Saving Lives: The Role of The Pharmacist in HIV

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This episode we look at the ways you can look after yourself and others.

I’m fully protected when out walking.

“BE THE CHANGE”

Gandhi

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What you will learn

  • Checking in with you drawing the pandemic
  • How are you coping
  • What tools do you use for your own personal wellness
  • Making an Impact
  • California Pharmacists Association stepping up

Coronavirus Wellness

COVID-19 Testing

Modifying Stay-at-Home Order

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Transcription

The is Michelle Sherman, president of MichRX Pharmacist’s Consulting Services and your host for the conscious pharmacist podcast. Welcome to this week’s episode. This week I just wanted to check in with you and look at things from a conscious level and check in with all you amazing pharmacists or frontline workers out there who are doing extraordinary work and excruciating the trying circumstances and just see how you doing and what you doing to get through the days in this unprecedented pandemic and time of isolation. We’re into this. I’ve been on lockdown at home in Southern California doing tele-health every day, working every day. I think today is probably around about the 38th or ninth day of working in a row without a day off. Trying to do telehealth consultations, talk to patients, implement programs to help alleviate the suffering going on out there. I have been creating my open to pharmacist care program over many, many years and encompassing the whole body of my HIV work.

Over all this time. And tele-health was the direction where we were going. We had started doing it, but it has exploded in this dire time of need. Providing consultations to our patients in clinical consultations in like advanced practice setting consultations for our patients providing rapid art initiation prep and pep consultations and ordering labs and doing all these consultations online via zoom with our patients. I’ve had a HIPAA compliance zoom platform for many months now, so it was just a gradual, easy segue into doing this. My, my office at home is completely set in its entirety for such, such a thing is being quarantined and working from home. So on net ground, I’m very, very fortunate. I’m been working with some extraordinary people. I feel proud and fortunate and full of gratitude to be a Californian. With everything that we’ve seen going on and the catastrophic decisions and mismanagement and consequences that it actually ended up in people losing their lives that we’ve seen over the past few months has been absolutely devastating to me.

It just brings tears to my eyes to, to realize that people put political agendas before human life. It is just catastrophic to me. So you know, all these things are extremely stressful. We’re all working. Whether we’re in the pharmacy or in the hospital or volunteering or working from home, doing tele-health and doing all these things and coordinating programs, we’re all working so hard and it is so stressful. How, how do we, on a energetic level, a take care of ourselves? Several months ago on an episode I didn’t episode about as pharmacists and healthcare workers taking care of ourselves and putting out oxygen, Morris gone. So what are we doing a, to put our own oxygen mosques on? And again, proud to be a California and proud of our extraordinary governor Gavin Newsome, who has shown leadership throughout this whole terrible, terrible global tragedy.

And really putting Californians alives. You know, first he created an amazing program. It’s called the project RoomKey where he’s got thousands and thousands and thousands of hotel rooms across the state of California and hotels and motels that are providing rooms for the vulnerable homeless population. And I feel very fortunate to be part of the LA LA County homeless for housing. How housing for homeless program. That’s part of this project referral key and working with that organization to provide medications and access to care for a lot of these homeless individuals that are now being put in hotels. So I feel very fortunate to be part of their program and you know, gratitude to all my colleagues and everybody out there doing that. I was still wanting to do a shout out to the amazing team that I work with at radiant health centers in Irvine.

We were seeing patients in the clinic doing appointments every day and then when covered here because right in health center has a client population that is HIV infected. Although we’re doing like STI tasting prep and rapid art, they closed the clinic and our entire operation went to tele-health and all my colleagues the other providers I work with, the office manager, the clinic managers, program managers and MAs and phlebotomists and case managers that I work with. You’re all freaking amazing and we have done extraordinary work in still taking care of the health of our clients in orange County. So I’m blessed to be part of their team and I thank you all so much. So what do we do when we’re literally stuck at home? To keep, ah, sanity. Let’s, let’s talk about that first. How do we keep our sanity and the California pharmacists association?

Just like I’m sure many of the state associations around the country is totally engaged. A few weeks ago they set up a covered 19 task force that’s headed up and chaired by Dr. Richard gang. And they have put out extraordinary resources and programs and infographics and things like that for pharmacists to, to utilize in the fight to fight this this virus HHS is deemed pharmacist as healthcare providers to be able to do point of care testing for coven. So that’s another great step. The greatest step of all would be for CMS and the federal government to actually finally post legislation recognizing pharmacists in every single state as healthcare providers so we can a bill for our services and be able to be recognized on a level playing field as healthcare providers. Many of you saw minority leader Chuck Schumer statements the other day where he, he lumped pharmacists in, in with grocery store workers and are they essential workers and did not include us as healthcare workers.

Our profession took charge, sent messages, tweets, emails, myself included on Michelle ex consulting his Twitter page and he came out and rectified his statement. So no time has there ever been a time in the history of our country, in the history of pharmacy that we cannot sit back and be complacent. We need to fight for what, what’s right for ourselves as healthcare is. For many of us as employees working for employers and large corporations who haven’t really seemed to initiate PPE and protective measures for the, for the employees in a manner in which it should have been done. And in the resources there’s a link to a great article that was published through Doximity this polished weekend. So we have to be ever the campaigners, the fighting, not only for our rights, but especially for the rights of our patients in those that are underserved.

So with all this going on and all the stress that we’re under, like current protect our families, our friends, our loved ones and our patients, how do we take care of our ourselves? So CPHI put out a, a great infographic on wellness, which when I read it, it just hit home home to me because I’ve really been trying to practice that. You know, myself, I’m going along. The first thing is mindfulness. We have to breathe, do some yoga, do some meditation every day to bring ourselves back to sin center. And stop and be mindful of who we are, be conscious of what we’re trying to achieve here, who we’re trying to help and take care of our families and our patients all at the same time. So practicing mindfulness is absolutely essential and I’ve been trying to breathe and meditate on a daily basis. That other thing is exercise.

I have never seen so many people walking in. My neighborhood is, I have over the last weeks I didn’t even know some of these people were my neighbors because there’s people everywhere. People are just yelling hello. And there’s been a lot of luck, community togetherness if you will because we’re all in this Rio, all in this together muse, so exercise and we have set up in our garage like, like a gym where we can do yoga and [inaudible] we have weights, we have TRX. We just bought an exercise bicycle, which has been to me it’s like my therapy on a daily basis. If I don’t do it, I’m like, like a crazy person. But just riding this bike has been like my therapist, my, my therapy, new therapist issuance, and I feel so much better afterwards. It helps get rid of a lot of stress and frustration.

And then the other thing is listening to music. So while I ride my bike, I just put my airports on Pandora, crank the volume up to as loud as it goes and just sing. I don’t care. Hopefully all my neighbors are listening to my non lady Gaga like voice and it just is what it is. And smile. We need to try to laugh, smile, be happy, look at things that are funny. The other thing that’s really critical is sleep. Getting adequate sleep like nine, eight, eight or so hours a day is really important because when we don’t sleep, it makes us crazy. You know? You’ve got to have good quality sleep. Diet is absolutely essential. And for those of you who know me, I talk about it a lot. Eating good, nutritious, fresh, healthy food is really important to keeping your healthy. I always look at food like food as a drug.

Then I’m listening to podcasts. We’re part of the pharmacy podcast network, which is a massive network of the most extraordinary podcast put out by Todd URI. He, he’s done an incredible job with all these podcasts that are part of this massive network. You can find podcasts that are pharmacy related, health related are millions of them to listen, to listen to podcasts and you know, enjoy yourself. So we have to take care of ourselves. We, if, and this we put that oxygen mask on ourselves, we will be unable to take care of our patients as well. Before we end this podcast I wanted to end with this great letter from our president, dr Ken Thai, who’s president of the California pharmacists association this year. Really unprecedented times. She’s been working so closely with the organization, with the current 19 task force, with a CEO, Susan Bonilla.

Great other people from CPHI, Danny Martinez, Michelle Reavis, thank you all for everything that you do for as pharmacists like every day. So Ken put out this amazing letter with the pharmacist oath to all as pharmacists and pharmacy providers in California. And I’m going to read it to you. Dear colleagues is the most accessible healthcare providers for communities throughout California, the nation in the world. The California pharmacists association stands by your side as you provide care for all individuals, including those suffered from covert 19 on behalf of the board of trustees and our dedicated staff, I thank you for the service and care you are providing during these uncertain times as we navigate the unknown. Remember that our strength comes from how we unite as a profession and rise to meet challenges ahead. To provide support to all pharmacy professional CPA has compiled important resources to ensure the health of your colleagues, patients, and families.

These resources include the most current statewide orders to limit the spread of covert 19 and requests from various health organizations of our healthcare providers. We encourage you to review these resources and check your social media regularly for news and updates. Pharmacists, future pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. Comfort 19 is not the first public health challenge we have faced, nor will it be the last. Each of us became a pharmacist professional, a pharmacy professional because of the inherent trust at titles bestow. Let’s make all of the pharmacy professionals that have come before us proud and set the benchmark for all of the pharmacy professionals who are yet to come support your colleagues, support your associations, and serve your communities to the best of your abilities. On behalf of the entire California pharmacists association, it is our honor to work by your side and represent you as president in gratitude.

Dr Ken Thai. Thank you Ken. This is a beautiful letter and it meant a lot to me as I know it does to so many pharmacy providers across California. We have to stick together. We have to fight for ourselves, for our employees and for our patients and we will survive this. We’ve done it before. We’ll do it again and we will rise to the challenge. We have risen to the challenge to fight this virus. So to all my pharmacy colleagues out there, whether you’re in California, Nevada, Arizona, wherever you are, keep fighting the fight. You’re doing amazing, amazing, amazing work. And I want to give a shout out to my niece Erica, who’s a nurse in Maryland fighting on the front lines every single day, taking care of her patients, women who have just given birth and having this cloud of covered 19 over her head every single day. We love you. You’re amazing. And we’re so proud of you. Thank you to all my colleagues and friends and you know, until next time and remembered, not only will we be the change, we are the change now my stay.

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