Pharmacists Drug Experts & More
Mar 3, 2014
By Barret Procyshyn, Pharmacist
The month of March is always a busy and exciting time for pharmacists in Manitoba as it is Pharmacists Awareness Month. The Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy is no exception. This is an especially exciting time for pharmacists because now is the time for some changes to our profession, which will see us take on a variety of different roles as health care providers. There is an old joke pharmacists just have to learn how to read a doctors writing and have to be able to count pills in a tray. This is perhaps what a pharmacist would do back in the day, but these practices are becoming distant memories.
Pharmacists still are and will always be your medication experts. We spend a lot of time answering questions from both patients and other health care workers. We are there for you with one goal in mind, so you and your family can take your medications properly, safely and with confidence they will help you. A pharmacist is trained to explain how the medication will work, when you need to take it and how you should take the medication. We will also discuss possible side effects with you and will ensure there are no interactions between a new medication and one you are already on. Doctors, nurses, dentists and even veterinarians call us throughout the day seeking medication advice.
Pharmacists are also spending more time using their clinical skills. This time includes speaking to doctors about medication changes, conducting medication reviews at personal care homes with nurses or doctors and counseling patients on new medications. I also do asthma consults, teach patients how to use inhalers and spend time taking blood pressures, blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels.
Your Dauphin Clinic Pharmacist can also provide you or a family member with a medication review. If you are someone who is on three or more medications and suffer from a chronic disease, it is likely beneficial for you to have a medication review. During a medication review a pharmacist examines the patients medication list which includes prescriptions, over the counter medications and herbal medications. When a pharmacist is conducting a medication review they may be able to find medications you do not need. A pharmacist can also identify possible medication interactions with other medications or even with things such as food. A medication review will also find side effects which may be causing troublesome problems. If you are having trouble sleeping, with gaining weight or even have sore muscles, it could be caused by one of your pills. A pharmacist may be able to recommend similar medications with fewer side effects. We may be able to change the time you take your medications so it does not interfere with staying awake or falling asleep. Most importantly we will explain why you need to take the medications you are taking. No one should ever take a pill and not know the reasoning for it.
Aside from Manitoba, most other provinces in Canada allow one medication review per year as a part of their health care programs. They even send pharmacists into peoples home if they are unable to go to the pharmacy. While this service has shown to keep people healthier and out of our hospitals and waiting rooms our province continues to ignore covering this great service. The good news is the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy will do free medication reviews, asthma consults and free diabetic counseling. If you need help learning how to use an insulin needle or an asthma inhaler we are available to help you and your family members. If you want us to do a medication review on your medications, we will also do that. Best of all we can do this all of this in the comfort of your own home for our customers.
As of the end of this Month, the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy will also have 5 pharmacists who are trained to provide injections. Pharmacists in Manitoba may now provide vaccinations and other injections as a service to the public. While the government in Manitoba does not pay for pharmacists to provide these injections or give flu shots, we are hopeful something can be worked out in the near future so this is an insured service. As we have seen in the other provinces, the public enjoys the convenience of getting injections done by their pharmacist. Speak to one of the clinic pharmacists or visit our www.dcp.ca for updates on pharmacists providing injections and vaccinations.
In the near future pharmacists are going to also have the ability to be able to prescribe medications for the public. While we cannot do this quite yet, it is another example of how pharmacists will be able to shorten waits at walk in and in emergency rooms. As soon as pharmacists are able to prescribe, you can be sure your clinic pharmacist will be trained to do so. Remember that your pharmacist cares for you and your familys health and well-being.