Living with Chronic Pain
A pharmacy may seems like just a place to get medication from a pharmacist. The pharmacist can act like a gatekeeper, which can cause frustration for individuals with chronic pain. Pharmacists seem to take too long filling prescriptions, ask too many questions, and interfere in doctor/patient relationship. While individuals living with chronic pain may feel exasperated with what happens at a pharmacy, pharmacists do have an important role in the healthcare system.
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A pharmacist job isn’t just counting out pills and dealing with insurance companies. Pharmacists are often a bridge between doctors and their patients when it comes to medications. Doctors prescribe the medication, pharmacists ensure that their patients understand why they are taking it, answer any questions & check that it is safe to take with anything else the patient is prescribed. They also explain how a medication works, when it is best to take it, what not to take it with, and prepare the individual for any possible side-effects.
It may seem pretty basic, but preventing medication errors is a large part of a pharmacist’s job. It’s ensuring that the right medication and right dose have been prescribed. They may be the one place that has access to all of an individual’s prescriptions, making sure that there is not an interaction or allergy between a new medication and a current one. If there is an interaction or allergy, the pharmacist consults with the doctor regarding a suitable replacement.
Aside from providing drug information and preventing medication errors, pharmacists are taking on a broader role in healthcare settings. They are providing education and guidance regarding preventative medicine, such as healthy eating or smoking cessation. Pharmacists are also taking larger roles in terms of chronic disease management, things like medication management and medication adherence.
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Mayo Clinic , Center for Disease Control (CDC)
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