Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane “pill-flipping” life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

9 Reasons to Celebrate Pharmacy Week

OCTOBER 20, 2015
Before you dismiss Pharmacy Week as another one of those quasi-events that seem more marketing-oriented than anything else, allow me to enumerate 9 reasons why pharmacists should participate in this professional celebration:
 
1. You deserve to celebrate your personal accomplishments.
Pharmacy Week presents a great opportunity to reflect on the past year and give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t wait for your annual performance review to roll around to think about all that you’ve learned and how you’ve grown professionally.
 
2. Your store/department can tout its accomplishments.
Whether your pharmacy increased its profits or successfully piloted a new computer system, you and your co-workers should celebrate your hard work.
 
If you work in a hospital, then use this opportunity to provide education and outreach—and maybe a few brag-worthy tidbits—to other hospital departments. Don’t miss an opportunity to show those nurses that pharmacy people know how to party, too!
 
3. Your staff deserves recognition.
If you are a supervisor, then take a minute to show personal appreciation for your staff and all that they do for you. Specifically, don’t forget to acknowledge your pharmacy technicians on National Pharmacy Technician Day, which is observed on October 20, 2015.
 
4. It reminds patients of your hard work.
You work long hours under stressful conditions. Pharmacy Week reminds patients that the care you provide is critical to the health and well-being of many people in your community.
 
Who knows? You may even get a “thank you” from someone.
 
5. It provides a great marketing opportunity.
Independent pharmacists (and even those in retail or clinical settings) can take advantage of the “exposure” that Pharmacy Week provides. Some ideas include offering an open house, special discounts, promotions, or a “Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Pharmacist” event.
 
6. It provides a great opportunity for patient education.
Why not get together with your staff and offer an educational seminar to patients on the flu shot, medication management for senior citizens, drug discount programs, a specific medication such as insulin, or one of the many other pharmaceutical mysteries that you have in-depth, direct knowledge about?
 
Doing so will not only improve patient relations with your pharmacy, but also potentially cut down on future patient counseling and increase medication regimen compliance.
 
7. It highlights important issues.
From safety to state legislation, Pharmacy Week provides pharmacists and advocacy organizations with an opportunity to strategically raise issues that are critical to the profession.
 
It provides an opportunity to give back to the profession.
Consider teaming up with your local pharmacy school to volunteer your time to lecture, mentor, host a tour, or otherwise counsel pharmacy students in your area. This is time well spent, as many of today’s student pharmacists could be tomorrow’s co-workers.
 
The pharmacy industry is close knit, so it can’t hurt to get to know some of the up-and-comers in your area.
 
It reminds you to boost your professional development.
Keep an eye on all those continuing education (CE) resources out there, as many may offer special CE courses or promotional pricing to coincide with Pharmacy Week. Some local or state pharmacy organizations also host Pharmacy Week networking events or seminars.
 
In addition to being a recipe for fun at work, Pharmacy Week promotes the profession and offers exposure that is not available the rest of the year. I encourage pharmacy staff across all care settings to get involved and do their part to make Pharmacy Week 2015 a success.

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