Friday, June 26, 2009

Brown Bag It New York

Over 95 community residents were able to spend as long as 40 minutes each with a pharmacist and group of pharmacy students at PULSE of NY’s first “Brown Bag It” event.

Held at the Freeport, Long Island and Wantagh Libraries in partnership with St. John’s School of Pharmacy, members of the community were able to pack up all their medications, vitamins and herbs and bring them in to meet with a pharmacist and have their questions answered – and they sure did!

Patients were encouraged to spend time with faculty and pharmacy students during individual, private consultations learning about their medications. Participants were helped to list their medications on pocket cards and heard about the possible side effects, generic alternatives and the importance of knowing what they are taking and why.

Pharmacy students saw how patients, mostly seniors, often self medicate, often do not know what side effects they are experiencing and don’t ask enough questions or have enough time with their pharmacist to learn about their medications.

Together, the students learned about privacy and including the family in the discussion and when it may, or may not be appropriate to include the patient’s family member in the discussion about illnesses or medications. They also learned about keeping a relationship professional when working in your community.

Kyle Schuessler, a local volunteer paramedic with the Wantagh, Levittown Ambulance Corp took blood pressure as patients waited and spoke about the importance of keeping their medication list on them at all times. Explaining that an ambulance crew can often learn what medical condition an unconscious patient has by their medication list.

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