Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist Nov 2013 Contents 16 Australian Pharmacist November 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Their own worst enemy
By Andrew Daniels
The 800 delegates at the 2013 Pharmacy
Australia Congress in Brisbane last
month didn't know what hit them when
keynote speaker, Professor Zubin Austin
from the University of Toronto began
his presentation with: 'what does a
pharmacist use as contraception? Answer
-- his personality!'
Professor Austin's presentation was
titled Why pharmacists are their own
He said that one of the barriers to
pharmacy practice change may well
be pharmacists themselves, not
governments, industry and so on.
'Is it possible that a certain personality
type gravitates to pharmacy? Some
evidence suggests there is a pharmacy
[personality] type,' Professor Austin said.
'If this is true it could influence why
practice change is so slow.
'Medical education does one thing really
well that pharmacy doesn't -- making
decisions. Pharmacists are about
'When we spoke to physicians they
complained that pharmacists wouldn't
give an X or Y answer, just lots and lots
of information. This left the physicians
feeling that pharmacists didn't know the
answer,' he said.
He said that one study found that 65%
of community pharmacists surveyed
were characterised as conflict avoiders
while 65% of family physicians were
characterised as 'forcers'.
Professor Austin referred to a study
which identified five traits that make
practice change hard for pharmacists.
These were: lack of confidence, fear of
new responsibility, paralysis in the face
of ambiguity, a strong need for approval
from others and risk aversion.
He said the problem his research was
trying to solve was that pharmacists are
too risk averse and are passive aggressive.
He epitomised this with the phrase -- 'I
would rather dispense 100 prescriptions
than do one pharmaceutical opinion...
what if I get it wrong?'
In-pharmacy wound care
The need for wound care support in
pharmacies will grow in coming years
because of the aging population and
rapidly increasing rates of diabetes
according to Professor Geoff Sussman.
'Many pharmacists don't believe
that chronic wounds are observed in
community pharmacy. This is incorrect.
The number of people with non-healing
chronic wounds is large and will only
increase because of the ageing community
and the rapid increases in diabetes,'
In his usual animated and rapid fire
delivery Professor Sussman covered a huge
amount of territory from factors affecting
healing to critiquing new wound dressings
and urging pharmacists not to recommend
outdated and inefficient dressings.
Professor Sussman pointed out that
according to the International Diabetes
institute almost one in four Australians
25 years and over has either diabetes or
impaired glucose metabolism. Diabetes is
the world's fastest growing disease.
He also gave participants a simple
diabetes foot risk screening tool to use
with customers with diabetes to assist in
monitoring for, and avoiding the potential
for diabetic foot wound which often leads
to gangrene and ultimately amputations.
He said that factors that intrinsic factors
that affect healing include health status,
immune function, age, body build,
diabetes and nutritional status. Extrinsic
factors include: mechanical stress, debris
[in the wound] temperature, drying/
maceration, infection, chemical stress
and other factors such as smoking and
In conclusion he urged pharmacists to
take steps to ensure they were trained
and knowledgeable about correct and
up-to-date wound management practices
and wound dressings.
Poster and contributed paper
Faiza Islam, Yady Manrique, Julie Cichero,
Lisa Nissen, Jason Stokes, Kathryn Steadman.
Medication Administration in dysphagics:
crushing tablets and mixing with thickened
fluids impairs drug dissolution.
Paper winner: Dr Rashmi Sharma.
Community Pharmacists as teachers of GP
registrars -- A tool to foster mutual respect
and improve health outcomes.
Paper winner: Katie Hayes. Redefining
the role of the pharmacist at Risdon
Paper winner: Dr Julie Stokes. Enhanced
pharmacovigilance to detect adverse event
trends with Fentanyl patches.
PSA thanks the judges and selection
committee for their hard work. Specifically
Dr Andrew Petrie, Dr Jenny Gowan, Dimitra
Tsucalas, Lyn Banner, Grant Martin, Justin
Lee, Bill Kelly, A/Professor Kay Stewart, Greg
Duncan, and Bill Suen.
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