Scope of pharmacy practice has changed
If you follow the trends, more and more universities are offering online doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programs, Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs, and diabetic instructor programs. Pharmacists can obtain a certificate to vaccinate patients, take the BCPS exam (Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist) and even participate in physician CMEs for pharmacy continuing education credits. There is a push for pharmacists to “move from behind the counter” and further their clinical knowledge and practice modern day pharmacy. With the
implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there will be a huge influx of patients seeing primary care physicians. Hence, there will be a bigger demand for pharmacist-run ambulatory clinics to help provide care.
Pharmacists are healthcare providers
Imagine this: you are on a medical team, rounding on an unstable ICU patient with a declining renal function. The microbiology laboratory informs the attending physician that the latest set of blood cultures indicates that the patient has vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) and needs to be reported to the county health department. The nurse, dietician, physical therapist, case manager, and medical intern all look at each other for the next step for this problem, then they look at you. At this moment, the team is waiting for you, the pharmacy doctor, to recommend the best treatment.
Sometimes, in our busy workday, we forget that we play a pivotal role as the medication therapy expert. We recommend, dispense, and facilitate the best medication therapy for patients based on their conditions. We ensure that all safety measures are in place, verifying the medication and providing it to the patient. We monitor for side effects and adverse reactions and therapeutic responsiveness. After all, who else is best trained for this? We are.
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