American Pharmacists Month: Its History, and the Impact of Pharmacists in America

Pharmacists play a vital role in good patient care. By working together with patients regarding medication adherence, pharmacists help patients achieve improved health while avoiding adverse medication reactions. This can, in turn, help prevent increased healthcare costs.

American Pharmacists Month was established in 2004 as a way to promote the role pharmacists play in the healthcare team. It expanded National Pharmaceutical Week, which was developed in 1925 to accomplish the same goal. For October 2014, the theme of American Pharmacists Month is Know Your Pharmacist, Know Your Medication, helping encourage patients to keep an open dialog with their pharmacist and understand the ins and outs of any and all prescribed medications.
The value of pharmacists to the healthcare team
Pharmacists are educated to understand all prescription and over-the-counter medications—how to identify them, what they do, what dosages are typically prescribed, how they should be used, how they react with other medications, and how to take them properly. Other than dispensing medications at private and retail pharmacies, or in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, pharmacists are now starting Medication Therapy Management (MTM) consulting businesses. Through MTM, pharmacists go one step further in educating patients about their medications, to help ensure the best, safest and healthiest outcomes.

Employability of pharmacists

Pharmacy ranks fifth on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2014. That’s because pharmacists are able to utilize a wide range of skills each day, helping to keep them well-rounded. Also, pharmacists are well-paid: the median pay in 2012 was $116, 670 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pharmacists have a stable job outlook, too, with 14 percent expected annual growth from 2012–2022.

Looking for ways to celebrate American Pharmacists Month?

With all this good news, what’s not to celebrate about being a pharmacist? Consider the following ways to promote pharmacy to patients and the public, and the value pharmacists bring to their patients:

  • Meet and greets. Schedule time (remember to post the schedule!) for patients to meet their pharmacist.
  • Hold a flu shot clinic. In collaboration with insurance companies, hold a flu shot clinic at your pharmacy or facility where patients can get vaccinated, as well as meet their pharmacist.
  • Conduct a lunch and learn. Give lunchtime presentations to local businesses about hot-button issues, such as flu shots, cholesterol screening, vaccinating children, etc.
  • Offer Medicare Q&As. Many seniors have questions about Medicare. During October (or even year round), hold regular Q&A sessions seniors can attend to get their Medicare questions answered.
  • Set up a blog or social media page for your pharmacy or healthcare facility. Provide daily pharmacy tips, or weekly blog posts, with timely information about different medication-related topics.

Get the word out and educate the public!

American Pharmacists Month is a great time to communicate with patients and educate them to lead healthier lives. Build a sense of good will by sharing your skills and experience with others.

If you’re a pharmacist currently looking for a new position, look no further than MedPro Staffing. Our experienced recruiters will work with you for placement in an exciting new travel pharmacy position. To learn more, contact MedPro Staffing today!

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