September 25, 2017
World Pharmacist Day – six services you probably didn’t know your local pharmacy offers
How often do you visit your local pharmacy? According to The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, most Australians visit a community pharmacy around 14 times a year!
In recognition of World Pharmacist Day (25 September) – a day set aside to acknowledge and celebrate the role of pharmacists worldwide – here are six services that you probably don’t know that your local pharmacy may offer.
Issuing sick certificates
Most pharmacies can issue legal sick certificates (or often known as absence from work certificates) for sick leave absences from work and school. Simply bring a form of ID along with any medications you may be taking into your local pharmacy. The pharmacist on duty will assess you and provide a leave certificate if they deem you eligible for one, and provide advice on your illness. This is especially convenient if you’re not able to get an appointment with your GP or short on time. Be sure to call your local pharmacy first to make sure they offer this service.
Safe disposal of expired and unwanted medicines
It is estimated that there are millions of medicines sitting in Australian homes either out-of-date or no longer needed. Storing large amounts of medicines pose a huge danger of accidental poisonings and medication mismanagement. The good news is there is a free and convenient way to dispose of expired and unwanted household medicines by returning them to any pharmacy, at any time. The service is called Return Unwanted Medicines – or the RUM Project. After you return your medicine (without the packaging) to pharmacy, the pharmacist will put them in a secure bin for safe and environmentally friendly disposal. For more information on Return Unwanted Medicines, visit returnmed.com.au or talk to your local pharmacist.
Another service that pharmacies offer is vaccinations. Many people often overlook the importance of getting themselves vaccinated. Pharmacists who have undertaken an accredited vaccination training course can offer flu vaccinations which has been increasingly important this past flu season. Pharmacies in certain states of Australia also offer whooping cough vaccinations. Be sure to check with your local pharmacy to confirm they offer this service.
Many people tend to lose or misplace their scripts after filling their prescription medicine. This can be frustrating if there are repeats on the script and usually means an unnecessary second visit to the GP. Most people are unaware that they can leave their scripts with their local pharmacist for safe keeping and more convenient prescription refills. As pharmacists are trusted healthcare professionals, you can also rest assured However, it is important to note that you would need to return to the same pharmacy that kept your script to get your medicines refilled.
Pharmacists have a significant amount of training and experience in providing advice and treatment of minor wounds from accidents, sporting injuries or other mishaps. Common wounds that pharmacists are qualified to treat include cuts, grazes, sunburns and minor burns. However, if you suffer a serious wound, it’s important to seek treatment from a doctor instead.
Most people are unaware that pharmacists can be an alternative to visiting a GP for certain health checks. Most pharmacies have fully trained pharmacists who can conduct health checks and provide results on your BMI, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels which will help identify your risk factors for diseases such as diabetes. Be sure to contact your local pharmacy to find out if they offer this service and whether an appointment is necessary.
The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.