It’s Ask Your Pharmacist Week
Its officially Ask Your Pharmacist Week in Birmingham and the UK and we have something special for you! 2020 has been an absolute rollercoaster for the healthcare industry and with doctors being seemingly hard to visit, Pharmacists have stepped up to the challenge, providing communities with essential services and medical care.
Pharmacists are some of the most underestimated people in the world. They train for five years before receiving their qualifications and, their expertise and experiences have geared them up to be able to provide not only essential support but exceptional amounts of healthcare advice. However, how much do we really know about what they do? For instance, did you know that, you can get the morning after pill directly from our pharmacy and that you don’t need to visit a clinic for that? Amazing right? This means that depending on the medication that you need, you may not even need to visit a doctor!
The Pharmacist, your first point of contact…
Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers in the world with more than 89% of people in the United Kingdom living within a 20 minute walk from a pharmacy. That is truly incredible! They are experts in the healthcare industry with their knowledge of medicines and the effect they have on the human body being a critical part of their role. A Pharmacist can advise on managing specific conditions as well as minor ailments and they should always be your first point of contact when seeking medical advice (unless it is sever case where one would need to visit the A&E).
So, what can your pharmacist do for you and the community?
Pharmacists are there to support and advice various members of the community and can provide the following services:
-make sure that patients use their medicines safely
– prescribe certain medications to patients
– treat minor ailments and infections
– advise other healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, on how to choose medicines and use them correctly
– ensure that new medicines are safe to use with other medication
– advise on dosage and suggest the most appropriate form of medication such as tablet, injection, ointment or inhaler
– provide information to patients on how get the maximum benefit from the medicines they are prescribed
– advise on the most effective treatments for a particular condition including those for sale without prescription
– help patients manage long term conditions
– recommend changes to prescriptions and give advice on prescribing
– provide information about potential side effects
– monitor the effects of treatment to ensure that it is safe and effective
– Pharmacists are also involved in manufacturing medicines when ready-made preparations are not available. For example, certain cancer treatments and intravenous feeding solutions need to be tailor made under sterile conditions for individual patients.
How are community pharmacies evolving to help you in the future?
Community pharmacies are evolving; meaning they now offer a wealth of services that can take the pressure off today’s busy GPs and of course the NHS. Today’s pharmacists are better equipped to offer a much wider range of services with some being able to prescribe medications. Pharmacies are also incorporating digital technology with most having websites, installing dispensing robots or even providing 24hr prescription collection services. Some are even starting their very own online shops (keep a look out for ours launching soon!) This is all a tremendous leap for the industry and the purpose of this pharmacy evolution is to better equip the communities that they serve by providing easy, accessible and exceptional healthcare while protecting and aiding the NHS!
Frequently asked questions…
Now that its Ask Your Pharmacist Week we have put together some of our most frequently asked questions and the answers!
Does it really matter what time of day I take my medication?
Yes, a dosing schedule is important, because every medication that you take has a specific dosing schedule — once a day, three times a day, etc. You should try to take your medication at the same time every day for the most beneficial effect of that medication.
How should my medicines be stored?
Keep medications in a safe place and out of the reach of children and pets. Some medications need to be refrigerated, but the majority do not, and you can keep them in a dry place that’s not exposed to temperature extremes. Also, be sure not to mix up your medications. Keep each medication in its own distinct bottle unless someone is managing the dispensing of medicines via Blister Packs.
Why is a pharmacist important to my overall health?
Pharmacists are well-versed in pharmacology, which is the branch of medicine that focuses on the use and effects of drugs. Pharmacists understand the therapeutic roles of drugs as well as side effects and interactions with other drugs. Your pharmacist can help monitor these factors and which foods and activities can have an effect on your medications. Your pharmacist is a great resource for all your health related queries!
If you have any questions of your own feel free to join in with Ask Your Pharmacist Week in Birmingham by contacting us!