It’s not always easy to put your heart into patient care
We are nearing the close of American Heart Month.
Every pharmacist knows that cardiovascular disease poses a serious threat to our patients and communities. The American Heart Association has released new statistics for 2019 that show at least 48% percent of all adults in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease.
Pharmacists are in a great position to start conversations and educate our patients about cardiovascular disease, including cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition to education, pharmacists can provide screening and help patients manage chronic conditions, often under collaborative practice agreements with physicians and other health care providers in states that allow it—a great professional opportunity in pharmacy.
There are so many promising possibilities, but there are many obstacles.
Always lingering around discussions of “how we can help” are questions about whether we have the time and bandwidth to do it all. We all chose pharmacy to put our hearts into patient care, but our minds are often too occupied to facilitate that.
There are tools—both professional and personal—to help pharmacists keep their heads above water.
The Million Hearts initiative has many resources for improving heart health at https://apha.us/MHresources. CDC has developed a toolkit to help you fine-tune your heart-health counseling and ensure you share the key messages with your patients. You can find the communications kit at https://apha.us/CDCCommsKit.
CDC also has a resource, developed in partnership with APhA and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, on establishing the collaborative practice agreements that allow pharmacists to exercise their patient-care muscles—including those related to cholesterol, hypertension management, and cardiovascular health. Visit https://apha.us/CollaborativePractice to access it.
APhA is advocating for workplace environments that provide the opportunities for you to care for patients who need your services.
Consider joining us at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition, March 22–25, in Seattle. We’re holding sessions specifically focused on pharmacist well-being: using emotional intelligence to manage on-the-job stress, increase professional satisfaction, and improve work performance; and identifying strategies to achieve long-term work–life balance and forestall burnout. We’ll be hosting networking events that give attendees the opportunity to build relationships with peers with whom you can commiserate during tough times, celebrate successes, and give and receive support. And of course, we’ll be offering the most relevant and up-to-date education to maximize the quality of care you provide.
Stay tuned—APhA has much more in store on all these topics. Together we will develop the strategies to balance patient care with daily survival. Thank you for all you do!