Every year in March, Pharmacy Appreciation Month (PAM) is a time where we acknowledge and celebrate pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and the entire pharmacy team. Pharmacy teams are recognized and appreciated for their endless contributions to positively impact their community’s health and improving patients’ lives.
Although pharmacy practice is focused heavily on medication management, counseling, and dispensing, pharmacy teams also play a significant role in aiding patient access to medical care and reducing the burden of care on the healthcare system.
Pharmacy professionals include pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with other key staff including pharmacy assistants, customer service representatives, front store managers and operators, and much more. The duty to provide medication management and distribution to all residents in Canada, in respective communities, hospitals, and institutions are life-preserving and extremely important.
Recent challenges in the pharmacy world include distribution issues in a vast country, drug shortages, and the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in a greater workload and the need for adaptability, patience, and resiliency. Even with these circumstances, pharmacy teams continue to prevail and navigate through these challenges in order to provide care for patients and reduce the burden of the healthcare system.
The intricacies of pharmacy practice demonstrate that pharmacy is a foundational pillar of the healthcare system. With their skills, knowledge, and compassion, pharmacy teams have continuously maintained patient accessibility to medications, medical advice, and care during the COVID-19 pandemic. A pharmacist’s role is not only limited to dispensing prescription medications.
Pharmacists check for drug interactions, counsel on medications on how they work and their side effects and how to effectively manage and monitor them, administer vaccinations, collaborate with prescribers to effectively care for patients, and provide many other clinical services.
The accessibility and convenience of pharmacies and their teams play an integral role in many Canadians lives, yet the number of pharmacists pales in comparison to the numbers of other health professionals such as physicians and nurses.
Pharmacies listened and embraced the needs of their communities by stepping up to ensure needed medications, healthcare products, and medical advice were available. Pharmacy teams responded by acquiring additional training, ordering equipment for their stores and providing COVID-19 vaccinations. Pharmacies and their teams continuously demonstrate their roles in being one of the most accessible and frontline essential healthcare workers.
During Pharmacy Appreciation Month, pharmacy professionals can reflect on the impact their work has and will have on patients and the community. During PAM, please let your pharmacy team know how much you appreciate their efforts, work, and impact.