In the delivery of healthcare every member of the healthcare team plays important role in ensuring that the most appropriate care is provided to the patient to the best of their expert capabilities. The role of a pharmacist is critical in delivering quality healthcare. The article “What Pharmacist Do?” by Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) provides detailed statement of the important roles pharmacists play and the services they provide in healthcare delivery. Career Description
Typically, the career of pharmacists is concentrated on the correct and proper interpretation of prescriptions and the dispensing of products as prescribed (FDA, 2009). They represent as the final check and approval of a pharmaceutical product before it leaves the pharmacy and delivered to the patient for their use. While it is common that the place of work of pharmacists is in a hospital setting many pharmacists offer their practices as clinicians, wellness and health promotion professionals in a community health, as industrial pharmacist, consultants, post-secondary teachers, and owning and running their own pharmacy chains. Whether the practice of pharmacists is private or public their duty continues to focus on the well-being of their patients through correct prescriptions. Services Provided
Pharmacists, as healthcare providers, provide numerous services to their patients. In addition to dispensing correct medications they also educate, advice, research, manufacture, and serve as consultants in proper drug use. Two services that stand out in today’s list of pharmacists could be seen in community and clinical pharmacies. In community practice pharmacists are involved in dispensing prescriptions where they provide information to the patient about their medications and dosages. They also perform monitoring roles in drug interactions and adverse reactions, contra-indications, and compliance with prescribed therapy. They also provide medication information to other healthcare professionals. As a primary healthcare professional in community pharmacy, they assist members of the community with the identification and treatment of both major and minor ailments and are accessible to the public as a source of illness prevention and promotion of good health (uq, 2012).
As a clinician in a hospital, the pharmacist becomes a member of a professional healthcare team. In their clinical practice, pharmacists are directly involved in ensuring optimal medical therapy for patients by devising therapeutic regimens specific to individual patients. They also staff the Drug Information and Poison Centers whose task is to provide information to other healthcare professionals to assist with therapeutic decision making (uq, 2012). Workforce Roles within the Services
The contribution of pharmacists in a clinical setting and community pharmacy is significant that the workforce benefit from. When the workforce understands their medications and complies with the prescribed treatment plans the work center becomes healthy and the potential of increased productivity becomes a realistic and profitable proposition for the organization. When the workforce takes advantage of the healthcare services the pharmacists provide in a community and clinical pharmacies productivity and profit are at high potential reality. Impact of the Roles on the Organization
A clinical pharmacist ensures that the correct medication and dosages are given to the patient to promote care and recovery. They provide quality checks, review, and evaluation to prevent potential medical errors. When medical errors are minimized the organization not only achieves cost avoidance but also establishes a reputation that is consistent to quality healthcare delivery. A community pharmacist affects the lives of the community in many ways. Educating the community in proper and correct way of taking prescriptions and its side effects increase awareness and prevention of errors.
A career in pharmacy is an added resource in bringing about a healthy community. The pharmacists serve as overseers of appropriate use of prescriptions while preventing errors. Whether the place of practice is in a clinical or community pharmacy a pharmacist job should always be consistent with the foundation of wellness promotion and cure of ailments through correct medication prescribing and dispensing.
According to Beney (2010), a clinical pharmacist work roles include:-Developing and promoting rational and appropriate use of medicinal products and devices. -Analyzing population needs with regards to medicines, routes of administration, pattern of use and drugs effects on the patients.-Influencing the use of the most effective treatment for each type of patient and monitoring the therapy course and the patient’s compliance with therapy. Provides the best treatment alternative for the greatest number of patients.-Potential to implement and influence drug-related policies including which drugs to be marketed or added to the national formulary.-Active involvement in clinical trials including preparation and dispensation of investigational drugs. Participates in ethical committees and serve as member of Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee.-Influencing the attitudes and priorities of prescribers in their choice of correct treatments. Monitors, detects and prevents harmful drug interaction, adverse reactions and medication errors through evaluation of prescriptions’ profiles.|
Beney, J. (2010). Clinical Pharmacy. Retrieved from http://www.escpweb.org/cms/Clinical_pharmacy Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13
Edition, Pharmacists. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm Food and Drug Administration (2009). Pharmacists Position at FDA. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WorkingatFDA/CareerDescriptions/ucm113291.htm The University of Queensland, Australia (2012). Career Paths – School of Pharmacy. Retrieved from http://www.uq.edu.au/pharmacy/career-paths