PHARMACIST AWARENESS WEEK

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

 

“Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.”  Good quote from Winston Churchill, but not the one I was thinking of.  “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  Great quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but that is still not it.  It’s more like “Oh, the searing kiss of hot lead.  How I’ve missed you!”  You know Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from the Simpsons.  The Simpsons had their 500th episode in February 2012.  Quite an accomplishment!  Over their 22 years the Simpson’s have influenced a generation of animated comedy and made the whole field smarter, edgier and more topical.  I’d like to think the profession of pharmacy has had the same positive impact on the health of Manitobans.

 

Health Minister Theresa Oswald has proclaimed March 4th-10th, 2012 as “Pharmacist Awareness Week”.  The theme this year is “Talk to Your Pharmacist.  A Healthy Choice”.  There are currently 1327 practicing pharmacists in Manitoba.  Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professional.  You can just walk into or phone any pharmacy and ask to speak to a pharmacist without an appointment.  Here are some other ways pharmacists can help you:

 

1)       You can trust us

A recent poll from Ipsos Reid, showed that 78 per cent of poll respondents said they trust pharmacists the most, followed by doctors (75 per cent), Canadian soldiers (74 per cent), airline pilots (73 per cent) and teachers (65 per cent.) Meanwhile, CEOs, municipal politicians, union leaders, national politicians and car salespeople were ranked in the bottom five out of 26 professions.

 

2)       Pharmacists are everywhere!

If you are in the hospital, there is a pharmacist looking after your medications.  Hospital pharmacists are often in the basement, and you might never see them, but they are looking after you.  For example if you are on a complicated series of cancer injections, a pharmacist did the calculations and mixed those up for you.  If you are in the military, there is a pharmacist looking after you.  In the military, pharmacists order and look after the shipping of everything from aspirins to X-ray machines.  There are community pharmacies in most towns, but even if you town doesn’t have one, we can always be reached by phone and get your medications shipped to you.

 

3)       We detect and solve problems with your medication.

Before filling any new prescription, we check your records to make sure you are not allergic to the medication, the dose is correct for you, and to spot possible interactions with other drugs you may be taking.  If you experience difficulties after you start taking your medication, such as unpleasant side effects, we can help by suggesting ways to overcome the problem.

 

4)       We answer your questions with expert information.

We have spent more years learning about medications than any other health care professional.  Even after we leave school, it is part of our job to stay up to date on new drugs and treatments.  Please feel free to ask us anything you would like to know about your medicine or other health-related concerns.

 

5)       We teach you how to use your medicine effectively.

Even the best medicine will not help if it is not taken properly.  Sometimes small things – like what time of day you take your medication or what you take with it can make a big difference in the effectiveness.  We advise you on how and when to take your medication to make certain you get the greatest benefit from it.

 

6)       We consult your doctor concerning your care.

As partners in your health care, we communicate with your doctor whenever necessary to ensure your drug therapy is going according to plan.  We are always available to discuss your medications with your doctor.

 

7)       We give you advice on staying healthy.

We give personalized counselling on topics such as vitamins and nutritional supplements, and how to use products designed to help you stop smoking.  We also offer a wide range of educational materials to teach you good health habits.

 

8)       We guide you in managing your illness.

Are you living with a chronic illness such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease?  We are here to help you monitor your condition, provide advice about the safe use of non-prescription drugs and answer any questions about your medications or your illness.  We work with you to keep you on track and feeling the best you can be.

 

That’s probably enough from me saying how good I think pharmacists are.  The most important member of the health care team is you!  To find out the opinions of the most important people in the health care system, we are running a contest.  We want you to tell us how a Dauphin Clinic Pharmacist has made your life better.  You could win a 32” flat screen TV!  Here is how you enter: go to the pharmacy and fill out a testimonial form saying how a Dauphin Clinic Pharmacist has made your life better.  Can’t get to the store?  Our Delivery people have the forms with them, or you can email your testimonial to us at dcp@mymts.net with “TV Contest” in the subject line.  March 12 we will be drawing the winning entry live on 730 CKDM.  With one pharmacist story, that TV could be yours!

 

“Thank you.  Come Again!”

 

The information in this article is intended as a helpful guide only.  It is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional advice.  If you have any questions about your medications and what is right for you see your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

 

We now have this and most other articles published in the Parkland Shopper on our Website.  Please visit us at www.dcp.ca

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