When people think of a pharmacist, they think of their local pharmacist behind the counter at CVS or Walgreens. Maybe some even think of pharmacists in hospitals. However, there are many different careers within the pharmacy field that are incredibly important. A recent position that has emerged within the last two decades is emergency medicine pharmacy.
Emergency Medicine is a specialty where patients who have been injured or sick need medical care immediately. Many hospitals have emergency rooms (ER) where people can go in case of medical emergencies ranging from the flu to broken bones. The emergency department usually consists of physicians and nurses trained for trauma and this is what we see in shows such as Trauma: Life in the E.R. or featured in shows such as Grey’s Anatomy. Oftentimes, the shows do not depict an essential part to an ER team, and that’s an emergency medicine pharmacist.
An emergency medicine pharmacist would do the following in the ER:
- Be a physical presence
- Help do patient care rounds
- Help in the selection and prescription of medications
- Review medication orders
- Monitor medications and its effects (Medication Therapy Management)
- Help in life-threatening events (ex: resuscitate patients)
- Procure and prepare medications
- Discuss and be available as a medication consult
- Document trends in medication prescription and effects
Hospitals and emergency care facilities will vary in procedures, but the overall goal of an emergency medicine pharmacist would be to help in efficiency and reduce harmful occurrences in the emergency room. The role of an emergency medicine pharmacist is fast-pace and difficult, but extremely rewarding. They are an essential part of an emergency medicine team to ensure the safety and well-being of patients in need of critical care.