Pharmacists in a community pharmacy dispense medications. But is that all they do? One major advantage with a community pharmacy is that you can talk to the pharmacist without an appointment or payment of any consultation fee (least expensive and most accessible).
Pharmacists are trained medication experts who will help you manage your treatment plan and as such are key members of your health care team (doctors, nurses etc). They also offer a wide range of help with:
- Emergency contraception (birth control to prevent pregnancy)
- Minor illness (cold, cough, pains etc)
- Chronic illness management (diabetes, hypertension etc.)
- Healthy living tips
- Medication management (especially those with multiple medications)
To get the best out of your pharmacist
- Stick to one pharmacist as much as you can. This way efforts is put on building the relationship. Changing pharmacies can complicate your follow up and create confusion.
- Find a pharmacist you feel comfortable with and one who takes the time to help you.
- Set aside time
- Engaged discussion, ask questions
- Make you always leave the pharmacy having understood. Ask questions on what you did not understand.
- Explain any difficulties you may have applying what was discussed at home, the pharmacist is best placed to propose alternatives (and most times in collaboration with your doctor)
Got any health questions? Ask your pharmacist.
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About the author
Dr. Ekwoge Hilda is a trained pharmacist from Cameroon and Co-founder of HILPharma. When she is not busy creating content, she slings pills to pay the bills.