Mar 5, 2013

By Trevor Shewfelt, Pharmacist at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy


My mind to your mindMy thoughts to your thoughts. Picture me with pointy ears, wearing a Star Fleet Uniform and holding my fingers on your temples. Spock and other Vulcans could use this technique to read and share their thoughts with another person. Science fact is now catching up to science fiction, at least if you are a mouse. Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina hooked some wired up to the brain of a US mouse. In another lab, thousands of miles away in Natal, Brazil another mouse was hooked up. Then the two mice were connected by the internet. The mice were trained that if they saw a light they were to push a lever for a drink of water. When the researchers showed the light to the Brazilian mouse, the American mouse knew the Brazilian mouse saw a light and pushed his lever in the US. Cool, huh? The rodent mind-meld has arrived!!!


This month we want you to mind-meld with your pharmacist. We want you to know all the ways your pharmacist can help you live a healthier life. Welcome to March! March 2013 is Pharmacy Awareness Month.


How can pharmacists help you? To begin with, we are everywhere! 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. 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 doesnt have one, we can always be reached by phone and get your medications shipped to you.


Here are some other ways pharmacists can help you:


1) 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.


2) 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.


3) 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 how to use that inhaler 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.


4) 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.


5) 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.


For Pharmacy Awareness Month, the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy is running several special events. On Monday, March 11 come down to the pharmacy and learn about a common sleep problem. Our friends from Rana Medical will be doing a complimentary screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea. On Wednesday, March 6th and 13th the pharmacy will be giving out free coffee and muffins between 2 and 4 pm. Come down and see CKDMs Bruce Leperre. These sessions will give you an opportunity to meet your pharmacists, see what they do and ask them questions.


If you are diabetic, you have probably checked your blood sugar with a finger poke before. But when is the last time you had your Hemoglobin A1C checked? Your Hemoglobin A1C is a 3 month average of how your blood sugar control has been. The Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy is holding a free Hemoglobin A1C testing day March 14. Call 204-638-4602 to book your test today.


Our pharmacist Barret is going out into the community as well. On Thursday March 20 Barret will be at the New Horizons Center in Winnipegosis. On Wednesday, March 20 he will be at the Multipurpose Seniors Center in Dauphin. Barret will be giving a presentation on the Top 10 Things Your Pharmacist Wish you Knew.


In the Star Trek Universe, most Earthly disease has been vanquished. Earthly war and poverty and famine are a thing of the past. Humans are free to pursue their passions and explore the universe. Im sure off camera Dr. McCoy often said, Damn it Jim, Im a Doctor not a Pharmacist! and then asked the Enterprises pharmacist for advice. So go mind-meld with your pharmacist this month. That way we can all Live long and prosper.



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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