Ask Your Pharmacist: A Synopsis of the Pharmacist’s Role as your Local Health Caretaker

Pharmaceutical care indicates pharmaceutical practice undertaken by a pharmacist. It cooperates and works in alignment with the patient’s health care providers to provide him or her with services such as preventive care, healthcare promotion and awareness, monitoring and assessment of the impact of drug usage, and overall well-being. This is a formal definition of the role of a pharmacist in a common man’s life. All of us are acquainted with the phrase “Get in touch with your pharmacist.” A pharmacist, besides his fundamental duty of dispensing medicines, has started playing a larger role with time. Their role is evolving and expanding into newer horizons.

How many of us remember going directly to the pharmacist in case of non-severe illness and getting a medicine advised by him or her? Probably all of us have done it, not because we are trying to avoid seeing the doctor, but more so because we rely on and have faith in their advice. Their knowledge and skills in this field have let them involve directly into curing and healing patients. Right from an individual who used to compound and dispense medicines to someone who in today’s world actively involves with the healthcare professionals such as medical consultants and nurses for the patient’s wellbeing, a pharmacist’s role has developed and grown phenomenally.

A pharmacist can help you with treating certain medical conditions, recommendation on where to avail the emergency care, as well as educate and promote about the general health care of the public, to list a few. Let’s have a look at the vast array of roles performed by pharmacists:

A pharmacist as a general healthcare provider:

The advent and broad reach of technology has a significant role in the increased involvement of pharmacists. This accessibility has let them involve in medical counseling, patient care activities, supervising vaccinations, screening for preventive health care, general supervision of medical therapies, medical advisory, and identification of potential effects of a drug. Involvement to such an extent has led to the mental satisfaction of people as the pharmacists are the most readily available healthcare advisors and there is also savings in monetary terms.

A Pharmacist as a patient care advisor:

If you are a regular customer of your nearby pharma store, then the pharmacist there will potentially have a fair idea of your drug history. It helps in a medical advisory on a personal basis at the end of the pharmacist. The pharmacists can, therefore, advice on the right dosage of the prescribed medication and the side effects or after effects of a particular drug. There are certain drugs which need to be followed by restrictions of certain food groups or certain activities. On the other hand, some drugs need to be accompanied by certain precautionary measures. A pharmacist with its clear knowledge of the medications can help you with the important nuances of medicines.

A pharmacist as an affordable and accessible health care provider:

Medical costs can prove to be a large chunk of the pie of your monthly expenditures. In the case of epidemics, season transition or accidents, they only seem to shoot up. Hence, medical expenses are a common cause of concern for an average household. In such a scenario, pharmacists turn out to be a source of convenient, easy and health care services. Once admitted to the hospital, there are expenses related to various testing and screening, diagnosis cost, doctor visit fees, hospital admission costs, medical consultation services and so on. A pharmacist can aid you in preventive medical care that can eventually help you avoid such expenses in the first place. The on-time counseling by pharmacists can help you avoid unnecessary health care and management expenses.

A pharmacist can respond to various minor or non-severe ailments and diseases:

Pharmacists can react quickly to minor ailments. In case the ailment or illness is self-limiting, the pharmacist can advise the required medication and recommend seeing the doctor if the disease doesn’t reduce. They might directly ask you to consult a doctor even if you are suffering from a minor ailment, in case if the symptoms indicate something more severe than visible on the outside.

A pharmacist as a crucial information provider:

With the advancement in the field of medical sciences, certain drugs might be banned or redundant. There can be other major updates and developments in the field of medical sciences. We, as a layman, are unaware of such discoveries and developments. That is when the pharmacist can intervene and help us as well as doctors in knowing about such crucial updates. Along with this, a pharmacist takes part in various medical awareness or health care related campaigns and programs. Such campaigns, be local or at the country level, can educate the pharmacists.

This can add them to advise on various health care related issues such as the right use of drugs, effects of alcohol and nicotine overuse, implications of abuse use of the substance, maternal care during pregnancy and after delivery, HIV Aids and its symptoms, and so on. They can act as a medium for community-level awareness programs as well as promotional campaigns.

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A pharmacist helps in avoiding costs related to medication and prescription errors:

 The expenses related to incorrect prescription or wrong medication can be significant. It is recognized as a major problem as this can have a ripple effect. An inaccurate medical consultation can take a considerable toll on not only a patient’s well-being but also on its pockets. A wrong dosage of medication can also directly impact the mortality of the patient. Related expenditures such as hospital admission and better quality of medical supervision and consultation can prove to be quite expensive if not detected on time and right care is not given at early stage. A pharmacist, in such case, has shown to have a positive impact on the prevention and avoidance of such errors.

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