NHF Drug Serv Pharmacists are Here For You
November 20-26, 2022 is Pharmacy Week under the theme “Pharmacists: Trusted, Empowered, United for Action”.
How much do you know about Pharmacists and what they do? Our PR Team journeyed to the Drug Serv at Falmouth Public General Hospital to shine some light on the hardworking staff and have them share about their passion – Pharmacy. Here’s what they had to say:
Almantha Zinckey, Pharmacist
How do you show dedication?
I make sure I am always present. If I am scheduled, I will be present and ready to go; I don’t do call ins. I think if you are supposed to be at work, you’re required to turn up. If you do not show up it means the department will have a deficit and someone else will have to pull your slack. I don’t want that so I make sure I’m here every day that I’m scheduled. I don’t “do sick” on scheduled days.
What would you say to someone who thinks Pharmacists only push pills?
That’s 1% of the job of a Pharmacist. If a client presents a script, we have to go through it thoroughly to ensure that the script is for the client and the problem needing to be treated. We recently had a client presenting a script that was not for them. We could have “pushed pills” but they would not have gotten any results, or worse, they would’ve experienced harmful effects.
We must ensure that the script is at the right dose, the right intent and administration, and that it’s for their specific condition. We also counsel. Just giving patients medication is not enough because most patients don’t understand. There was a case where a patient came in with an ear infection. Antibiotic was prescribed and they were told to take two teaspoons three times daily. Because it’s an ear infection the patient thought it was to be poured into the ear. Patients don’t always understand so proper counselling is a must.
Binta Walcott-Wellington, Pharmacist
Why did you choose Pharmacy?
I wanted to serve. I am from humble beginnings so I wanted to be a part of ensuring that those who can only access the public system will have the medication they need. I find this to be my calling. Even before I started officially working as a Pharmacist, I always wanted to volunteer at health fairs. I feel fulfilled knowing I can help those in need, but can’t afford private care.
What’s one quality a Pharmacist must have?
When I think about being a Pharmacist in the Public Sector the top quality has to be empathy. We must show concern. Even after dispensing medications, often they just want someone to listen so even though the days are busy, I try to spare some time to hear them out because sometimes that’s medicine as well.
Janique Samuels-Campbell, Chief Pharmacist
What’s one thing about Pharmacists that needs to be celebrated?
The rapport we have with patients is something that needs to be celebrated. We’re not just wearing a white coat, sitting around a counter saying this is your medication. It is more than that. The relationship you build with the patients is what makes the difference.
We offer consultation and we’re counsellors. We are here for our patients. Persons will come to us when they’re having a rough day and they leave us feeling better. They know they have someone to confide in, so if something is really affecting them they will talk to us about it. Sometimes they’re even without money to go home and if we’re able to assist with fares we do that. That’s the relationship we have. So even though we dispense medication to help with the illness, the encouragement we share, the shoulder that we lend makes a great difference too.
We go the extra mile because we realise that it is more than just giving medication; we are here for more than that. It’s also about being there as another human being serving as they need.
About NHF Drug Serv
The NHF manages the Drug Serv Pharmacies in the public health care system providing full-time and scheduled services at 106 locations spanning the entire island, thus increasing access to those in need of pharmacy services.
Since the takeover of the pharmacy services in 2017, the NHF has been working to improve customer service delivery in Drug Serv Pharmacies. Previously patients were subjected to a wait time of over 3 hours, but can now access services within 30-45 minutes. This is greatly attributed to the development of alternative service options such as the prescription filling Mobile App, Quick Prescript, the Drop-Off, Pick-Up Service and the Scheduled Refill Service. The NHF has also received ISO 9001:2015 certification for 9 Drug Serv pharmacies to further improve the quality of service delivery to patients, and this number of certifications is set to increase each year.
The National Health Fund, its Board of Management, Directors, and staff are here for health and here for you. Follow the National Health Fund on all Social Media platforms @nhfjamaica to keep up-to-date with the benefits and accomplishments of the Fund.