In honor of National Pharmacist Day on January 12, we would like to take this time to honor the pharmacists that dedicate themselves to serving and helping our patients improve their health outcomes and lives.
We greatly appreciate our pharmacists and the fact that they continually act and build upon our vision and belief in patient-centered healthcare for every patient; as a result, Curant Health has scored higher than the national average and a leading retail pharmacy on Star Rating measures.
While our pharmacists dedicate themselves into improving our patients’ lives, and are considered to be on the frontline of patient access, we thought it would be appropriate to dive into the life of one of our pharmacists, Dennis L., and learn what it’s like to be a pharmacist.
What made you want to become a pharmacist?
I pursued a career in pharmacy because I wanted a job that would provide me security, flexibility, and mobility. I have remained in pharmacy because I enjoy the fulfillment of being part of a patient's health journey.
What do you believe pharmacists provide their patients that other members of their care team are unable to do?
Pharmacists provide patients extraordinary access to medication information when compared to other healthcare providers. In general, we are easily reachable and will take the time necessary to discuss a patient's medication therapy.
Can you share a story where you know you made a significant impact on a patient’s life?
Years ago, I was specialized in fertility pharmacy. Though our pharmacy closed at 12 PM on Saturdays, I stayed with a patient until after 2 PM while working with her insurance company for approval of specialty medicines. This took numerous phone calls, but it was able to be done.
Without the approval of her medications, the patient would have had to cancel her cycle, due to out of pocket expenses totaling thousands of dollars, thus delaying her hopes of a successful pregnancy. The patient was quite stressed and emotional throughout this process. Fast forward several weeks, the patient had a successful IVF outcome. Fast forward several months later, the patient had a baby girl. The patient, nurse, and for physician were most grateful for my actions that day. By simply doing my job, I feel I had a significant impact on her and her family's life that day. It is stories like this that impact my life and contribute to my professional and personal growth. To receive acknowledgment and appreciation from a patient with genuine humility is most satisfying, professionally.
Wow! Can you recall another situation when you went above and beyond of what was expected of you?
Not too long ago, while on call, the mother of a pediatric transplant patient called to notify us that she did not have the needed antirejection medicine for her child. FedEx was unable to deliver as scheduled. So, I opened the pharmacy over the weekend, compounded the patient's medication and delivered the replacement order to her house.
Is this job repetitive? What motivates you to do it well every day?
I do not find this job to be repetitive. We have a strong pharmacy team and diverse group that I enjoy working alongside, and we have a culture that provides a healthy balance of efficiency and levity. Because we see a patient population with multiple chronic disease states and who take numerous medications, we are provided numerous opportunities to learn and expand our knowledge base. Therefore, "learning" and "laughter" keeps things fresh and motivating for me at Curant Health.
What do you consider the most problematic situations that can occur in a pharmacy?
Most problematic situations occur when the patient is out of refills of the medicine, the patient misses doses or receives the wrong medication.
What do you see as being the future of pharmacy? What do you envision as being the next big development?
The next big area of development in pharmacy is pharmacogenetics. This is essentially the technology that analyzes how the genetic makeup of an individual affects his/her response to drugs. Pharmacogenetics aims to develop a means to optimize drug therapy to ensure maximum efficiency with minimal adverse effects.
Want to continue the conversation on the role pharmacists and medication management play in delivering patient-centered healthcare? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email.