SMOKING CESSATION: HELPING YOUR PATIENTS KICK THE HABIT
Ans. 1. There were two primary learning goals before I started this exercise. These goals were a) To learn about various pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions helpful in smoking cessation programs and b) To understand the role of pharmacy technicians in supporting the patients attempting to quit smoking.
Ans 2. Specific patient cases or practice-related problems motivated me to choose this learning goal. The harm caused by cigarette smoking is well-known and documented. Smoking poses the risk of cancers, heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and many other ailments. I am specifically concerned about the effects of smoking on children and passive smokers, and therefore, I wanted to learn about this issue and wish to help the patients to quit smoking.
Ans. 3. A) Legal ethical and professional responsibilities
B) Professional collaboration and teamwork
Ans. 4. A) Reading materials
Accessed online CE and read the article “Smoking cessation: Helping your patients kick the habit” – Mar 2014. I also accessed the CDC Website and learned about methods to quit smoking. Currently, I am reading about ‘Tobacco Free Initiative’ of the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, I researched the scientific databases like Pubmed and Medline for accessing the research articles on smoking cessation and the challenges associated with it.
All of these are non-accredited readings.
Ans. 5a. I learnt about the impact of smoking on various population groups. More specifically, the effects of passive smoking on babies and children caught my attention. I also learned about the various stages of readiness of a person to quit smoking and the interventions that may help and support the person to deal with obstacles. Most importantly, I have identified myself as a person capable of helping the patients to enroll in ‘smoking cessation programs.’ I have equipped myself with the thorough knowledge of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for helping the patients to quit smoking and assist them with follow-up and support.
Ans. 5b. Being a Pharmacy technician, I will have the opportunity to identify smokers when patients come for filling or re-filling a prescription. I will ask questions to make out if they would be willing to quit smoking. If they are ready for the change, I will refer them to the Pharmacist for enrollment into the ‘smoking cessation program.’ I will also try to assist them with follow-up and will ask them about their success in maintaining abstinence. Especially, I will try to be more attentive in the case of pregnant women and patients with diabetes, heart problems and respiratory illnesses. I will try to make them understand the harmful effects of smoking on their own and other’s health. In the case of pregnant women, I will inform them that their babies may have low birth weight and are at the increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Ans. 5c. I plan to participate in the certification program so that I may be better prepared to advise patients about the options available to quit smoking. If the conditions permit, I may join a study group or journal club to learn more about tobacco use and difficulties associated with quitting smoking and actively assist people mid-term in maintaining abstinence.
Ans. 6. This activity helped me to become more comfortable in researching the websites of CDC and WHO. I became familiar with the search engines and scientific data retrieval systems such as Pubmed and Medline. While learning about the interventions useful in smoking cessation, I came across hypnotherapy, aversive therapy and acupuncture. Though these therapies are not very commonly used in Canada, I found them interesting and useful (Halasi 1).
MEDREC PHARMACY TECHNICIANS
Ans. 1. The learning objectives of this assignment were a) To understand the concept of medication reconciliation (MedRec) and gain knowledge of its purpose and process and b) To understand the role of a pharmacy technician in MedRec in hospital and community pharmacy.
Ans. 2. D) Specific patient cases or practice related problems
The use of non-prescribed medication may lead to adverse drug events and lengthy hospital stays. Since many patients do not request their refills on time and rely on self-medication, I was concerned about the negative outcomes they may face. Also, I had heard my seniors and peers discussing the issue of medication reconciliation and I got interested into the topic.
Ans. 3. A) Legal, ethical and professional responsibilities
C) Drug distribution
Ans. 4. D) Workplace learning: I had a thorough discussion with my seniors and colleagues about MedRec and its utility.
C) Reading materials: I accessed the online CE and read the article “MedRec Pharmacy technicians” – Sep 2013. I also used the internet resources to understand the process and techniques to obtain Best Possible Medication History (BPMH).
Ans. 5a. I learnt the concept, purpose, significance and process of medication reconciliation (MedRec). I also understood that pharmacy technicians need to undergo thorough training for efficient MedRec. As a result of this exercise, I am well aware of a pharmacy technician’s scope of practice in relation to MedRec. I also gained the knowledge of MedRec Pharmacy Technician certification programs.
Ans. 5b. I will try to identify the patients who may qualify for a medication review and introduce this concept and its importance to them. I will tell the patients to bring their medication lists and vials and non-prescribed or alternative medicines on their next visit. I will document the changes in the prescription and will encourage the clients to keep their own updated medication records. I will inform the patients about the advantages of MedRec and medication reviews.
Ans. 5c. I wish to read the ‘Additional’ materials given at the end of the article. I want to know more about the challenges in obtaining a BPMH so that I may be able to retrieve accurate and complete information from the patient in future. I will also try to use ‘My MedRec’ app in the iphone. I will try to get more information about MedRec Pharmacy Technician certification programs in my own province.
Ans. 6. This learning activity introduced me to the concept of MedRec and the issues and challenges associated with it. I understand that communication may be a significant barrier or ‘the best aid’ in the MedRec process. Now on, I will polish my communication skills so that I may interact comfortably with the patients and be an efficient pharmacy technician (Watt 1).
Halasi, S. “Smoking cessation: Helping your patients kick the habit.” TECH talk CE. March 2014. Web. 05 July 2014.
Watt, A. “MedRec Pharmacy technicians.” TECH talk CE. Sep. 2013. Web. 05 July 2014.