The COVID-19 pandemic has made for a trying time in every industry of the world. Doctors, nurses and the scientists have become the face of the crisis. However, people haven’t paid too much attention to all the hard work and extra-long hours that pharmacists have endured. Pharmacists have played a key role in every step along the way of not only this pandemic, but every pandemic past or future. From dispensing wisdom to compounding medications, pharmacists have become heroes during this time.
When COVID-19 first hit, many people were too scared to seek out medical attention in fear of being exposed to the virus. As a result, people turned to their local pharmacists for advice. As consumers’ needs widened, so did the hours of the pharmacists. Being on the front lines of the pandemic placed an enormous amount of stress on our pharmacists. Many of these local pharmacies are Mom-and-Pop shops which have families at home that need them, and their occupation puts them at risk of unknowingly becoming a carrier for the virus.
Now that a vaccine is on its way, pharmacists face a new obstacle; immunization. According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “pharmacy vaccinators are crucial public health partners for increasing access and convenience of COVID-19 vaccines”. Therefore, pharmacists are not only being relied on for the medical advice, but also for COVID-19 prevention in the hopeful, near future. These superheroes are a staple in our communities not just now, but every day.
A Heightened Sense Of Community
While pharmacists are going above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of their clients, they are also keeping the whole community in their hearts. Rhode Island Hospital’s Clinical Pharmacists helped to develop a testing center for disproportionately impacted patients within walking distance of their homes.
According to an article in the ACCP, “CPC serves a diverse population – its patient panel of nearly 16,000 comprises approximately 25% African Americans and 39% Spanish-speaking patients, populations that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.” Pharmacists in other areas have even stated that they have been working with their competitors in order to ensure that no one in the community misses their essential medications. The pandemic has prioritized community and pushed competition and greed aside.
Superheroes In Training
Even before the pandemic, pharmaceutical students were getting schooled in being a superhero for the community. The team of Operation Immunization at the University of Montana Skaggs back in 2018 is just one example. This group of students educated people and children in their community on the importance of staying vaccinated.
Operation Immunization took the “superhero” job literally and designed actual superheroes to be the face of their team. With superheroes being the focal point for kids, it provided a segue to educate them and their parents as to why vaccinations are important. The team reported an increase of attraction and avid listeners on the matter. With any luck, the superhero status stuck in the minds of the children and their parents to get the vaccine when it becomes available.
Heroes Across The World
Much like the pandemic, Pharmacists Superheroes are across the globe. Muhammad Amiris a pharmacy manager at one of the largest governmental hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients in Pakistan. “It was identified that pharmacists’ roles have to be enhanced from simple dispensing to clinical,” says Amir. A group of pharmacists in this hospital joined the doctors and nurses in doing rounds in the COVID-19 ward. With the help of these superheroes, they were able to increase the usage of antibiotics and anticoagulants. The success of this hospital in Pakistan is inspiring to all.
Medical Marketing and Media November 2020 p. 15