Taking our rightful place

Happy World Pharmacists Day!

This year’s theme is Pharmacists Strengthening Health Systems.
My response? HECK YEAH!

We KNOW we are an integral part of the piece of the puzzle, we KNOW that full scope of practice will improve health outcomes for patients, and the community AND decrease the burden on the healthcare system.

My question is HOW can we put our case forward loudly and confidently so we can continue to make inroads into taking our rightful place in strengthening the system? You can check out the Federation of International Pharmacists thoughts here. I however wanted to think a little closer to home.

Here are the three things that came to mind (that aren’t taking to Parliament House with pitchforks)

1. Keep a seat at the table.

We need to be where the conversations are being had. I heard someone say recently if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. As a profession, we need to be at the table in conversations with peak bodies, hospital boards, aged care, ministers and members of parliament (to name a few). At home though, it’s having a seat at the table to discuss opportunities in your local community and pushing the envelope on the services we provide. The true innovators in Pharmacy right now are thinking outside the square and their communities are embracing it with open arms.

2. Approach conflict as a collaborator, not an adversary.

We’ve all got the skin in the game. Whether that’s professional satisfaction, financial gain or the ability to achieve your goal. It’s really in the theme isn’t it…to STRENGTHEN our health systems, we need to figure out how we can collaborate so we all get closer to what we want. That’s even the people on the opposing side of the fence.

3. Be the change you wish to see.

Collectively, I think we do this already but as individuals, we all have a responsibility, through our professionalism, to show that we’re ready to step up. That might mean taking the first step, demonstrating ability and doing something for the greater good rather than waiting for the government payment to come first. That’s controversial I know, Pharmacist’s give a lot… A LOT… but if we want to be seen as the healthcare professionals who can really change the game, we ALL need to walk the walk.

While we have our challenges, I still think it is one of the best professions around. Thank you for the amazing work you continue to do, I’m with you all the way.

I hope your regulars bring you flowers (or chocolate) but if they don’t, know that in times when loyalty doesn’t seem to mean much, they in a way say thank you regularly with their feet.

Upskill your leaders. Give them the tools to help them and your pharmacy thrive, innovate and grow.

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