Tomorrow, the twenty-third of February, is the anniversary of the date that I first became licensed as a pharmacist. Thirty-one years it will be, and yet I know many pharmacists who have practiced much longer than me. Pharmacists who became pharmacists long before I was born, pharmacists who were some of my preceptors/teachers, and are still practicing pharmacy. They still go into work every week, one or two days a week. My hats are off to them!
In my thirty-one years I have seen pharmacy evolve from the days of "count, pour, lick, and stick" to MTM (medication therapy management) and immunizing pharmacists. At one time pharmacists were not even allowed to put the name of the medication on the prescription label or counsel patients about their prescriptions. Now, it is expected. When I started typewriters and Bates numbering stampers were the norm, and computers were virtually unknown. Now, I don't know a pharmacy that doesn't have computers that have software that screens for interactions and more. Technology has changed, too, with some pharmacies with robotic counting machines, and yet it is still the access to the person who has spent years at college and beyond (all pharmacists have to continue their education with programs throughout their career) that has not changed. Pharmacists are considered the most accessible of all health care professionals--they are available, for the most part, to the public without an appointment.
Along the way, I personally have gone on to study more than many pharmacists. I have intensely studied homeopathy, a complementary medical therapy. I have specialized in diabetes care, and am a diabetes educator. Most recently, I have become an immunizing pharmacist. At the store, the other pharmacists and I vaccinate patients with the seasonal flu vaccine, the H1N1 vaccine, and the shingles vaccine. What next for me? What next for pharmacy? Who knows--it is anyone's guess, but I can almost bet that pharmacy will evolve and change to fit the many demands of all.
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association