Pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals in the United States. Yet, many consumers are still unaware of the myriad of services that pharmacies provide and expertise that pharmacists possess.
American Pharmacists Month in October is a great time to educate customers and the community about pharmacists’ value. Here are the top 10 ways that APhA suggests celebrating American Pharmacists Month:
1. In community settings, schedule special health events with the message, “Talk to your pharmacist today.” Examples include promoting vaccinations, a flu shot clinic, or health screening day (such as cholesterol or diabetes screenings).
2. In hospital settings, schedule an open house. Invite other hospital employees into your pharmacy. Give tours that showcase your knowledge and the process of how medications move from physician orders to patient.
3. In community settings, hold one or more Medication Check-Ups. APhA suggests inviting your patients to bring all of their meds in during a certain time and then perform a medication review with them.
4. In community settings, host a visit for your senator or representative. “Provide your legislators with an invaluable view of the contemporary roles of pharmacists,” APhA says. “Be sure they see a pharmacist in your facility conducting valued patient care services that warrant compensation, such as immunizations, comprehensive medication reviews, blood pressure screening, OTC counseling, and other clinical activities.”
5. In all settings, celebrate pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy Technician Day is on October 16, which means it’s a great time to show your techs how much you appreciate all the work they do.
6. In hospital settings, create a lobby display. Download resources from APhA’s American Pharmacists Month web site that promote the pharmacy department.
7. In long-term care settings, invite residents and their guests to a special American Pharmacists Month party, such as an afternoon tea or other fun event. “Make the atmosphere festive by decorating the designated areas with streamers and American Pharmacists Month resources. Provide patient education brochures, along with information about the various services the pharmacy/pharmacists provide to residents,” APhA says.
8. In long-term care settings, schedule informational programs for residents and/or their families. Possible topics include: the pharmacist’s role in medication regimen review, the 10 most common and/or hazardous drug interactions among older patients, and basic medication safety.
9. In ambulatory care settings, arrange “curbside consultations” for patients and caregivers. Encourage them to about medication therapy issues. APhA suggests holding the 5 to 10-minute sessions in a conference room or other private area.
10. Student pharmacists can write an article for their college newspaper or newsletter to raise awareness about pharmacists’ roles in helping patients manage specific health conditions.