This article was edited on October 22, 2019 at 9:51am. 

National Pharmacy Week is back, spanning from October 20 to 26, 2019. The national recognition week acknowledges the invaluable contributions that pharmacists and technicians make to patient care in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other health care settings.

““National Pharmacy Week was created to recognize the vital contributions that pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians make every day to patient care,” said Paul W. Abramowitz, PharmD, ScD, FASHP, CEO of ASHP in a prepared statement to Pharmacy Times. “This week offers us a time to shine a light on the individual and collective efforts that these exceptional individuals put forth year-round in advancing our healthcare system, as we seek to ensure that medication use is optimal, safe, and effective for all people all of the time.” 

Curious to know how you can celebrate National Pharmacy Week? Check out this list of fun and engaging activities that can spark interest in your coworkers, patients, and more!

Open House or a Pharmacy Tour
Pharmacy tours give your organizations administrator and other staff members a glimpse into the daily operations of the pharmacy, according to ASHP. During the tour you can:
  • Describe the range of activities and share success stories about improved patient outcomes and enhanced medication safety
  • Provide statistics about the number and types of calls received from the medical and nursing staff
  • Note any technological advances, such as automated dispensing machines, and discuss their impact on your ability to provide clinical services

Meet and Greet
Invite patients and their caregivers to meet the pharmacy staff and ask questions about their medication therapies. While some patients may not be able to leave their rooms, caregivers may be able to bring back materials to their patients. Plan to give a short introduction at the Meet and Greet that includes:
  • An introduction of the pharmacy staff in attendance.
  • A description of the pharmacists’ activities at your facility.
  • An explanation of how those activities benefit patient care.
  • An invitation to ask questions about medication use.

Brown-Bag Workshops
Hosting a brown-bag session at ambulatory care clinics, health fairs, or when speaking to senior citizens’ groups allows you to reach out to the community and meet current or potential patients, according to ASHP. Encourage patients to bring their prescription and over-the-counter medications and discuss their drug therapy with a pharmacist. Be sure to:
  • Publicize the event using social media and notices in local newspapers.
  • Provide participants with handouts on safe medication use and giveaways, such as pens, bookmarks, or magnets that will remind them of the pharmacy staff’s role in their health care.
  • Inform patients about www.safemedication.com, ASHP’s website where consumers can find drug information and other important health resources.

Thank your Staff or Coworkers
Taking a few minutes to express your sincere appreciation to your staff or coworkers is probably 1 of the easiest and most important things you can do in observance of Pharmacy Week. You could:
  • Bring in some coffee, bagels, or donuts for a morning breakfast to start the week off right.
  • Even just giving a few kind words and a quick #ThankAPharmacist tweet will let your staff know that they are appreciated.

Decorate
What better way to show that you care about pharmacy than to work with your coworkers to create a special display in the pharmacy or its window to celebrate pharmacy week?


Pharmacy Times also asked pharmacists how they will be celebrating National Pharmacy Week. Here's what they said:

Sondos Alkhthlan on Twitter says: “By studying for [my] midterm exam!”

Jill Drury, PharmD, says that celebrating Pharmacy Week is a small way to actually celebrate every week of the year where pharmacist and teams are doing amazing work for patients. “It is an honor to reward meaningful work and positive leadership in the pharmacy. And what better excuse to share cake and pizza?”

RxBlockhead on Twitter says: “Wait… we get a whole week devoted to us?”

Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh says “I’m celebrating National Pharmacy Week by educating the public through Twitter and Facebook about the integral role that pharmacists play in patient care through medication management and immunizations. Coming from a family of pharmacists, the profession means so much to me, and showcasing the pharmacist’s role in education through writing can make the public aware of such a valuable resource.”

Karen Berger, PharmD: "For Pharmacy week, I think the most important thing right now is to give a huge thanks to the technicians that support us on a day to day basis, because without them, we would be nothing!"

Yvette Terrie, BSPharm, RPh: "I will reflect on the honor of being a pharmacist just like my grandfather who graduated from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 1926. He owned his own pharmacy and back then most medications were still compounded. It is quite amazing to think about how far the field of pharmacy has come and how the role of the pharmacist has evolved through time, but still remains one of the most respected and rewarding healthcare professions."

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Reference
  1. Ideas on How to Observe the National Pharmacy Week. ASHP website. https://www.ashp.org/Pharmacy-Practice/Resource-Centers/Public-Relations/National-Pharmacy-Week/Ideas-to-Try. Accessed October 21, 2019.