Celebrate Pharmacy During American Pharmacists Month

September 30, 2014
Katie Eder, Senior Editor

In celebration of American Pharmacists Month, pharmacists are encouraged to spread the word about their work throughout the month of October.

In celebration of American Pharmacists Month, pharmacists are encouraged to spread the word about their work throughout the month of October.

“American Pharmacists Month is a time to recognize pharmacists for the vital contributions they make to health care in the United States through improved medication use and advanced patient care,” the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) states on its website. “(It) is a time to educate your patients, motivate your staff, and engage and inspire your community to ‘Know Your Pharmacists, Know Your Medicine.’”

To help pharmacists do so, the APhA offers several ideas for special events and activities that promote the pharmacy profession across different practice settings throughout the month. For instance, the association recommends putting in extra effort to thank pharmacy technicians for their support and contributions on October 28, 2014, which is National Pharmacy Technician Day.

“There are more ways to celebrate American Pharmacists Month than there are days in October. You just need to figure out what works best for your pharmacy,” the APhA notes on its website. “You don’t need a big budget to make a big splash.”

Ideas for pharmacies in all practice settings include:

  • Scheduling special events where patients can meet and talk to their pharmacist, and using that time to promote vaccinations, flu shots, or host screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, or osteoporosis.
  • Inviting patients to bring all of their prescription and nonprescription medications, so pharmacists can conduct a medication check-up for potential interactions, unneeded or duplicate medications, adverse reactions, and passed or upcoming expiration dates.
  • Asking local businesses if you can make presentations about safe medication usage and answer medication-related questions during employee lunch hours.
  • Setting aside time to answer questions about Medicare drug coverage for local seniors.
  • Making sure local legislators watch pharmacists conduct patient care services, like immunizations and wellness screenings.
  • Creating a social media challenge with the goal of understanding and organizing medications by the end of the month.

For community pharmacies, the APhA advises:

  • Conducting OTC aisle tours with specific groups of patients to emphasize the importance of reading drug labels and asking pharmacists questions.
  • Hosting a “sidewalk sale” where local businesses publicize themselves outside their stores, while pharmacists promote their patient care services or offer mini-health screenings.

Ideas for hospital and managed care pharmacies include:

  • Visiting patients in their rooms and answering any questions they may have about pharmacy services, their current drug therapy, or how to transition back to a normal medication routine after they leave the hospital.
  • Encouraging patients and caregivers to speak with pharmacists about medication therapy issues.

For pharmacists in long-term care settings, the APhA recommends:

  • Conducting brief tours of the pharmacy with long-term care center employees to showcase daily pharmacy operations and describe how medications move from the initial physician order to the patient.
  • Holding an information day once a week where visitors and relatives can get information about how the pharmacy works and become aware of the importance of pharmacists in their relatives’ health.