether or not a medication is suitable for patients based on their medical history, interactions with other medicines, and possible side effects.
Pharmaceutical care also involves communication and engagement with patients for them to clearly understand the medicine, the dosage regimen, its purposes, and effects.
Local pharmacists in communities also carry out health promotions like offering education sessions on disease prevention and other health areas. There are also pharmacy practices specializing in diabetes or asthma care, for example, and render specific services, assistance, and advice.
As they converse with patients, pharmacists must be able to evaluate and identify crucial health areas that should be addressed properly. These professionals are usually the first ones that people turn to when they need advice for both specific clinical conditions and general health advice. It is especially the case in rural areas where health services are different from those available in metropolitan areas.
Pharmacists and Their Changing Roles and Responsibilities
Pharmacy, just like other fields of health professions, also changes and keeps up with the newest health delivery methods. They work and consult with other healthcare experts like GPs, physiotherapists, optometrists, and counselors to form healthcare teams. They view the health of patients more holistically, addressing medical concerns from the perspective of the environment and life history of the patient.
According to Canadian Pharmacy, one of the most significant changes in the field of pharmacy for the past two decades or so is that they have now taken on a more clinical role than just the role of actual manufacturing of the medications. Due to this dramatic change, understanding disease processes are given more emphasis as well as how to address them with drug therapy and lifestyle changes.
The profession’s remarkable flexibility only indicates that pharmacists can also make crucial contributions in community and hospital settings in both rural and metropolitan environments. Considering the role’s diverse nature and the continuing education that comes with it, it is safe to say that embarking on a career in the field can be very rewarding. There is this gratifying feeling when patients come back and express their gratitude for how much you helped make a difference to their overall health.
While pharmacists often work in the shadows and away from the spotlight, this medical field remains to be one of the most respected and valued in most communities across the globe.