This post is brought to you by Pharmacy Guild
For the love of God don’t Google your symptoms!
Get an informed professional opinion from your Pharmacy.
In fact, your local pharmacy has a WEALTH of information and services.
For some reason, most of us don’t even THINK about visiting the local pharmacy when something is wrong…. instead, we use our smart phones to Google symptoms that may provide inaccurate, out of date or just plain wrong advice.
How many times have you jumped onto Google and found out you literally have 3 days to live? Instead of seeking the correct advice and/or medical diagnosis from a healthcare professional, you start agonising over what Google ‘thinks‘ you have and consider getting your affairs in order.
Google might be free, but so is seeking advice from your local pharmacy. You don’t have to run to your local emergency department or book an appointment with your GP. Your friendly pharmacist can actually give you sound professional advice and options available to treat some or all of the symptoms you may be experiencing. Any minor, non-emergency health care concerns can quite often be discussed with your Pharmacist, resulting in the treatment of symptoms you may be experiencing.
Most Australians live within quite close proximity to a pharmacy, and with many pharmacies open after hours and on weekends, quality health advice is always within reach. After speaking with my local pharmacist, I was surprised of the great number of services pharmacies can offer. Pharmacies can provide much more than the dispensing of medications and are often overlooked as a healthcare destination. From babies to the elderly, there is a pharmacy service for every member of the family.
Caring Down: Why a Pharmacy Should be a Mum’s First Port of Call
A pharmacy is a great place for parents with small children. They offer so many services focusing on the care of babies and young children.
Just last week, my son came to me.
‘Muuummmmm, my bum is itchy!’.
Gah. We have two dogs; the boys play outside in the dirt and I highly suspected they needed a good worming. When we worm the kids, we also worm ourselves and my husband is allergic to chocolate, so we can’t just get the usual ‘chocolate worming tablet. It was really great talking to the pharmacist about the other options they offered to ensure we covered the whole family.
The pharmacist suggested some great treatment options. He also went through all the types of worm’s kids can get and just how often I need to treat the family. Worming certainly isn’t a life-threatening illness, which is why discussing our options with our local Pharmacist was such a great way for me to get both the medication and advice I needed. If you have ever had children suffering from a horrid worm infestation, you too will understand that although the treatment is straightforward, knowing how often to retreat your family to keep the little critters at bay is really great to know.
When my boys were young, we visited the local pharmacy to access their Mother and Baby Clinic for a weekly weigh-in, information about vaccinations and the vaccination schedule. As a new mum the reassurance received from ‘Mother and Baby’ clinic was a great help. Knowing my baby was healthy and growing certainly relieved some of the angst I felt as a new mum. It assisted in me being a more confident mother and gave me the opportunity to address minor concerns about my baby’s progress. Quite often, it was something minor and didn’t require a doctor’s appointment however; being able to ask questions and receive the advice I needed from a health care professional always gave me peace of mind.
My youngest son will be having his tonsils out in a few weeks, so I know I’ll be heading in again to seek advice on foods he can eat during his healing period. Sometimes during these sorts of procedures, the situation can become overwhelming and you worry you may miss some of the important information. Being able to run queries past my local Pharmacist post-op is certainly reassuring.
Other great services offered for mothers, babies and children include:
- Nutrition advice for pregnant women
- Pre-natal vitamin advice Breastfeeding advice, information and products available
- Bottle feeding advice, information and products available
- Treatment options that can assist in the reduction of colic and reflux in infants
- Advice, information and products available for infants suffering from a fever
- Mastitis and other common health concerns directly relating to new mothers, what to do and how can you treat them
- Post Natal Depression assistance and available healthcare directives to assist sufferers
Caring Up: Seeking Help from the Pharmacy for Parents and Grandparents
My father had an operation recently and the resulting scar is rubbing on his arm. Mum headed down to the pharmacy to talk about managing the wound and also to discuss ways to ‘flatten’ the scar. The pharmacist offered many solutions, including an amazing gel that assists in wound healing that we had never heard of before! There are so many options available sometimes, narrowing down the field to just one product that serves the greatest benefit can be difficult. Speaking to your Pharmacist will give you a better insight into which medication or treatment would best suit you.
PLUS, the local pharmacy offers loads of services we can all take advantage of!
They offer services such as:
- Measuring Your Blood Pressure
- Chemotherapy preparation
- Cholesterol Testing
- Compounding Services
- Weight Management
- Mental Health Support
- Palliative Care Support
Asthma Management is another important pharmacy service. Over 2.5 million Australians suffer from asthma and roughly one person dies every day in Australia from asthma (there were 455 asthma-related deaths in Australia in 2016).
Most asthma sufferers, even long-term sufferers, use their inhalers incorrectly or can be confused with which inhaler to use for their symptoms. This is why regular asthma inhaler check-ups with your pharmacist can help reduce your asthma symptoms. Your pharmacist, in collaboration with your doctor, can also organise an Asthma Action Plan to help improve your asthma self-management.
Diabetes is another major health condition in Australia. Your local pharmacy can help you better Manage Your Diabetes by advising on weight loss, consulting with other health professionals such as dietitians and exercise physiologists, as well as helping you optimise your medication effectiveness.
Most pharmacies also offer Blood-Glucose testing and access to the National Diabetes Subsidy Scheme (NDSS). Not only will you be getting the professional advice you need, your Pharmacist can also help assist in decreasing the costs where possible when suffering a long-term illness.
Pain management is another area where your local pharmacist can help. From bruises and sprains to headaches and chronic pain, they can offer advice on different approaches to managing pain. Most of us have suffered from some kind of pain at some point. Often getting into see your GP can be difficult and seeing your Pharmacist instead, will not only reduce the amount of time you suffer from symptoms; but could in fact eliminate you having to see your GP at all if your symptoms are momentary.
So next time you have a minor or non-emergency health complaint or are in need of some helpful and quality advice, Take the Local Ask Your Pharmacist Challenge, head to your local pharmacy and always remember to #AskYourPharmacist first.
Find your local pharmacy by searching at www.findapharmacy.com.au.