Winter is almost here, temperatures are dropping, the chances are it will get colder. Being cold affects our ability to fight off infection. Crowded A&E departments are struggling to cope and research shows nearly 50% of people could have been treated elsewhere.
My name is Fatemeh, I am a community pharmacist and run the Day Lewis pharmacy at Cross Deep Court in Twickenham. Local people appreciate being able to pop in on their way home from work, or while they are in town, to come and see me without an appointment to get professional over the counter advice.
Patients will want to know which medicines can best treat their symptoms so I must be knowledgeable and ready to answer a variety of questions. For example, one of my clients came to see me because they had developed a rash after using fake tan.
They were in a panic because they had their daughter’s hen weekend coming up and came to me as a ‘last resort’ because they couldn’t get a GP appointment. I gave them antihistamine and hydrocortisone cream and the itching cleared up in a few days. I was also able to advise if this had any impact on other medication she was taking.
A large part of my day is spent carrying out Medicine Use Reviews and I have a private consultation room where these take place. Today, I saw an older man whose GP had referred him because he had become confused about his medication. I discussed it with him and found that he was still taking medication he no longer needed. He was incredibly grateful for the advice I was able to give him.
Mornings and after 5pm are usually the busiest parts of the day as people come in with prescriptions. But that’s not all we can help with. We are on hand with expert advice to help people change their lifestyles and improve their health and wellbeing. I also recognise older people who come into the pharmacy, and if needed, signpost them to where they can get support from local organisations as some may be isolated as their families aren’t close by.
I also have a good working relationship with local GP practices and regularly answer questions a doctor or nurse may have about client prescriptions or dosage clarifications.
Working long days is tiring and much time is spent on my feet, moving around, interacting with people which is the part of the job I love. In the life of a pharmacist there is never a dull moment!