Thirty years ago in pharmacy school, Barry S. Bryant learned how to dispense prescription drugs and talk to customers about their medications. Now, he works alongside his three daughters, all of whom graduated from pharmacy school within the last decade, at Barney’s Pharmacy in Augusta, Ga., where their experiences illustrate how much the family’s chosen profession is changing, one generation to the next.
The eldest, Vanessa Hoffman, 31, oversees geriatric health at Barney’s, making sure medications for long-term care patients are divided into easy-to-use, clearly marked daily doses. With special accreditation in geriatric pharmacy, Mrs. Hoffman visits a nearby nursing home once a month to review the medication chart of each resident, making sure the treatments do not overlap or cause harmful interactions.
Meanwhile, the middle daughter, Stephanie Bryant, 27, helps in the store’s wellness center, teaching chair aerobics and organizing a new nutrition and weight-loss program for customers.
The youngest, Brittany Bryant, 25, graduated from pharmacy school in May, and is studying the business side of Barney’s, an independent drugstore that also functions as a community center.
Pharmacists at the 26,000-square-foot building offer clinical services like flu shots and cholesterol tests. They also show customers how to properly use their asthma inhalers or blood pressure cuffs or glucose monitors. They fit customers for special diabetic shoes. And they teach wellness classes for people with chronic illnesses like heart disease.
“When I graduated from pharmacy school in 1981, we didn’t talk about wellness,” Mr. Bryant said. If newly minted graduates wanted to oversee the medication regimens of patients with chronic diseases, they would look for work in hospitals or clinics, not in retail pharmacies, he said. “Now they teach students in pharmacy school that you can go out and create for yourself a clinical job in a retail setting.”
Barney’s wellness center also offers bingo every other Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Bingo has proven so popular, Mr. Bryant said, that it is often standing room only.
Source: New York TImes.
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