Do you think that the only purpose for pharmacies is to convert the prescriptions that your doctor gives you into a pill that will clear up your rash or your cough? Errr… Wrong. The truth is, your local pharmacy serves a very critical part of your overall health.
Let’s talk about all the medical support that your pharmacist provides, beyond just filling your prescriptions:
Three Things You Didn’t Know Your Local Pharmacy Provided
- Walk-in Medical Appointments
We know the drill. It’s Friday afternoon and your child suddenly spikes a fever. It could be an ear infection. It could be a sinus infection. All you know is they’re screaming their head off and they just need a round of antibiotics to kick it. However, since the work week is wrapping up, there’s no way in you-know-where that you’re going to be able to get them into the doctor for that prescription. You could take them to the emergency room, but this isn’t really an emergency. Not to mention, the ER involves waiting around for hours and hours, exposing your child to Lord-knows-what terrible illnesses that are waiting in the waiting room with you, and it would cost you an arm and a leg. So what do you do?
Well, fortunately, many pharmacies now have a medical professional such as a nurse practitioner on site who can address your medical needs on the spot. They just shine their little ear do-hicky into your child’s ear, tell you that they have an ear infection, and submit the prescription to be filled WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO GO TO ANOTHER PLACE. There is no beating the convenience of getting a diagnosis at the exact same place that you get your meds filled! One quick trip to your local pharmacy and wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, your child is up and ready for Saturday morning cartoons with a smile on their face again!
- Medical Equipment
You might not realize that your local pharmacies don’t just give you medicine. They can also provide any medical equipment you might need. Perhaps you need a special nebulizer to help you breath any time you catch a cold. Check. Maybe you need a sleep apnea machine with a mask. Yup, your pharmacy has them. Maybe what you need is medical equipment to assist you while walking.
Many people think these types of medical equipment needs can only be met by a medical equipment supplier in another state that you have to call by phone and mail a certified check to, in order to get your medical equipment in four to six weeks, if you’re lucky. Nope, your doctor can actually send an order for it to your local pharmacy, who will have it ready for you either same day, or in their next delivery if it’s not a common item that they already have on hand. Easy peasy!
Vaccinations are arguably one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of our era. In 1796, a scientist named Edward Jenner noticed that people who had cow pox were immune to its far more formidable cousin, smallpox. This got his brain churning, and he figured out that if he injected his patients with cow pox, their bodies would develop the recipe to fight of smallpox. Soon, there were a ton of vaccines that enabled use to fend of illnesses that were once considered a death sentence. Illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella, and polio are now just a figment of our imagination, thanks to vaccinations.
Vaccines are so crucial that in order to sign a child up for school and in order for them to play any organized sports they must be up to date on they shots. It can be particularly difficult to do this if you don’t have a regular doctor, or adequate health insurance. Thankfully, your local pharmacy most likely offers those vaccinations you and your family need to do these things, and more importantly, to stay healthy!
Even if you’re up to date on your shots, you still have to get a flu shot every year, because the flu evolves season after season, and is a real punch to the gut. Getting in to your doctor might be a hassle, but stopping by your pharmacy for a shot take less than a minute!
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