- January 11, 2021
- Rebecca Fitzpatrick, PharmD, Pharmacist
Today, is National Pharmacist Day, and we are celebrating by sharing 4 things you may not know about your local pharmacist.
Even if you don’t take prescription medication on a regular basis, chances are you’ve benefited from the expertise of a pharmacist in some way. Maybe a pharmacist helped guide you with the correct dosage of Tylenol for a child. Perhaps one reminded you that it was time for your annual flu shot. Or, maybe they even advised you on a supplement or vitamin that best fit your needs. In any case, your pharmacist is a very important part of your health care team, even if you don’t fully realize it!
1. Pharmacists have completed 5-8 years of school, depending on when they graduated
As of July 1, 2000, all pharmacy schools began only offering a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Pharmacists go through intense training to learn about pharmacokinetics (how medications are absorbed, distributed, metabolized [broken down by the body], and excreted), pharmacology (medication uses, effects, and actions), and patient care. Pharmacists want to help you be as healthy as you can be!
2. Pharmacists administer immunizations
Have you ever wondered if you are up to date on all of your vaccines? Your pharmacist is able to review your state’s immunization registry to evaluate which vaccinations you have already received and vaccines you may be due for. Pharmacists are able to administer most vaccines without a prescription. For more information, contact your local Hartig Drug about which vaccines they administer and which you may be due to receive. The CDC also has a helpful page that lists recommended vaccines for adults by age group & other categories https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/index.html
3. Pharmacists provide medication & lifestyle counseling
Have you ever had a question about what to take for a cold, allergies, constipation, diarrhea, or something else? Your pharmacist can evaluate medications you already take, allergies & diseases you have, and any other special concerns to help recommend the best product for you!
4. Pharmacists coordinate care
Do you take prescriptions from multiple doctors in different clinics? Many times, doctors are unable to see medications you receive from other doctors, especially if they are in different clinics/health systems. It is important to help your pharmacist keep your medication list updated so they can continually check to make sure all of your medications are safe to take together.
Example - You are admitted to the hospital and aren’t able to tell the hospital staff what you take. In this case, the hospital often faxes your regular pharmacy to request a refill history and medication list. If this list is not up to date, or you fill at multiple pharmacies, it is difficult for the hospital to know which medications to give you.