In Healthy Hints and Hacks

The Pharmacist

Alison Ilijovski, Accredited Pharmacist/ Credentialled Diabetes EducatorPharmacists help people living with diabetes to manage their medications

What service/s does a pharmacist provide?

Pharmacists may work in all environments where medications are used, but most commonly in community-based pharmacies and health-systems, such as hospitals.
A community pharmacist is responsible for safe and effective supply of any prescribed or over-the-counter medications. They also offer services such as Diabetes Medscheck within the pharmacy, liaison with other allied health professionals, and can conduct blood pressure and blood glucose reviews or assist you with self-management skills to be able to complete these at home.

Within a hospital environment, pharmacists are involved in safe and effective management of your medications through clinical service on wards as well as within in-patient and out-patient dispensary. They offer advice in relation to dose, dosage form, interactions and possible adverse effects. They also ensure there are no contraindications with medications already being taken and arrange discharge medication and instructions.

Accredited pharmacists, such as myself, provide medication management services, such as a home medicine review (HMR), which requires a referral from your GP. The pharmacist reviews your medications within your home to ensure optimal use. A medication management plan is then developed together with your GP. An HMR is a useful service if you have recently been discharged from hospital, if you are experiencing any problems with your medications or if you are taking a number of medications and want time within your own environment to discuss their management.

How do you help people with diabetes?

As an accredited pharmacist I complete HMRs, which are usually for people with diabetes. I will visit the patient within the home and discuss all the details of each of their medications; prescribed and over the counter, including any creams, inhalers, injections. It is a chance for me to describe other services available to them at their local pharmacy and review blood pressure and blood glucose levels as well.

Why are you an important part of ‘Team Diabetes’?

Pharmacists are a trusted member of the healthcare team. We are able to support, guide and educate people with diabetes around medications and how these can impact overall health. We have a knowledge base that can span much more than medications. It’s good to keep in mind that an HMR is also a time to discuss lifestyle factors that can impact disease states especially for a chronic disease such as diabetes. We will discuss nutrition, physical activity, smoking, alcohol and support systems in place. It is also a time that we can discuss their GP management plan and annual cycle of care.

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