Hospital Care Team Support


Working on your Hospital Care Team

Did you know that about 15% of pharmacists work in hospitals or hospital‐based clinics? 

Every day, the work of the hospital pharmacy teams throughout Nova Scotia positively impacts patient care in hospitals and communities. To provide quality care to patients, your hospital pharmacy teams have many roles including working directly with patients (i.e. providing the patient with education about their medication) and other members of your healthcare team  (i.e. working with the physicians, nurses, and other care providers to ensure that medication use is safe and effective), managing drug distribution (i.e. getting the drug to the patient), leadership roles in drug use management (i.e. developing policies and procedures), clinical research, drug information and teaching

The pharmacist in the hospital:

  • Reviews your list of medications when you arrive at the hospital, during your stay, and before you go home.
  • Works with you to help you achieve your personal health goals.
  • Makes sure that the medications you take are right for you.
  • Works with your prescriber to select the appropriate medication, dose, and frequency for you
  • Reduces the risk of bacterial resistance by making recommendations for appropriate antibiotic therapy
  • Recommends dose adjustments based on how your organs are functioning or medication changes to manage drug interactions.
  • Monitors how well you are doing during your hospital stay. For example, reviewing lab test results and discussing symptom management with your health care team.
  • Provides you with immunizations and education on disease prevention.
  • Helps you to understand your medications, how to take them, what to expect, what to do if you have side effects, and how to avoid problems from interactions with other drugs, natural health products and food.
  • Works with your pharmacist in the community to make sure all your medication needs are met
  • Studies show that patients who are cared for by a hospital pharmacist are more likely to have improved health outcomes such as fewer harmful or unwanted effects of drugs, less time spent in hospitals and fewer re-admissions to hospital.

The healthcare system saves money because of what hospital pharmacists do!

Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants are critical to the work of the Pharmacy department:

  • This group of professionals works hard to support the smooth day to day operation of the pharmacy department and the provision of safe medication therapy for our patients (i.e. preparation and delivery of Intravenous and oral medications)
  • Our pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants are involved in important patient care and organizational initiatives including:
  • under the supervision of a hospital pharmacist:
    -are responsible for dispensing and compounding routine medications
    -prepare sterile intravenous solutions and chemotherapy
  • maintain medication ward stock in all patient care areas of the hospital
  • order, receive and monitor and maintain pharmacy stock of medications and other pharmaceuticals
  • performing the first step in medication history taking in the Emergency Departments and surgery pre-admission clinics
  • clinical support roles in patient care areas (i.e. preparation and delivery of chemotherapy)
  • medication safety activities,
  • implementation of automated medication dispensing cabinets (Pyxis®, Omnicell®)

Pharmacy Research

  • Pharmacy staff participate in research in order to improve patient care and change pharmacy practice
  • Pharmacists also collaborate with physicians, nurses, and other allied health professionals to conduct research. 
  • Pharmacy technicians, assistants and other staff support clinical trials

Image courtesy of CSHP