March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month

Feb 28, 2022

By Barret Procyshyn, Pharmacist at Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy

March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month. It is a time where the Canadian Pharmacists Association and Pharmacists Manitoba highlight the role pharmacists and pharmacy staff have in providing health care to you. Like other health care professionals, pharmacy staff has had to make sacrifices and have had to step up during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacies in Canada stayed open and cared for more than 10 million patients every week. My opinion might be biased; however, the team at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy has done a great job of answering questions, calming fears, and managing significant drug shortages at a scale we had never seen before. Even it was busy, Canadian pharmacies including ours have provided millions of COVID-19 shots and have answered countless questions, as your most accessible health care provider. A reported 96% of Canadians trust pharmacists to be an important first point of contact for the health care system and we hope that is the case for you.

There are over 40 000 licensed pharmacists working across Canada in more than 10 000 pharmacies. Over 70% of pharmacists work in the community setting, like the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy. The pharmacist of today is your medication management expert in the health care team. The pharmacist's traditional role is expanding to a range of innovative health services.

As pharmacists, we are confident we can do more for you. We urge governments to remove unnecessary administrative and regulatory burdens and allow us to efficiently provide care. Governments and regulators should enable full scope of pharmacy practice for pharmacists and technicians to provide the most appropriate and timely care to our patients. I would much rather offer health services then be required to enter and injection into two or three different software systems. For example, pharmacists can prescribe medications for minor ailments, switch medication types and doses, when necessary, extend repeat prescriptions for chronic illness and even directly assist with the treatment of opioid addiction. We just need the support and resources to do it. In times when access to care can be challenging, what if you could see your pharmacist for treatment of a urinary tract infection, help with quitting smoking or acne treatment? What if all these minor ailment situations did not tie up physician resources in walk-ins and emergency rooms?

We have had many compliments with our pharmacists being able to offer rapid COVID-19 testing. What if your local pharmacy could also order lab tests or bloodwork? It would be highly effective and efficient to have your results ready and waiting for an important doctor's appointment, so the results are ready to be discussed at that time. Pharmacists know our communities; we know our patients and they know how to provide care. We need to be at the table when health care policy is being planned.

In the past the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy has highlighted Pharmacy Appreciation Month though community initiatives, events, contests, donations, and public awareness. This March we have some great stuff planned as well. Make sure you keep tuned to 730 CKDM, have your eyes on the Dauphin Herald & Parkland Shopper and of course make sure to watch our Facebook page.

Once again for Pharmacy Appreciation Month and I cannot stress enough how important the whole team is at the pharmacy. From a professional staff answering the phone and fielding concerns, to the assistants preparing medication and inputting data, to the registered technicians checking compliance packaging to the delivery drivers dealing with cold temperatures and possible COVID-19 exposures, to the students who take our recycling and shredding, it has been a total team effort to provide you care which hopefully makes life better.

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.


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