Sunday, June 23, 2013

Practice Patient Counseling

One of the duties of a pharmacist is to ensure that the patient is taking the right medicine for his complain or condition. In a typical day in a retail pharmacy, there are two types of person coming to you for drugs. First, the one who have an idea of what to buy and the other one is totally clueless of what should be taking. Either type, as pharmacist you should give the patient the information he needs to know regarding certain medication. But of course, the only drug we can dispense are the over-the-counter preparations. Other than that, doctor's prescription is a must.

Few of the questions we should throw to a patient to ensure safe and effective medicine are the following:
  1. Have you seen a doctor about your concern?
  2. Is the medicine for yourself or for someone else?
  3. Can you tell me something about the problem and what are the symptoms you are experiencing?
  4. Do you have any allergies?
  5. Do you use any other medicine prescribed by doctor?
  6. Do you use over-the-counter drugs like vitamins and food supplement?
These are the top six questions we should not forget to ask to a patient before advising a patient of what medicine he should be taking. Be ready for the patient's questions. If you are not so sure of the answer, do not open a book in front of him. Meaning, step away for a second and confirm the answer from another pharmacist or consult a very good reference.

Memorizing everything by heart and experience are the key things in patient counseling. Don't stop reading excellent books to widen your knowledge on different diseases and medicines. Not only that, medical instrument or devices are also not out of the picture. You should know how to operate any device you have in your pharmacy. So when an elderly woman will ask you how to use a digital sphygmomanometer, you'll be ready to demonstrate.
Patient counseling is one way of helping our community in improving health and wellness. Hope we can practice this with confidence so people will aware of our worth and that they can trust us. 

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