March is Pharmacy Awareness Month (PAM). During this time, the roles of pharmacy teams members are recognized and celebrated. Although pharmacists are one of the most accessible forms of healthcare, their services are often overlooked. PAM works to educate and create awareness around the benefits that pharmacy teams have on the health and well-being of Nova Scotians.
What is the Role of a Pharmacist?
The role of a pharmacist is to provide patients with care regarding minor ailments, chronic disease management, immunizations and injections, medication reviews, and dispensing.
Pharmacists in Nova Scotia are able to assess and prescribe for minor ailments. Possible minor ailments that your pharmacist can assess and prescribe for include nausea, sore throat, minor sleep disorders, and much more.
Pharmacists can also help patients manage their chronic diseases, such as diabetes, COPD, chronic pain, mental health, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular/heart issues.
Your local pharmacist can give vaccines, non-prescription items, and some prescription medications to anyone five years of age or older.
Medication reviews increase communication between pharmacists, patients, and physicians. They can help alleviate medical non-adherence and give the patient a chance to discuss any queries they may have.
Pharmacy in Nova Scotia
Pharmacy services in Nova Scotia are continuing to grow to address the needs of the population. Currently, more than 50,000 Nova Scotians do not have a family doctor, which means that many aren't receiving the healthcare they require or are visiting emergency rooms for non-emergency medical needs. As one of the most accessible forms of healthcare in Canada, pharmacists can help fill this void.
Pharmacists can renew and extend prescriptions for many medications for up to 180 days and even perform international normalized ratio (INR) tests for patients who are on Warfarin.
Pharmacy and Your Health
Pharmacists can help you manage your health, but they can also help you improve your health and keep others safe. Through smoking cessation programs, immunizing and injecting, and chronic disease management, your pharmacist can help you live a healthier and longer life.
Pharmacists in Nova Scotia can even provide you with a Naloxone kit and train you to use it for no charge so you can help an individual having an opioid overdose.
Expanding the scope of pharmacy services could prevent chronic disease and premature deaths, and can even save you some money. Pharmacist care for patients with hypertension would save Canada's healthcare system more than $15.7 billion. Additionally, Canada-wide implementation of smoking cessation, advanced medication review for heart disease, and pneumococcal vaccination for seniors could save between $2.5 billion and $25.7 billion over the next 20 years, depending on the level of uptake.
Who are the Members of your Pharmacy Team?
Pharmacy teams consist of pharmacists, registered technicians, pharmacy students, pharmacy assistants, and cashiers/clerks. Each member of a pharmacy team plays an important and distinct role.
Registered pharmacy technicians are regulated healthcare professionals who have completed an accredited pharmacy technician program or nationally recognized bridging program. They are trained and qualified to complete technical checks on prescriptions, manage pharmacy inventory, prepare and package prescriptions, make compounds, and pass out prescriptions at the cash. Technicians do not answer any questions about prescription or non-prescription drug therapy.
Pharmacy assistants are not regulated healthcare professionals but still work in the pharmacy. They operate under direct supervision of a pharmacist and are required to maintain patient confidentiality. Pharmacy assistants manage pharmacy inventory, prepare and package prescriptions, and pass out prescriptions at the cash. Assistants do not answer any questions about prescription or non-prescription drug therapy.
Cashiers/clerks are not regulated healthcare professionals. They operate under direct supervision of a pharmacist and are required to maintain patient confidentiality. They can handle some inventory and pass out prescriptions at the pharmacy cash. They do not answer any questions about prescription or non-prescription drug therapy.
Want to learn more about your pharmacy team members across Nova Scotia?
Visit the profiles below to meet Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Pharmacy Students, and Pharmacy Teams who are working together to keep Nova Scotians healthy!
Pharmacy Manager Bringing Fun Back to Work and Helping Patients at the Same Time: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacy-manager-bringing-fun-back-work-helping-patients-same-time
Pharmacy Bug Bit Early for New Glasgow Pharmacist: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacy-bug-bit-early-new-glasgow-pharmacist
Pharmacist Worked His Way into Pharmacy Ownership: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacist-worked-his-way-pharmacy-ownership
Pharmacist Keeps up the Family Tradition: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacist-keeps-family-tradition
Fall River Pharmacist Shares the Responsibilities and the Rewards: http://pans.ns.ca/fall-river-pharmacist-shares-responsibilities-rewards
Pharmacist Is Having the Time of his Life: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacist-having-time-his-life
Pharmacy Team Committed to Getting Life Saving Overdose Antidote to Their Community: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacy-team-committed-getting-life-saving-overdose-antidote-their-community
Pharmacy Student Plans to Take Every Opportunity That Comes Her Way: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacy-student-plans-take-advantage-every-opportunity-comes-her-way
Pharmacists Are Here to Help at Turning Points: http://pans.ns.ca/pharmacist_help_at_turning_points