October is known for Halloween, pumpkin spice, and apple cider, but did you know it’s also associated with American Pharmacist’s Month?
If not, you aren’t alone. Most people don’t know that October is also used to honor pharmacists in America and throughout the world!
The good news is, even if you have never heard of this very important observance, there is still time for you to learn more about it. So, keep reading and learn what makes American Pharmacist’s Month so special!
What will discuss in this article
- What is American Pharmacist’s Month?
- What is a Pharmacist?
- How Can Pharmacists Help You?
- How Can Pharmacists Celebrate National Pharmacist’s Month 2018 & Promote Pharmacy Awareness
What is American Pharmacist’s Month?
During the month of October, the public recognizes American Pharmacist’s Month, which celebrates the importance of pharmacists, throughout the country.
Here are some fast facts about American Pharmacist’s Month:
- National Pharmacist’s Month celebrates the accomplishments of pharmacists nationally and globally.
- The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) granted the month of October, “American Pharmacist’s Month.”
- The goal is to promote awareness and education on pharmacists’ care.
- The celebration touches patients, physicians, lawmakers, and the public.
- The honor creates awareness that pharmacists offer healthcare services like monitoring medications and checking for allergies.
- Pharmacists focus on enhancing patient care.
The aim of Pharmacist’s Month is not only to tout the accomplishments of pharmacists, but also motivate the community to learn more about services pharmacists provide.
You may be familiar with this slogan, “Know your pharmacist – Know your medicine.”
What is a Pharmacist?
Pharmacists are health professionals who have expertise in pharmaceutical drugs. These professionals collaborate with your physician, nurse, and/or nurse practitioner to provide both expert guidance and top-notch information on health conditions and medications.
As mentioned briefly above, pharmacists provide many other helpful services in addition to filling prescriptions for medications. Some of their duties include:
- Explaining dosages.
- Explaining potential side effects.
- Explaining possible interactions with other medications or illnesses.
- Offer additional solutions on healthier lifestyle changes.
In some states, the law allows pharmacists to administer certain vaccines and perform health and wellness screenings.
How Can Pharmacists Help You?
Pharmacists can help you by:
- Verifying your physician’s medication instructions (i.e. dosage, interactions, & frequency).
- Recommending ways that you can safely take your medicine (i.e. using a pillbox, taking with or without food, waiting for a specified time before eating, etc.).
- Ensuring that your prescriptions won’t negatively interact with any other medications you are taking or any health problems you currently have.
- Informing you about potential side-effects associated with your prescribed medication.
- Administering vaccinations.
- Advising you on general health topics (i.e. healthy diet, regular exercise, and reducing stress, etc.) and showing you how to properly use medical equipment, so you don’t get injured.
- Completing insurance forms and working with insurance companies to ensure that you have access to the medications you need.
- Maintaining accurate prescription medicine and health records.
- Informing other healthcare practitioners about new and innovative treatments.
How Can Pharmacists Celebrate National Pharmacist’s Month 2018 & Promote Pharmacy Awareness?
There are many ways that pharmacists can promote education during National Pharmacist’s Month 2018, such as:
- Reaching out to local radio stations and television stations and asking them to feature stories on American pharmacists.
- Participating in public forums with other American pharmacists to discuss pharmacy services and the importance of using safe medication protocols.
- Visiting middle school, junior high, and highs schools, and introducing students to pharmacy careers.
- Conducting interest-based pharmacy tours with people of all ages, so they can better understand what you do and what you offer.
- Visiting local senior citizen centers/assisted living facilities and talking with them about their medicines (i.e. benefits and side-effects).
- Volunteering to be a guest speaker at local forums, such as public libraries.
- Introducing staff members (i.e. pharmacists and pharmacy technicians) and highlighting their expertise by posting profiles of them on Facebook and Twitter.
- Sharing more about who they are – outside of work. More specifically, set up a social media account and allow followers to get a peek inside of their personal life (i.e. interests, passions, likes, and dislikes).
- Creating a scholarship to honor pharmacists, who epitomize the best qualities of pharmacists.
In summary, this October is a good time to learn more about American Pharmacist’s Month and National Pharmacist’s Month 2018.
It is important that we acknowledge the significant contributions pharmacists make to our healthcare and the community. It is also important to recognize just how dedicated these professionals are to providing good patient care.
The truth is, a pharmacist’s role is constantly changing and evolving. And, even though it was once common for pharmacists to focus solely on preparing and dispensing prescription medications, their role now involves also providing medication therapy management, so patients get the most out of their medications.
Smart Retelling RX. (2016). 23 ways to celebrate American pharmacists month. Retrieved from https://join.healthmart.com/marketing-promotions/23-ways-celebrate-american-pharmacists-month/
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Get to know your pharmacist.
Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/pharmacist-month/index.html
Elements. (2016). Know your pharmacist, know your medicine: 8 ways to celebrate American pharmacists month. Retrieved from https://www.pbahealth.com/know-your-pharmacist-know-your-medicine-8-ways-to-celebrate-american-pharmacists-month/
Market Watch. (2017). October is American pharmacists month. Retrieved from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/october-is-american-pharmacists-month-2017-09-28