FOCUS ON SENIORS: Get to know your pharmacist

News Aug 01, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

How well do you know your pharmacist? How well does your pharmacist know you?  

As we age we rely more and more on our health care providers. However, most people likely just drop in to the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions as if they were getting their dry cleaning – a brief stop on their way home.   

Kevin Wojcik will tell you that’s wrong. Very wrong.  

“Many people see pharmacists as ‘pill counters’ and they are kidding themselves,” he said. “Each and every prescription that I dispense means someone has some sort of a medical issue. Even if the prescription is a refill, people need to be confident that their pharmacist has their best interest in mind. Particularly if they are a senior.”  

Wojcik is a pharmacist and the manager at Rexall Pharmacy adjacent to St. Joseph’s Life Care Centre. 

“Often patients tell me that they have been on a specific pill for years,” Wojcik said. “That may be true, but has the person’s health changed? Has their weight gone up or down? How about any over the counter products? Are they now taking vitamins that perhaps their physician doesn’t know about? These things can have a different effect on the medication your physician has ordered.  

“You can bet that before I hand a prescription over to a patient they won’t get out the door without me explaining to them the correct dosage, any potential side effects and the appropriate use of the medication. I like to elicit information from patients and, if need be, call their physician to collaborate together to make sure we are doing the absolute best we can.” 

Wojcik learned about doing it right on his very first weekend as a pharmacist.  

“I received a prescription for a sick infant,” he said. “I know that if I dispensed the medication the baby would have died. It was a holiday weekend and I finally reached the physician at six o’clock in the morning.” 

“We corrected the dosage and I jumped in my car and drove it over to the infant’s mom,” Wojcik said. “That taught me a lesson I will never forget: always, always keep my patients safe.”

Wojcik decided as a youngster that he wanted to become a pharmacist.  

“I worked as a stock boy at Smiths Pharmacy on Colborne Street. Harvey and Phil Smith took me under their wing. I saw the satisfaction they received from helping their patients.”  

After Wojcik graduated from North Park Collegiate in Brantford he attended the University of Toronto for four years to study human biology and toxicology. 

That was followed by four years to earn his bachelor of pharmacy. Along the way he completed internships at various hospitals and clinics.   

“I knew I wanted to work at a pharmacy that provided free delivery,” Wojcik said. “A pharmacy that will pick up a prescription from someone who may be housebound and then deliver it to them when it is ready. I think it is important to go to patients’ homes if they are in a crisis.”  

Wojcik has become specially certified in geriatric pharmacy.  

“We are an aging population,” he said. “With new and changing pharmaceuticals, I feel I need to be on top of my game if I am going to be able to advocate for the health of my patients.”  

There are many stories about seniors not taking their medications properly.   

It is a very real problem, Wojcik said.  

“We hear about the adverse effects – such as nausea, drowsiness and constipation – that medications can have on patients. But there are also allergic reactions such as rash or difficulty breathing that can impact a person’s health,” he said. “Much of this is totally preventable if you and your pharmacist are on the same page. 

“It depends how well you know your pharmacist and how well your pharmacist knows you.”

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Get to know your pharmacist

Stressing the importance of the pharmacist-patient relationship

News Aug 01, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

How well do you know your pharmacist? How well does your pharmacist know you?  

As we age we rely more and more on our health care providers. However, most people likely just drop in to the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions as if they were getting their dry cleaning – a brief stop on their way home.   

Kevin Wojcik will tell you that’s wrong. Very wrong.  

“Many people see pharmacists as ‘pill counters’ and they are kidding themselves,” he said. “Each and every prescription that I dispense means someone has some sort of a medical issue. Even if the prescription is a refill, people need to be confident that their pharmacist has their best interest in mind. Particularly if they are a senior.”  

Wojcik is a pharmacist and the manager at Rexall Pharmacy adjacent to St. Joseph’s Life Care Centre. 

“Often patients tell me that they have been on a specific pill for years,” Wojcik said. “That may be true, but has the person’s health changed? Has their weight gone up or down? How about any over the counter products? Are they now taking vitamins that perhaps their physician doesn’t know about? These things can have a different effect on the medication your physician has ordered.  

“You can bet that before I hand a prescription over to a patient they won’t get out the door without me explaining to them the correct dosage, any potential side effects and the appropriate use of the medication. I like to elicit information from patients and, if need be, call their physician to collaborate together to make sure we are doing the absolute best we can.” 

Wojcik learned about doing it right on his very first weekend as a pharmacist.  

“I received a prescription for a sick infant,” he said. “I know that if I dispensed the medication the baby would have died. It was a holiday weekend and I finally reached the physician at six o’clock in the morning.” 

“We corrected the dosage and I jumped in my car and drove it over to the infant’s mom,” Wojcik said. “That taught me a lesson I will never forget: always, always keep my patients safe.”

Wojcik decided as a youngster that he wanted to become a pharmacist.  

“I worked as a stock boy at Smiths Pharmacy on Colborne Street. Harvey and Phil Smith took me under their wing. I saw the satisfaction they received from helping their patients.”  

After Wojcik graduated from North Park Collegiate in Brantford he attended the University of Toronto for four years to study human biology and toxicology. 

That was followed by four years to earn his bachelor of pharmacy. Along the way he completed internships at various hospitals and clinics.   

“I knew I wanted to work at a pharmacy that provided free delivery,” Wojcik said. “A pharmacy that will pick up a prescription from someone who may be housebound and then deliver it to them when it is ready. I think it is important to go to patients’ homes if they are in a crisis.”  

Wojcik has become specially certified in geriatric pharmacy.  

“We are an aging population,” he said. “With new and changing pharmaceuticals, I feel I need to be on top of my game if I am going to be able to advocate for the health of my patients.”  

There are many stories about seniors not taking their medications properly.   

It is a very real problem, Wojcik said.  

“We hear about the adverse effects – such as nausea, drowsiness and constipation – that medications can have on patients. But there are also allergic reactions such as rash or difficulty breathing that can impact a person’s health,” he said. “Much of this is totally preventable if you and your pharmacist are on the same page. 

“It depends how well you know your pharmacist and how well your pharmacist knows you.”

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Get to know your pharmacist

Stressing the importance of the pharmacist-patient relationship

News Aug 01, 2015 by Gary Chalk Brant News

How well do you know your pharmacist? How well does your pharmacist know you?  

As we age we rely more and more on our health care providers. However, most people likely just drop in to the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions as if they were getting their dry cleaning – a brief stop on their way home.   

Kevin Wojcik will tell you that’s wrong. Very wrong.  

“Many people see pharmacists as ‘pill counters’ and they are kidding themselves,” he said. “Each and every prescription that I dispense means someone has some sort of a medical issue. Even if the prescription is a refill, people need to be confident that their pharmacist has their best interest in mind. Particularly if they are a senior.”  

Wojcik is a pharmacist and the manager at Rexall Pharmacy adjacent to St. Joseph’s Life Care Centre. 

“Often patients tell me that they have been on a specific pill for years,” Wojcik said. “That may be true, but has the person’s health changed? Has their weight gone up or down? How about any over the counter products? Are they now taking vitamins that perhaps their physician doesn’t know about? These things can have a different effect on the medication your physician has ordered.  

“You can bet that before I hand a prescription over to a patient they won’t get out the door without me explaining to them the correct dosage, any potential side effects and the appropriate use of the medication. I like to elicit information from patients and, if need be, call their physician to collaborate together to make sure we are doing the absolute best we can.” 

Wojcik learned about doing it right on his very first weekend as a pharmacist.  

“I received a prescription for a sick infant,” he said. “I know that if I dispensed the medication the baby would have died. It was a holiday weekend and I finally reached the physician at six o’clock in the morning.” 

“We corrected the dosage and I jumped in my car and drove it over to the infant’s mom,” Wojcik said. “That taught me a lesson I will never forget: always, always keep my patients safe.”

Wojcik decided as a youngster that he wanted to become a pharmacist.  

“I worked as a stock boy at Smiths Pharmacy on Colborne Street. Harvey and Phil Smith took me under their wing. I saw the satisfaction they received from helping their patients.”  

After Wojcik graduated from North Park Collegiate in Brantford he attended the University of Toronto for four years to study human biology and toxicology. 

That was followed by four years to earn his bachelor of pharmacy. Along the way he completed internships at various hospitals and clinics.   

“I knew I wanted to work at a pharmacy that provided free delivery,” Wojcik said. “A pharmacy that will pick up a prescription from someone who may be housebound and then deliver it to them when it is ready. I think it is important to go to patients’ homes if they are in a crisis.”  

Wojcik has become specially certified in geriatric pharmacy.  

“We are an aging population,” he said. “With new and changing pharmaceuticals, I feel I need to be on top of my game if I am going to be able to advocate for the health of my patients.”  

There are many stories about seniors not taking their medications properly.   

It is a very real problem, Wojcik said.  

“We hear about the adverse effects – such as nausea, drowsiness and constipation – that medications can have on patients. But there are also allergic reactions such as rash or difficulty breathing that can impact a person’s health,” he said. “Much of this is totally preventable if you and your pharmacist are on the same page. 

“It depends how well you know your pharmacist and how well your pharmacist knows you.”