Saturday, January 12, 2013

National Pharmacist Day - 2013

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By Nurse Diane

Yesterday I told you about hot toddy's…and the chant from Ole Miss, a major university here in Mississippi.  Well Ole Miss is known for more things besides football, and drinks.  It also has a superior medical school and pharmacy school.  I should know, my uncle, my father's brother, graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in Pharmacy.  Following graduation, he began a career with Upjohn, a drug manufacturing company, and he visited local doctors educating them about the new drugs that were currently on the market that would help their patients.
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Pharmacology, the study of medicines, is a very difficult field to practice.  When I was in nursing school, I had to complete a course in pharmacology.  Not only did we have to learn about the drug, we had to learn how it worked, what medications it worked with or against, what side effects it may have.  There are thousands of medications out there too!  Not only are there several medications, but there are also several different categories.  You have a group of drugs that work on pain, a group of meds for sleeping, antibiotics, allergies, the list is endless.
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Of course no one can be expected to learn all the medications, that is why there is a PDR, or physician's desk reference that lists all the medications and their properties.   However a pharmacist must be able to know about the different categories, and their actions and interactions with other medications.
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Pharmacists have a long and tired day on the job.  Several hours filling prescriptions, standing on their feet, and dealing with insurance companies and doctor's offices all day.  Rarely do they have time to interact with customers but when they can, they are knowledgeable about the medications they are dispensing.  Each medication has to be verified several times, when they remove the pill from the shelf, it has to be verified.  When they read the prescription, it must be verified again, when the amount is counted out, it must be verified again.  and when it placed in the bottle with the name of the patient, if must be verified again.  These checks make the possibility of an error decrease.  Pharmacists take extra precautions to ensure that the right person receives the right medication.

Today is National Pharmacist day, so if you happen to go to a drug store, don't forget to give a shout out to the pharmacist there, and let them know you appreciate their job.  And to my Uncle TD, Happy Pharmacist Day!!

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