• 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.

Rebecca Fitzpatrick, PharmD, Pharmacist

Rebecca Fitzpatrick, PharmD, Pharmacist

Rebecca “Becca” Fitzpatrick, PharmD, is a Pharmacist/Clinical Services Coordinator for Hartig Drug Company in Dubuque, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2017 and has worked at Hartig for three years.

Originally from Bellevue, Iowa, Fitzpatrick fell in love with the pharmacy profession after graduating high school. Her mom, also a pharmacist, got Fitzpatrick a job as a pharmacy technician at the community pharmacy she managed. On her first day, Fitzpatrick watched her mom counsel a patient she had known for ten years and saw firsthand the love, compassion, and knowledge she brought to the encounter. At that moment, Fitzpatrick knew she couldn’t wait to start helping patients, optimize patient medication regimens, and gain clinical knowledge.

Fitzpatrick resides in Dubuque with her husband Steven, and her furbaby (cat), Emmy. She enjoys crocheting, reading, practicing piano, and watching movies.

Fitzpatrick enjoys working for Hartig but especially loves calling patients to review their medication lists, make sure everything is working okay, and check to see if patients have any side effects. Creating the connection to patients, the same way her mom taught her, is essential to Fitzpatrick.