When most people think about their pharmacist, they think of little more than simple salespeople who provide them with the drugs that their doctors prescribe. The reality, though, is far more complex. To become a pharmacist in Canada, you have to go through a rigorous specialized university program and complete a national board examination.
So what exactly does your pharmacist do other than hand out medication? Well, first of all, there are many different types of pharmacists who work in vastly different environments. Just in time for Pharmacist Awareness Month this March, let’s focus on the responsibilities of your community pharmacist:
1. Quality: your pharmacist is largely responsible for the quality (and quantity) of the medication provided to you.
2. Legality: pharmacists make sure that all medications and quantities of medication dispensed are in accordance with Canadian law.
3. Counsel: your pharmacist is there to ensure that you know exactly what dosage you should be taking (and at what frequency).
4. Safety: pharmacists are responsible for reviewing your medical records and making sure that none of the medications prescribed by your doctor will interact poorly with one another.
On top of all that, pharmacists are responsible for managing their pharmacy. This includes supervising pharmacy technicians as well as residents who are studying for their certification. They’re also there to answer all of your questions and advise you about any over-thecounter medications that could be beneficial to your current situation. They even deal with insurance companies to ensure that no patient goes without their required medications.
A pharmacist is so much more than just a salesperson.