Ancillary Services

Introduction

Without ancillary services nurses, doctors, dentists, and other medical practitioners would not be in a position to work effectively. On the same, without ancillary services patients would not receive proper treatment for various ailments. Ancillary services refer to those that are provided to sick individuals. These services are not necessarily provided at health centers, but they are also provided exclusive of room and board.

Ancillary services occur in different types. Most importantly, the approach of providing these services varies according to the type. Dialysis, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, hospice, pulmonary testing, sleep centers, cardiac testing, mobile lithotripsy, and skilled nursing facility are examples of ancillary services. The aim of this paper is to explore pharmacy as ancillary service. In this case, important information about pharmacy with regards to how the service is provided, key personnel within the pharmacy department will be discussed. In addition, the paper seeks to find out how pharmacy relates to other health care departments and some of the factors that influence the provision of this service.

Pharmacy

Whenever the word pharmacy is mentioned, one can be assured of hearing something that relates to drugs. Pharmacy is defined as the process, technique and science of preparing drugs and then dispensing them to the relevant departments. Its main objective is to make sure that patients consume pharmaceutical drugs in the safest and most effective way. The three main branches of pharmacy are pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy (medicinal chemistry), and pharmacy practice (Giberson, Yoder, & Lee, 2011). Pharmaceutics is concerned with changing old drugs into a medication that will make them become safe for patient consumption. Medicinal chemistry involves various disciplines such as organic chemistry and biological specialties that are involved in the process of preparing drugs (Ensor et al., 2013). Pharmacy practice is concerned with developing the roles of pharmacists as professionals.

Key Personnel in Pharmacy Departments

The field of pharmacy requires highly qualified individuals who are endowed with vast knowledge about drugs. These professional needs to be highly experienced; it is essential in ensuring that medical practitioners do not put the lives of their patients at risk while treating them (Pedersen, Schneider, & Scheckelhoff, 2012). Key personnel within pharmacy departments are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

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Pharmacists: These individuals must have undergone through specialized training and education in pharmacy. Their role is to ensure maximum health outcomes for any patient who has gone through medication. Pharmacists play an important role to the overall drug treatment for an individual (Giberson, Yoder, & Lee, 2011). They prescribe the most appropriate drugs concerning a particular ailment since they are very conversant with the mode of action of a particular drug and how the same will affect an individual after taking such drugs. Today, pharmacists have become small-business proprietors; they own the pharmacy in which they provide medications to patients through drugs. Internationally, pharmacists are represented by an organization such as International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). The role of such an organization is to regulate and oversee the ethics of pharmacists.

Pharmacy technicians: The main roles of these individuals are to provide support to pharmacists and other health professionals. They conduct various pharmacy related duties such as dispensing prescription drugs, medical devices to patients and showing patients how to use such medical devices. Other duties of pharmacy technicians are reviewing prescription orders in connection with medic’s departments and insurance companies. This is mainly to ensure that medication is provided and payment is received (Giberson, Yoder, & Lee, 2011).

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Pharmacy as a department would not have emerged successful without the help of other departments such as nursing, laboratory, radiology, and others (Pedersen, Schneider, & Scheckelhoff, 2012). For an effective dispensing of prescription drugs to patients, pharmacy requires the intervention of nurses. It may sometimes prove to be very hard for pharmacists to identify an ailment that a patient is suffering from. In this case, pharmacist must rely on laboratory tests in order to arrive at the best decision when administering or prescribing drugs (Ensor et al., 2013). Additionally, those diseases that cannot be identified through laboratory tests, radiology can be used as the next option.

The various types of pharmacy practice area such as community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, ambulatory care pharmacy and others have continued to face a lot of challenges. These challenges are influenced by political, social, regulatory, climatic, economic, and technological factors.

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Politically, several utterances and activities by key government officials have influenced pharmacy. For instance, some politicians have been against the distribution of certain drugs such as those of HIV and AIDS asserting that they facilitate immorality within communities (Gibbrson, Yoder, & Lee, 2011). In addition to this, politicians have been blamed of vandalizing funds and resources that were meant to improve pharmacy departments. The worst beat about dishonest politicians in healthcare sectors is that they control the dispensing of drugs to patients with the aim of using drugs, meant to be used in hospitals, for their own needs. That is, they have their small clinics where they want to take the stolen drugs.

At a society context, most pharmacists have encountered rejection from community members. With the current trend of conmen, a lot of people have not been in a position to trust pharmacists at community level. Various parties have raised concern that individuals are illegally practicing the role of pharmacists when they were not qualified. On the same, no matter how qualified pharmacists were, their activities have always been interfered with by the government agencies. In this case, these agencies have tried to argue that they had not complied with the regulatory requirement of pharmacists.

Economically, at some instance, it has become very difficult to dispense drugs in some regions. Some places are highly remote; to make matters worse, these places have not been installed with the necessary equipment required for drug dispensation. Apart from lacking electricity in these areas that is required in reservation of drugs through refrigeration, these places have poor roads that are in bad condition. For that reason, these have demoralized the activities of pharmacists in such regions.

Technological challenges cannot be underrated. Pharmacy requires the use of advanced technological equipment, especially during production of drugs. Most countries and states have not sufficiently acquired such technologies. To add insult to injury, there are only a few pharmacists; about 2.6 million pharmacist personnel worldwide (Larrat, Marcoux, & Vogenberg, 2012). For this reason, some countries have been forced to rely on other nations in the provision of pharmaceutical services.

However, one cannot overlook the fact that, the field of pharmacy has significantly grown. It has been facilitated by the increasing discovery and several technological developments that have made research easier. Thanks to the rising number of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have shown a lot of devotion to solve the growing need in the field of pharmacy (Giberson, Yoder, & Lee, 2011). Additionally, climatic changes have also influenced this growth. A lot of diseases are being discovered every day, hence calling for increased research in pharmacy.

As a result of several challenges in pharmacy, provision of ancillary services has been greatly undermined. As already discussed, there is a strong relationship between pharmacy and other fields such as laboratory and nursing (Wilson & Perrie, 2013). Therefore, poor performance in pharmacy has led to even worse situation in other fields. For instance, for nursing to be successful, nurses have to rely a lot on drugs. In this case, if there are not enough pharmaceutical services, most likely nursing will be greatly affected. In an event where new discoveries have been made in pharmacy, physicians and doctors are in a position to have many solutions to respond to various diseases affecting their patients (Larrat, Marcoux, & Vogenberg, 2012).

It will be highly helpful if one comes up with a way to improve the negative trends to become helpful in healthcare sectors. To start with, well-established pharmacy departments start with the government. The governments need to improve their support to health centers. Many problems that faces the field of pharmacy relates to poor funding and lack of sufficient support from the government (Ensor et al., 2013). Pharmacy can become highly beneficial if the government can improve infrastructures in remote areas. On the same, a lot needs to be done to ensure that pharmacists are working under advanced equipment. This way, they can make a lot of discoveries. In order to make this move effective, as a healthcare administrator one need to liars with government agencies in order to air such grievances as well as call for support in the provision of ancillary services (Larrat, Marcoux, & Vogenberg, 2012).

Finding a solution to the trends discussed earlier in this paper requires that one capitalize in the following strategies. First, one should find a way to eradicate the corruption that is a common norm for many politicians. That way, it will be ensured that funds and resources that were meant to be used at healthcare sectors are not vandalized. Second, individuals at society level must change their perception towards pharmacists who dispense drugs in societies. On the same, governments must ensure that pharmacists, who provide services at society levels, are fully certified, qualified, and experienced. Economically, governments are expected to intensify development through improving infrastructures, especially in remote areas. It will ensure that individuals in every part of the country receive pharmaceutical services.

Conclusion

In conclusion, provision of ancillary services is a broad topic, whose aim is stationed upon the various treatments provided to sick patients. It has become evident that ancillary services such as nursing, pharmacy and others depend on one another if they have to become successful. That calls the need for improvement in pharmacy that will in turn lead to better nursing and patients’ treatment. It will only be achieved if governments choose to support healthcare sectors. The dream for better ancillary services will also become valid if new discoveries will be made in pharmacy to counter the upcoming diseases.

 

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