Pharmacists themselves a barrier to full scope

Date: 13 April 2022

One of the greatest obstacles to achieving full scope of practice is the attitude of community pharmacists themselves.

This is the view of Dr Ross Tsuyuki of the faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Speaking at APP2022, Dr Tsuyuki said some steps towards achieving full scope of practice needed to be undertaken.

And there were major economic benefits for the country in pharmacists working to full scope of practice.

Dr Tsuyuki said research showed that the cost savings with a full scope of pharmacist practice in Australia would be substantial.

“Understanding our own barriers is the first step in moving towards full scope of practice,” he said.

“We can control our own terminology, [our] image and manage our insecurities.”

Dr Tsuyuki stressed that community pharmacists needed to take control of the situation and an important step in this regard was controlling the terminology.

Terms and actions to avoid included:

  • Allied health, paramedical, ancillary, support services, non-medical - instead use healthcare professional/provider
  • Customer, clients - use patients instead
  • Retail pharmacy – use community or primary care pharmacy
  • Retail pharmacist – use pharmacist, primary care pharmacists, family pharmacist, community pharmacist
  • Minor ailments - use ambulatory conditions
  • Advanced or expanded scope of practice - use full scope of practice
  • “Non-medical” prescribing
  • Discount terminology
  • Drive-through pharmacies
  • Inducements (eg loyalty points) for prescription and services
  • Internet pharmacy
  • Selling products of questionable value
  • Counselling in public areas
  • Unprofessional dress
  • Saying: “Sorry. I’m just a pharmacist”

Dr Tsuyuki said pharmacists also needed to be more confident in themselves.

“In some research we found some pharmacists went to extremely elaborate means to not make a decision,” he said.

However, pharmacists had strong evidence for “our care that is unique to health professionals. We are perfectly placed as primary care providers.”

He warned however: “Do not, do not, allow others to define our scope of practice.”

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

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Page last updated on: 13 April 2022