Cincinnati VA Medical Center
Know Your Pharmacist—Know Your Medicine
October is American Pharmacists Month and the Cincinnati VA Medical Center (VAMC) celebrates the services you receive from your pharmacist specialists.
Pharmacists have an important role educating Veterans as integral members of the healthcare team. The fact is, the more you interact with your pharmacist, the more you will know about your medications.
“When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, my doctor put me on metformin, and I didn’t know much about it. I thought this new medication was going to make me feel funny and when I asked questions about how it worked, I felt better about taking it. I knew what possible side-effect might be and had a plan if I experienced anything, I wasn’t sure about,” said the U.S. Marine Veteran.
When you have questions about a prescription, how it may interact with other prescriptions you are already taking or whether it is ok to take various over the counter items a pharmacist is here to answer your questions.
“I never spent a lot of time with my pharmacist until I realized how much they could help me understand the best ways to use my metformin and when and how to test my blood sugar to make sure I was staying on track.”
One goal of your pharmacy service is to provide you with reliable, evidence-based medication information in an efficient manner so you along with your health care team can make informed decisions about your medications and improve your overall health.
Examples of services include:
• Maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risks of your medication
• Care management for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cholesterol, pain management, weight-loss and smoking cessation
• Choosing supplements and finding the right over the counter medications
• Using medications safely, effectiveness
• Knowing the risks of prescription opioids
“When I have a question and need assistance, I always see my pharmacist. They listen to the things that are important to me and answer my questions,” shared the Veteran.
Pharmacy services include both a full-service inpatient and outpatient pharmacy to meet the medication needs of all Veterans we serve at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Pharmacist specialists are also available at your Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC) on various days of the week. Please check with your CBOC what days and times a pharmacist is available.
A special thank you to Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Tina Hamilton, PharmD, BCPS for sharing information about the many ways that pharmacy service impacts the healthcare needs of Veterans.