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Practical advice for getting the most from your pharmacy.

Updated on April 21, 2014

Please note!

***This series of hubs will no longer be updated. I will continue to create high-quality, informative hubs, but each will be a stand-alone, not part of a series. If you have particular questions you would like me to answer, please message me directly or leave a comment on any of my hubs. Please visit my profile for a full listing of all my hubs***


Thank you!

On this page you will find general information about pharmacy, learn about this series, and find links to my various hubs. You can also read a little about me.

Follow the links to learn more about a particular topic. And be sure to use the comments to let me know if you have any questions or want information on a particular subject.

And if you're interested, check out my other hub series "Ask a pharmacist" where I highlight and answer some of the most frequent questions I hear in my practice.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Brandon Y, Pharm.D.

Your pharmacist is the expert on medicine, both OTC and prescription.
Your pharmacist is the expert on medicine, both OTC and prescription.

Why do I need advice on how to use my pharmacy?

Without exception, everyone has utilized the products and services available at a pharmacy. But are you getting the most from your pharmacist?

There are two reasons (see below) that I think it's important for people to lean about their pharmacy and what services a great pharmacist can offer them.

Through my hubs you can discover the myriad of ways that you can improve your families health, reduce your healthcare costs, and enjoy a better experience at your pharmacy.

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Reason #1: Pharmacist are an extremely underused partner in your healthcare.

Pharmacists are highly trained and experienced healthcare professionals. Most have completed 8 years of intense education, including a year of clinical rotations. Some have done post-graduate training to specialize in a particular area.

A pharmacist who has graduated since the mid-90's has earned their Pharm.D. degree, or Doctor of Pharmacy. Click here to learn about the focused education your pharmacist has completed. Many older pharmacists have gone back to school to earn their Pharm.D. degree as well.

Because pharmacists are state licensed professionals, you can expect certain things from them. You can expect expertise, professionalism, respect, partnership in your health, and an interest in helping you meet your healthcare goals. Click here to find out the roles and responsibilities a pharmacist's license gives them.


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Reason #2: The practice of pharmacy is changing, and the changes can benefit you.

It's no secret that healthcare in America is undergoing significant change.

Your interaction with all healthcare professionals will be changing, and that includes your pharmacist. Your pharmacist may partner more closely with you and with your other healthcare providers to get you the best healthcare possible. You may be caring for elderly parents that need help navigating the healthcare system. Learning the role your pharmacist plays in your healthcare will allow you to use your pharmacist the best you can and get the most out of your pharmacy.

And don't forget the huge strain America's healthcare system is about to feel.

  • Many people will gain access to healthcare because they will have government-mandated insurance.
  • The biggest demographic, the Baby Boomers, are getting older and use more healthcare.
  • More health conditions are being identified and being treated with medication.

This all adds up to unavoidable changes in how you interact with your pharmacist. The better prepared you are, the better your experience will be.

What do you use your pharmacy for most?

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Keeping this hub fresh

My goal is not simply to provide information about pharmacy, but to help people in a very real way. I want all people to enjoy the benefits possible from their pharmacy, such as lower healthcare costs and improved health.

To do that, I need to know what you want to know. What questions do you have? What frustrates you about your pharmacy? What would you change if you could?

Always feel free to speculate and ask questions in the comments of any of my hubs. Also, check back here often for a new poll to help determine future topics.

Most pharmacists are good, but a truly great pharmacist will improve your families health, life, and decrease costs and frustration.
Most pharmacists are good, but a truly great pharmacist will improve your families health, life, and decrease costs and frustration.
Medication expertise
Accessibility
Health services
Products
Assistance with self care
Work with you and your doctor to choose the best medicine.
No need for an appointment.
Screenings to identify health problems.
Reliable, accurate supply of OTC and prescription medication.
Trained to help you choose and use OTC medicine.
Teach you about medicine and answers any questions.
Available evenings, weekends, and often 24/7.
Immunizations that help avoid illness.
Access to hard-to-find OTC items.
Can work with you daily.
Identify, treat, or avoid side effects.
Talk directly to the professional without triage.
Medication Therapy Management to optimize drug therapy.
Access to medication, devices, supplies, and more.
Identifies when it's time to seek more help.
Your pharmacist is uniquely trained and experienced to provide a wide array of important healthcare services.

For examples of some of the questions pharmacists are asked, and my answers to those questions, check out my other hub series.

Links to my topics

Here's a list of hubs in this series, "Practical advice for getting the most from your pharmacy."

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If you like this hub, please take a moment to comment, give it a rating, like it on facebook, tweet it, pin it, or follow me.

Your feedback helps me develop new hubs and make them great!

Thank you for reading!

Brandon Y is a community pharmacist working in Minnesota with over 10 years of experience in pharmacy. He welcomes comments and questions. Find more great pharmacy tips here.

Disclaimer

The information provided on this page is intended for general educational and informational use only. It is not specific, personalized healthcare advice for you. For healthcare advice regarding your particular situation, talk to members of your healthcare team. Contact this hubs author for more information.


Copyright BYPharm.D. (author) 2013. All rights reserved

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    • Tara Tompson profile image

      Tara Tompson 3 years ago from Orem, Utah

      This was a very wonderful article! I've been looking for a great pharmacist in Chatsworth, GA. What's the best way to find a good one? What's your favorite qualities in a good pharmacist? Thanks for all the advice!

    • BYPharmD profile image
      Author

      Brandon Young 3 years ago from Minnestoa

      I appreciate your feedback, Tara! I think some good qualities for a pharmacist are patience, empathy, and attention to detail. They also need to be good at listening and also good at explaining things. One project I did while on rotation was to go "undercover" to different pharmacies and ask the same question to the pharmacists (I asked about OTC medication for lower back pain). The conversations with each pharmacist ended with similar recommendations, but each pharmacist had their own level of expertise and communication style. You could do that, then choose the one you feel most comfortable with. I hope you find a great pharmacist!

    • profile image

      Sani 2 years ago

      Thank you very much for this nice website providing a lot of information. I would like to ask you if you have any materials for teachers concerning pharmacy clerks? I'm a teacher from Germany and in a few weeks i will have to teach pharmacy clerks in English. It would be very great to hear from you. Thank you!

    • BYPharmD profile image
      Author

      Brandon Young 2 years ago from Minnestoa

      Thanks Sani, I'm glad this information is helpful for you. I'd be happy to help you any way I can, though I know the practice of pharmacy is different in Germany and I'm not familiar with it at all. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. You can send me a private message if you prefer. Good luck with your class!

    • profile image

      renae 2 years ago

      Walgreens is changing their policies and procedures. I have to ask for a new medicine , been on for years or lower dose and or...anyway..what do I have to do to change pharmacies... Fill out papers. How do I know they will have my medicine and I hate leaving Walgreens I'm going to try to stay with them but I don't know if my Dr will change my meds from a pharm request....thanks.

    • BYPharmD profile image
      Author

      Brandon Young 2 years ago from Minnestoa

      I'm sorry to hear that changes are making it difficult for you, renae. Changing pharmacies is really quite simple. All you have to do is find a new pharmacy, go there or call them and provide your information (often just verbally, no paperwork), then let them know which pharmacy you are currently using. They'll take care of the rest. My suggestion to you, though, is to talk with the pharmacy manager at your current pharmacy and see if there is any way to work with or around the changing policies and procedures. Maybe there is something they can do to make the transition easier. Either your current or new pharmacy could send a request for a dose change to your doctor. If you provide information about why you think a dose change is needed to the pharmacist, they can include that in the request, just to give your doctor more information. They may require an appointment, but they may not. I hope everything turns out well!

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