I know. You're tired, you're distracted, and you're burnt out.
How many hours did you spend learning the ins and outs of various clinical practice guidelines just to have them change?
How many months of your life did you spend learning motivational interviewing and disease state management, just to find yourself trapped in a system where you barely have enough time to blurt out the legally required disclaimers to patients, let alone actually help them understand their medicine and be engaged in their own health?
How many years did you invest learning the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of medicine, just to have your knowledge fall on the deaf ears of other professionals who are too tired … too distracted … and too burnt out … to pay attention?
If you made it this far into the post, hear me out just a little further. Take a moment to reflect on what I have discussed. You have invested hours, months, and years of your life. You have invested too much to unplug now. The obstacles that our health care system faces are huge, but pharmacists have real value and real solutions to bring to the table. Engagement and advocacy does not take a lot of time or a lot of money, but it does require a small amount of your most precious asset: your attention.
Yes, clinical practice guidelines change, but who is better equipped to push for evidenced-based use of medicine than pharmacists?
Yes, patients are busy, and so are we, but who is better equipped to help patients understand their medicine and chronic diseases than pharmacists?
Yes, sometimes our colleagues are just as tired, distracted, and as burnt out as we are, but by helping to manage chronic diseases, advocating for evidenced-based use of medications, working side-by-side with our colleagues, and bringing unique training to the team, pharmacists are capable of contributing so much value to our colleagues and patients.
Anyone who has spent any time trying to understand the U.S. health care system knows that it is far too complex to truly understand. The legislative language underpinning U.S. medicine creates nooks and crannies and caveats for nearly everything. But amongst all of the legislation, there are a few golden keys, and pharmacists are missing a vitally important key: provider status.
Don’t jump on the phrase “provider status” and let your inner troll begin an epic rant. It matters, and it is vitally important to the future of our profession.
Have you contacted your legislators about provider status? If so, please comment and share your story. If no, please comment and let u know what your biggest hurdle is.
Learn how you can advocate for the profession by visiting http://www.pharmacist.com/providerstatusrecognition.
All the best,