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Preparing pharmacy assistants to support patients to manage pain

Pain is one of the most common reasons to visit a pharmacy. Many customers have established routines and preferred medicines to relieve their pain. The change to the scheduling of certain medicines to relieve pain on 1 February 2018 represents a significant change to the types of medicines available to relieve pain in the pharmacy.

Community pharmacies need to plan for and manage this change, and pharmacy assistants are an important part of implementing the protocols and practices developed to assist patients with their pain management needs. It is crucial that pharmacy assistants understand their role in pain within  community pharmacy and when to refer patients to the pharmacist. In order to help customers better manage their pain, pharmacy assistants need to understand the types of pain commonly seen in a pharmacy setting, as well as the situations where customers require pharmacist interaction.

The Guild and the PSA have developed a series of five modules to assist pharmacy assistants to understand the change to the scheduling of these medicines and adapt to the new scheduling requirements.

The two organisations have collaborated to develop the package of materials – designed to support pharmacists and pharmacy assistants – which reflect a whole-of-pharmacy approach to ensure the entire pharmacy sector is prepared for the change.

The first of these modules ‘Scheduling changes: Managing the transition to Prescription Only Medicines’ has been approved as QCPP Refresher Training and will guide pharmacy assistants through the changes.

The learning objectives for this course are:

  • Recognise the change to scheduling that will occur in February 2018
  • Recognise who will be affected
  • Identify the key actions that should be undertaken to prepare for scheduling changes

This activity has been approved for 30 minutes of QCPP Refresher Training and will contribute to the annual requirement of three hours of QCPP Refresher Training for pharmacy assistants.

The second of these modules, “Scheduling changes: An overview of pain for pharmacy assistants”, will help pharmacy assistants to understand pain, recognise the medicines used to treat pain and when they are or are not appropriate, and recognise when patients will require referral to the pharmacist.

This activity has been approved for 45 minutes of QCPP Refresher Training and will contribute to the annual requirement of three hours of QCPP Refresher Training for pharmacy assistants.

The third of these modules, ‘Scheduling changes: Pain management for pharmacy assistants’, will assist pharmacy assistants to recognise key types of pain in pharmacy, medicines used to treat pain and when they are or are not appropriate, and when customers will require referral to the pharmacist, including key symptoms that require immediate referral.

This activity has been approved for 45 minutes of QCPP Refresher Training and will contribute to the annual requirement of three hours of QCPP Refresher for pharmacy assistants.

To enrol in these courses please visit www.myCPD.org.au

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