Are Pharmacists Doctors?
There are 4 things about your pharmacist you may not know :
Throughout your life, you have probably interacted with a pharmacist quite often. Nevertheless, many people are not familiar with their background, training, or what their job involves. It is possible to make the most of your pharmacy service if you thoroughly understand it. Now the tricky question is, Are Pharmacists Doctors?
Preparing and dispensing medications for patients is the responsibility of a pharmacist. In this case, a written prescription or an electronic prescription is used. A licensed practitioner such as a physician, dentist, advanced nurse practitioner, or doctor’s assistant places orders.
The role of a pharmacist extends far beyond counting your pills. Generally, they consult with licensed practitioners about prescribing and dispensing medications.
In order to ensure patient safety and effectiveness, pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that their patients receive appropriate and safe medications. To create a high-quality prescription, pharmacists carefully examine every aspect of the order, including inconsistencies in the drug, before compounding and labeling it.
College-level education is required of pharmacists if they intend to understand all about drugs, how they react when combined, and what side effects they might experience. Patients benefit from their knowledge and experience shared with healthcare providers, nurses, doctors, and most importantly, them.
Learn four things about pharmacists and pharmacies that you might not know.
A pharmacist is a doctor
Almost all pharmacists introduce themselves to you using their first names when you meet them at your local pharmacy. The requirement for pharmacists to have pharmacy degrees was enacted in 2004. Pharmacists are technically considered physicians under this law. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy requires that they pass exams to become certified. Licensed pharmacists can only dispense medications through this process in the United States. Even after 2004, pharmacists were only required to have a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy to work in the field, yet many still opt to obtain their Ph.D. degree regardless.
Pharmacists provide medication therapy management services
A pharmacist offers medication therapy management (MTM) through a variety of safety surveillance programs in order to prevent adverse reactions and medication errors. Pharmacists constantly strive to improve the level of safeguards they implement in order to achieve positive therapeutic outcomes for patients. To ensure the safety of their patients’ medications, they are constantly developing new ways to ensure that they are safe.
As part of this process, they perform a critical review, identify, and collect data on medication safety, errors, and adverse events. REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) is an additional safety net being adopted by an increasing number of pharmacists. In this program, medication access is balanced with patient safety when it comes to biological medications that might pose a safety risk.
A patient may have a number of questions about the medications they have been prescribed. Side effects and adverse drug interactions can arise from taking multiple medications at the same time, taking medications at the wrong time, or taking medications at the wrong time. Pharmacists manage medication therapy for patients who have questions about complex drug protocols or chronic conditions, despite the fact that such issues can be confusing for the average person. Depending on the patient’s situation, they can also be useful when dealing with multiple healthcare providers or high prescription costs.
In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control, MTM consists of five components: medication therapy review, personal medication records, medication action plans, referrals or interventions, as well as documentation and follow-up on all medications prescribed. It is also possible for pharmacists to play a proactive role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention by advising patients on lifestyle changes and behavior modification, educating them about medications used to treat CVD, identifying hypertension symptoms, and performing blood pressure checks.
Vaccines are administered by pharmacists
Increasing public access to immunizations is a significant opportunity for pharmacists since they are accessible and trusted healthcare advisors. Pharmacists have played an increasingly significant role in vaccination administration over the last two decades. There were only nine states that allowed pharmacists to administer vaccinations in 1995. Pharmacy professionals now have the authority to administer vaccinations in all 50 states. Puerto Rico as well as the District of Columbia are included in that category.
Taking advantage of this change would enable pharmacists to coordinate with other healthcare providers and boost immunization rates for patients over the course of their lives. In addition to the extent of their authority varying from state to state, this is an extremely significant step toward universal immunization.
A pharmacist specializes in one area of medicine
The same as medical doctors, pharmacists can obtain board certification. Keeping track of pharmacists’ specialized experience provides the healthcare continuum with additional benefits and skills. Pharmacists are also able to specialize in certain areas of pharmacology, as with doctors. The following specialties are available: psychiatry, emergency medicine, critical care, solid organ transplantation, infectious diseases, geriatrics, compounded sterile preparations, ambulatory care, nutrition support, pediatrics, and pharmacotherapy.
A pharmacist’s ability to assist patients with complex medical issues is further improved when he or she becomes a specialist. This will allow them to play an active role in treating their patients, which will improve outcomes. Every community across the country benefits greatly from the services provided by specialty pharmacists. Pharmacists become stronger leaders in their community when they have multiple specialties. It is easier for them to meet the needs of patients, as well as underserved populations, and to maintain their well-being.
Pharmacists play an instrumental role in helping patients achieve positive health outcomes during and after treatment. It is estimated that nearly half of the patients with chronic diseases fail to take their medications on time. A pharmacist’s role is to establish strong relationships with patients to reduce the disease’s progression. The result will be fewer hospitalizations and better medication management habits for patients. Pharmacy services provide a wide range of benefits for everyone in the country over time, including improved health and wellness.
Links to resources:
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy What Do Pharmacists Do? Things You Didn’t Know About Pharmacists’ Medication Management