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Role and Responsibilities of a Community Pharmacist
Community pharmacists are the easiest to get health specialists by the public and they sustain a connection with doctors and other health specialists in the primary health upkeep. Community pharmacies are located in small town centre, supermarkets, in the most underprivileged interiors and are in most cases opened for longs hours when no other healthcare givers are obtainable (Rubio-Valera, Maria, Chen, and O’Reilly 2014, p. 10977). For years the community pharmacist as a healthcare specialist has progressed from the customary role of dispensing doctors’ prescriptions role to permit for improved and enhanced incorporation and team working with the broader professional in the health care servicing (Mossialos et al. 2015, p.631). The paper aims at the main role and responsibilities of the community pharmacist.
Pharmacists in community setting dispense medications, advice on how to use the prescription and over the counter prescriptions, and offer drug therapy (McMillan, King and Tully 2016, p.657). A community pharmacist before dispensing any medication, he checks the information needed, confirms if the prescription is suitable for the patients, prepares the medication (there are drugs which are not kept in their ready-to-use state), ensures the prescription is accurately filled and finally educate and supply the medication (McMillan et al 2014, p.660). This ensures that the patients are well equipped with the relevant know-how about the medication thereby avoiding any opposing interactions, medication misuse, and other related errors. This promotes health results, enhances pharmacist-patients relations and most importantly stresses the role of the pharmacist as a reliable health advice-giver.
A community pharmacist also assists in providing advice on drug selection and usage to doctors, other health professionals, and the public. The pharmacist is to amass and preserve all medical information and most essentially on the recently introduced medicines, makes this information available to the other health caregivers and patients, and to ensure the information is used to enhance the balanced drug use (Davies, Barber and Taylor 2014, p.310). The community pharmacist ensures that he provides counsel, and the necessary clarifications to the entire department involved the doctors and the public (World Health Organization 2015).
Further, the community pharmacist helps in counselling patients in health promotion in areas of disease prevention and the proper use of drugs. Health promotion is a fundamental role for community pharmacist in addressing health issues like smoking, nutrition, exercise, oral health, family planning, women’s health, and mental health. (Saramunee et al. 2014, p.276). They may also get engaged in local community group’s education about health promotion and in campaigns like Expanded Programs on Immunization, and malaria and blindness programs all concerned with disease prevention (World Health Organization 2015). The community pharmacist is essential in promoting healthcare in areas where they are located.
In improving the quality of health care in the community, the pharmacist plays an important role in linking patients and medical professionals. They are not only taught how to dispense medication, provide medical information and help in health promotion, they are also well equipped to help control side effects and give guidance to patients on multiple medications on how to effectively and safely use them (World Health Organization 2015). They not only reduce cost in health care services but they are also easily accessible to the public and they are much preferred than the doctors for they offer better and easily understood prescriptions.
Davies, J.E., Barber, N. and Taylor, D., 2014. What do community pharmacists do?: results from a work sampling study in London. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 22(5), pp.309-318.
McMillan, S.S., Kelly, F., Sav, A., King, M.A., Whitty, J.A. and Wheeler, A.J., 2014. Consumer and carer views of A ustralian community pharmacy practice: awareness, experiences and expectations. Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, 5(1), pp.29-36.
McMillan, S.S., King, M. and Tully, M.P., 2016. How to use the nominal group and Delphi techniques. International journal of clinical pharmacy, 38(3), pp.655-662.
Mossialos, E., Courtin, E., Naci, H., Benrimoj, S., Bouvy, M., Farris, K., Noyce, P. and Sketris, I., 2015. From “retailers” to health care providers: transforming the role of community pharmacists in chronic disease management. Health Policy, 119(5), pp.628-639.
Rubio-Valera, Maria, Timothy Chen, and Claire O’Reilly, 2014 “New roles for pharmacists in community mental health care: a narrative review.” International journal of environmental research and public health 11.10: 10967-10990.
Saramunee, K., Krska, J., Mackridge, A., Richards, J., Suttajit, S. and Phillips-Howard, P., 2014. How to enhance public health service utilization in community pharmacy?: general public and health providers’ perspectives. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 10(2), pp.272-284.
World Health Organization, 2015. Health Worker Role in Providing Safe Abortion Care and Post Abortion Contraception. World Health Organization.