Essential Roles Pharmacists Play in Other Healthcare Sectors – Part 2

by pharmacy on April 25, 2018

pharmacy roles 2As we’ve discussed before, it is often assumed that all a pharmacist does is dispense medicines and ensure the patient understands how to take their meds. More pharmacists pay a big role as a part of a team to help a patient get better and improve their health overall. More medical groups around the country are making every effort to help change how patients view the role of the pharmacist. If you are looking to branch out or a student considering your future, read on to discover how pharmacists are working with other medical groups more closely.

Cardiology

Working with primary care physicians, neurologists, cardiologists, and cardiac rehabilitation nurses can have an incredible impact on the wellbeing of a patient who has suffered from cardiac arrest. Collaborative Drug Therapy Management documents are the best tool that is drawn up to guide the pharmacist in what they can do with the patient. Physician representatives review the document prior to handing it to the pharmacist to be sure that the outline is incorporating safe practices and evidence-based medicines. Hospital pharmacists will assist the patient through discharge and educate them on their new health regime. The community pharmacist will provide routine blood screenings and counsel the patient on improving their lifestyle to promote their health.

Emergency Room

We’ve reviewed this in our last segment, but want to emphasize it a bit more. Pharmacists in the emergency room are vital to the efficiency of the operations. Emergency Medical Pharmacists (EMPs) spend a large portion of their day not dispensing medicines. Their day consists of:

  • Making rounds to interact with patients to avoid prescribing and dispensing errors
  • Work with doctors in the medical selection and prescribing
  • Evaluate medicines to see if they are appropriate, and do it quickly
  • Evaluate efficacy and safety of meds after administered, looking for adverse effects and allergic reactions. Adjusting medicines if necessary
  • Resuscitation
  • Ensure that dispensing cabinets are filled with medicines needed for quick administration
  • Educate the healthcare team on best medicines and their uses

Mental Health

Even though one in five Americans has a mental health issue, there is still a huge stigma associated with having a disorder. Many mental health issues are even curable with years of therapy and medications, but many people are so afraid of being viewed as “weak” if they must perform such work on themselves. Community pharmacists can certainly combat that stigma by gently talking with their patients if they notice certain behaviors or medicinal trends. Advising their patients, especially those with chronic illness, to visit someone to talk is one of the best ways to discourage the stigma and empower someone to help themselves. Many pharmacists work in mental health clinics to help obtain, dispense, and administer medicines. Prisons employ mental health pharmacy specialists to work with the medical team in caring for the incarcerated and their medicinal needs.

Our goal is always to explore pharmacists and their hard work, especially when they perform duties that are not well-known. Do you work on a medical team in caring for patients? Do you have a specialized field that your work in that we haven’t discussed yet? We would love to hear more about your passions and experiences so please comment below!

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