“Pharmaceutical care is the responsible provision of drug therapy for the purpose of achieving
definite outcomes that improve a patient’s quality of life”.
(Hepler and Strand, 1990)
Clinical pharmacy requires an expert knowledge of therapeutics, a good understanding of disease processes and a knowledge of pharmaceutical products.
At Palmars Hospital, our pharmacists provide medicines and medicines information with strong communication skills, solid knowledge of medical terminology, drug monitoring skills, therapeutic planning skills and the ability to assess and interpret physical and laboratory findings.
Over the past few decades there has been a trend for pharmacy practice to move away from its original focus on medicine supply towards a more inclusive focus on patient care.
The role of the pharmacist at Palmars Hospital has evolved from that of a compounder and supplier of pharmaceutical products towards that of a provider of services and information and ultimately that of a provider of patient care.
These roles are described below and include the following functions:
- Caregiver: Pharmacists provide caring services, viewing their practice as integrated
with those of the healthcare system and other health professionals.
- Decision-maker: Setting medicine policy by evaluating and synthesizing data and information. Deciding the appropriate, efficacious, safe and cost-effective use of resources (e.g., personnel, medicines, chemicals, equipment, procedures, practices).
- Communicator: The pharmacist is uniquely positioned to provide a link between the prescriber and patient, and to communicate information on health and medicines to the public. He or she must be knowledgeable and confident while interacting with other health professionals and the public. Communication involves verbal, non-verbal, listening and writing skills.
- Manager: Pharmacists must be able to manage resources (human, physical and financial) and information effectively; they must also be comfortable being managed by others, whether by an employer or the manager/leader of a health care team. More and more, information and its related technology will provide challenges as pharmacists assume greater responsibility for sharing information about medicines and related products and ensuring their quality.
- Life-long-learner: Pharmacists at Palmars Hospital keep their knowledge and skills up to date. They are committed to the concepts and principles of life-long learning as it is not possible to acquire in pharmacy school all the knowledge and experience needed to pursue a life-long career as a pharmacist.
- Teacher: The pharmacist has a responsibility to assist with the education and training of future generations of pharmacists and the public. Participating as a teacher not only imparts knowledge to others, it offers an opportunity for the practitioner to gain new knowledge and to fine-tune existing skills.
- Leader: In multidisciplinary caring scenario or in areas where other healthcare providers are in short supply or non-existent the pharmacist is obligated to assume a leadership position in the overall welfare of the patient and the community. Leadership involves compassion and empathy as well as vision and the ability to make decisions, communicate, and manage effectively.