I really wanted to use Beth’s 2014 resolution post to put some pressure on all of the pharmacists that follow this blog. I really think as pharmacists we need to focus on changing our mindset to help convince others in the healthcare field realize how valuable we are. I’ve been doing quite of bit of reading and investigating of various healthcare providers blogs and I see many of them talk about the importance of interprofessional teamwork. I think this is incredibly important as well and try to gear my educational pieces (found at www.meded101.com ) toward all healthcare professionals. However, when I read these stories, blogs, articles etc. from other HCP’s, I can’t help but notice that many of them don’t even mention pharmacists, and if they do, it’s at the very end of their statement. Do we want to have a greater role in the selection of medication therapy? I believe we need to focus on placing ourselves at the forefront of the hearts and minds of nurses and doctors. We need to earn the trust of our fellow healthcare providers. What does this mean for us as pharmacists and how do we get there? We need to be available. We need to take on the challenging questions and provide solutions to those questions. You know those cases that no one wants to deal with and how easy it is for us to say, “not my problem, I’m not the doctor”. I’ll give you a brief example of what I’m talking about. I’ve seen pharmacists make the recommendation not to use metformin due to an elevated creatinine – very legitimate. However, I’ve seen numerous times where no solution is made on how to control their diabetes. Here’s a great example where we can step out and say “this medication is not appropriate, and here’s an alternative solution to fix it.” Put yourself in the shoes of the prescriber that receives that recommendation – here’s a pharmacist telling me what I can’t do. They want to be the medication experts and don’t even give me an idea to solve the problem that they brought to my attention? This type of recommendation also puts them in a position where I can easily understand their frustration with pharmacists. I’m making a plea to you all that if we want to be taken seriously and as part of team that solves medication related problems, we have to provide value. One of my favorite quotes is from Einstein – “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” The easiest way we can do that is to offer quality answers when prescribers and nurses have questions. To be able to offer quality answers, we need to pursue education, knowledge, and understanding.
Eric Christianson, PharmD, CGP, BCPS
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