As we look ahead to National Pharmacist Day on January 12, VMS BioMarketing extends a heartfelt thank you to the many pharmacists who work in our Clinical Educator networks. "On behalf of all the patients we serve, VMS thanks our pharmacists for their commitment to improving healthcare through their work every day," said Sam Watson, RPh, Vice President, Field Educator Networks.
At VMS, pharmacists join nurses, registered dietitians and other credentialed healthcare professionals to partner with patients on a 1:1 basis helping them to start and stay on their prescribed medications. They take time to explain the medication including managing side effects, and they help motivate patients to make lifestyle changes to improve their health. "Pharmacists are medication experts who continue to play a vital role in the evolution of patient care – especially during this day and age when information is power," said Watson. "When people understand their therapies, they are more likely to be adherent."
According to an annual Gallup poll, pharmacists are among the most highly trusted professionals in the US. In 2019, they ranked third, just behind nurses and doctors for honesty and ethical standards.
While the pharmacy profession offers many unique practice settings, some pharmacists may not realize how rewarding it is to work as a Clinical Educator. "It’s common for pharmacists to practice at retail pharmacies, senior care facilities, hospitals, and mail order pharmacies, but working as a full-time or part-time Clinical Educator can add an exciting patient-centric element to your career path and is a tremendous avenue for patient empowerment," said Watson.
Some of the VMS pharmacists are also specialists in providing education to other healthcare professionals, such as in physician offices, clinics, specialty pharmacies, infusion suites, and hospitals. "The pharmacist is very respected as a Clinical Educator," said Watson. "They hold a unique position due to their extensive therapeutic expertise, patient counseling skills, and their ability to build collaborative relationships with their fellow HCPs."
Many healthcare professionals have flexible work schedules that would allow them to work as part-time educators, and Watson welcomes them to apply for positions on our Clinical Educator teams. "The impact you make is incredible and is the backbone of the VMS mission and vision," he said.
Pharmacists have an essential role in today’s healthcare system. When it comes to enhancing patient care and improving health outcomes, pharmacists are "key players," according to Pharmacy Times associate editor Jennifer Barrett because of their ability to manage complex drug regimens, counsel to ensure patients remain adherent, help navigate insurance and cost concerns, and more.