Big Y Pharmacist
Find the best path to better health
Big Y Pharmacists not only provide you with prescriptions, they’re also our in-store advocates for wellness. Be proactive and work with our pharmacy team on ways for taking care of yourself BEFORE you get sick. Pharmacists, like Janice in our Stafford Springs, Connecticut location, are here to help you find our best path to better health.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have worked for Big Y Pharmacy for the last 20 years; as a pharmacy intern for 4 years and then as a licensed pharmacist for the last 16 years. In addition to coming to work every day, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband, our two young daughters, our puppy and eating my husband’s wonderful cooking.
How do you help shoppers manage chronic conditions?
I provide education on the value and correct use of the medications that patients take to treat their chronic medical conditions.
Is laughter the best medicine?
Sometimes laughter can help us get through a difficult day.
What path did you take to become a pharmacist?
I have worked for Big Y for the entirety of my pharmacy career. I applied at the East Windsor Pharmacy as a pharmacy intern during my first year in the pharmacy program at UCONN. I worked there for many years under Daniel Frodyma, RPh, whose mentorship made a lasting impression on me. He was well-respected and well-liked by his customers and co-workers. While he shouldered a lot of responsibility he always seemed to enjoy doing his job. He helped me see how rewarding a career in retail pharmacy could be.
What does a typical day as a Big Y Pharmacist look like?
A typical day involves verifying all orders that leave the pharmacy, educating patients about the proper use of their medications, answering incoming calls from patients and medical offices and making recommendations involving self-care and over-the-counter products.
People normally only think of seeing a pharmacist when they are sick. What are ways you help shoppers be more proactive with their wellness?
I encourage my customers to speak with their pharmacist and ask questions whenever they are uncertain about their health or the treatments they are given.
Do you recommend OTC products in addition to supplements?
Over-the-counter products can come in very useful to help patients manage symptoms for a wide range of common ailments such as indigestion, pain and fever, seasonal allergies, the common cold, etc. Supplements may be used when dietary intake is lacking.
Do you refer people to appropriate healthcare providers like the Living Well Eating Smart registered dietitian team, personal trainers, medical specialists?
Whenever appropriate we help customers find the answers they need, whether that be a referral to their primary physician or another health service. Big Y offers some very useful services including direct access to our dietitians during their virtual office hours and weekly educational presentations. Members from the Living Well Eating Smart team have accompanied me to the Stafford Senior Center where we discussed healthy eating and made healthy snacks as a hands-on activity.
Why should people consider you part of their healthcare team?
Most patients come to the pharmacy on a regular basis. For some patients, that could be multiple times a week, for others every few months. Over the course of many years and during these frequent encounters, the pharmacist builds strong relationships with their patients. When patients come to the pharmacy to pick up their prescriptions we can help to educate them about their health and treatment. Patients can often reach us easily over the phone or in person without an appointment.
What’s the most gratifying part of your job?
I enjoy problem solving. The most rewarding experiences for me are when a customer comes to me with a health-related concern, and we can work together to arrive at a solution that works for their situation.
Can you cite an example of a time you were able to help someone?
One example of how I was able to use my knowledge and experience as a pharmacist to really make a difference was when a mother of a young child mentioned to me that her child’s asthma seemed to be worsening and limiting the child’s ability to do normal activities. After some discussion with the mother, I suspected that improper inhaler technique may be playing a role in the child’s worsening condition. After discussing the matter with the family and the doctor, I educated the family on the proper inhaler technique. In this situation, helping the family make a small change improved the child’s health and helped them resume their normal activities.
Are there any services that Big Y pharmacists provide that customers might not be aware of?
In addition to filling patients’ new and refilled prescription orders, some patients may not be aware that we have been providing immunization services for over 13 years.
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