National Pharmacist Day is January 12th: Here’s What You Need to Know
Observed annually on January 12th, National Pharmacist Day honors pharmacists across the U.S., and that includes those hard-working traveling pharmacists too. The profession has evolved dramatically over the years, which is also what this special day aims to celebrate. While a pharmacist was once expected only to dispense medication, today, he or she is an integrated member of any healthcare team that’s directly involved in patient care.
Pharmacist Education and Training
In addition to being tasked with some high-pressure responsibilities, becoming a pharmacist requires an incredible amount of education and training. A pharmacist has to go through six to eight years of post-high school education, and spend hours studying chemical structures and metabolic pathways that are easily forgotten after those tough exams. Once they’ve obtained their degree, passed all of those difficult tests and landed a job, training still isn’t over – keeping current with new drugs is a must, requiring at least 15 hours of continuing education courses too.
Once working as a pharmacist, whether working in a pharmacist travel job or in a traditional pharmacist position, as mentioned it requires a lot more than simply handing medicine over the counter. Pharmacists must ensure the safety, quality, and efficacy of each and every medication, ensure the drug and dosage is the right one for each patient’s condition, knowing that if they make an error in dosage, it can have harmful or even fatal results. They need to understand and recognize the interaction of drugs together too, as many people take multiple medications today. Those hard-working pharmacists also must give out advice to patients on how to take their medicine, what the drugs’ side effects are, answer all of their questions and much more, making the role of a pharmacist one that comes with immense responsibility.
Then, there is the pharmacist traveler, who in addition to the above, is faced with constant learning, with new ways of doing things and new techniques a matter of course in a pharmacist travel job. Of course, this role also brings a few added perks, like avoiding the boredom that comes with working in the same place day after day, experiencing new destinations and being paid more.
If you’re a traditional pharmacist or a traveling pharmacist, you can appreciate that this day of national observation offers an ideal opportunity to education the public about the important role a pharmacist has in overall health management.
Thank you, Pharmacists!
The pharmacist is truly on the front line of patient access. As they’re typically so easily reachable, oftentimes, they provide even more vital advice than the patient’s own physician, taking the time that’s needed to properly discuss their medication therapy.
Not only do pharmacists play a crucial role in the healthcare system, the profession is truly one of the most trusted of all professions today. If you visit a pharmacy on January 12th, keep all of this in mind when you pick up your medication – and, don’t forget wish your pharmacist an extra-special day.
See also: Pharmacy Appreciation Week