World Pharmacists Day: More than just pill counters.


Today is World Pharmacists Day, which celebrates the contribution pharmacists make to healthcare around the world.

To celebrate, Dannevirke pharmacist Cindy Wang shares what she loves about the profession, common misconceptions about pharmacists and how she sees the role of pharmacists changing in the future.

Cindy hopes that in future there’ll be an opportunity to talk to a pharmacist about your medications wherever you are; whether you’re at your local GP, hospital, retirement home, or even in your own home.

Asked why she became a pharmacist, Wang said she had always been interested in medications, and it’s one of those jobs that you get to do a little bit of everything.

“You get to deal with the patients, doctors, and nurses in the community and hospitals, and you get to help people.”

She said the best thing about being a pharmacist was that every day at work was different.

“You get to help different people with different health problems. Every day is exciting because you don’t know who is going to come in the door and what they are going to need.”

She said among the most common misconceptions when it comes to pharmacists was that a lot of people think that all they do is dispense medications.

“People think they hand in a script, we put pills in a bottle, slap a label on it, and that’s all we do, which is just crazy.

“That’s the most simplified version ever. There is so much more we do make sure that everything is correct and safe for the patients before we hand out their medications.”

She said an example of that might be double checking the dosage or calling the doctor if there’s an interaction between the medication and another substance that prevents the medication working.

Looking to the role of a pharmacist changing in the future, Wang said she believed pharmacy would eventually be part of every sector of healthcare.

“There’ll be a pharmacist working in every General Practice, working with doctors to ensure medications are safe.

“Hopefully in future, there’ll be an opportunity to talk to a pharmacist about your medications wherever you are; whether you’re at your local GP, or hospital, or retirement home, or even in your own home.”

Wang has been working at Wards Pharmacy for almost two years. She’s a city girl who has moved here from Auckland to specifically work in a rural pharmacy.

“I had a rural placement while training. I really enjoy it as you get to know everyone, it’s much more personal. In Auckland, there might be three pharmacies in one street.

“Everybody has been so friendly, and it’s good to see the same faces coming in.”

She said it was great to be able to supply all a customer’s needs from one place.

Wards Pharmacy owner Tom Ward said Cindy has a wonderful, unflappable personality.

“She’s a real asset to the pharmacy.



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