For Linda Seib, the best part of being a pharmacist in her hometown of Trail is that she can use her pharmaceutical knowledge daily to serve the community she grew up in and later, raised her family.
Seib and pharmacists across the country are being recognized this month for their integral role in community health care. March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month, an annual national campaign that shines a spotlight on all things pharmacy.
The campaign is a time to highlight the role pharmacy professionals play in Canada’s health care system and thank them for their efforts.
Over the past few years, in particular, pharmacy professionals have taken on a huge part in helping the country through the pandemic.
There’s been so many changes, such as being at-the-ready for trusted COVID-19 information, supplying infection control goods, and tacking on new services such as COVID-19 vaccine administration. All this in addition to the usual busy days of filling and advising a multitude of clients on their prescriptions, administering other vaccines, and much more.
“The greatest change I have experienced as a pharmacist over the past year is a greater need for the services all pharmacists can provide — medication information and review, prescription renewal when appropriate, minor ailment assessment and other-the-counter treatment recommendations and injection services,” Seib told the Trail Times.
”A pharmacist has always been the most accessible member of your health care team and this became extremely evident during the pandemic,” she said. “The volume of prescriptions has also increased dramatically.”
To date, 150 COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered at Seib’s Shoppers Drug Mart store in downtown Trail. She says they’ll be starting more next week, and asks locals to continue to register for appointments through Interior Health.
“New services added over the past year have been all related to COVID-19,” Seib said. “We are the drop off location for inbound COVID-19 PCR tests and supplier of provincial rapid antigen tests for those 60 years old and over.”
As well, the Trail Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy has administered around 900 influenza vaccinations, which is about the same as last flu season.
The team at Pharmacy Appreciation Month asks patients to say a simple thank you, either verbally or with a handwritten note, to their pharmacy professionals. Or take the message of appreciation online if your pharmacy has a Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram account. Use the hashtags #PAM2022 and #ThankYouPharmacy for some inspiration.
*Most Canadians live within five km of a pharmacy
*There are more than 45,000 pharmacists and 9,900 pharmacy technicians in Canada
*Pharmacists consistently rank as one of the most trusted professions in Canada
*Canadians see their pharmacist more often than any other health-care professional
*Every week pharmacists see about 10 million patients across the country