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Introduction: the healthcare team

Watch Kirstie and Lyn describe health care teams and how doctors and pharmacists work together. Kirstie also provides a brief overview of the course.
Hi, I’m Kirstie and I’m a pharmacist at MONASH University. In the science of medicines MOOC, you’ll be learning about the science behind a range of different medication. My role is to remind you about the patient taking the medicine. As a pharmacist, I work closely with other members of the health care team to ensure medicine use is safe and high quality. The team always has the patient as its focus. Other team members will vary for each patient but will include the doctor, pharmacist, family or care, and other allied health professionals. The patient’s primary doctor has an important role to play in diagnosing the patient and prescribing the most appropriate medication.
Doctor Lyn Clearihan will tell us a bit more about the role of the doctor.
LYN CLEARIHAN: Hello, my name is Dr. Lyn Clearihan. I’ve been a general practitioner in a semi rural practise on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria for over 30 years. I’m also an associate professor in the faculty of medicine, nursing, and health sciences at MONASH University. General practise provides a vital role in the modern health system in Australia. With over 80% of the population consult a GP at least once each year. Over my three decades working in a community based general practise modern health care has changed dramatically. The modern focus on preventive health, health promotion, and chronic disease management have spotlighted the importance of a team based approach to health care.
From a doctors perspective, prescription medications are an essential component in managing many conditions. More medicines are often used with other non-drug methods. Doctors rely on a pharmacist in-depth direct knowledge, to ensure patient safety in the use of prescription medicines. In this sense general practitioners and the pharmacist have always worked very closely together. Over the course of this module, you will hear from both the doctor and the pharmacist as the use of modern medicines are explored in five important clinical areas.
Once a medicine has been prescribed the pharmacist has a role in reviewing the safety and appropriateness of the prescription. This will involve checking that the dose is OK, especially if the patient is a child or has kidney problems. The pharmacist might also need to check other medicines the patient is taking to ensure they all work well together and don’t interact badly. They will also advice on how to manage combinations of medicines. The pharmacist has an important role in talking to the patient about how to take their medicines and what side effects can be expected. Generally, patients are given consumer medicine information leaflets for all medicines they are taking.
These leaflets reinforce the information that patients are told at the time of dispensing. The pharmacist and doctor then work together over time to monitor the response to the medicine and determine if any changes to treatment are required. Pharmacists work in a variety of settings. Some of the most common settings include hospitals and community. Following is a short video demonstrating some of the roles of pharmacists in the community.
I’ve been running the community pharmacy hear in Pharmville for about five years now. And between my work and my family life, I’m always busy. I provide information, health care, and medicines to some of the Pharmville locals. Some people I see quite regularly, like Shirley Park, she’s come to know about her diabetes medicines. And Shane Bayer comes in most days.
Phyllis Dawson needs extra support with her and Peter’s medications as they’re really quite complicated now, and Peter is very frail. Jason Fulbright a long-standing customer and I knew his parents as well.
I’m very connected to the community. And as I’m more accessible than the doctor, I have been able to develop very strong relationships with my customers. And these relationships help me to further understand their health care needs.
During this MOOC Doctor Dr Clearihan and I will introduce a patient at the start of each module. This introduction will be followed by Dan, David, and Ian discussing the science of the medicine. And then I will return to discuss how the science is relevant to our patient. I hope you enjoy finding out the science behind some common medicines.

Watch Kirstie and Lyn describe health care teams and how doctors and pharmacists work together. Kirstie also provides a brief overview of the course.

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The Science of Medicines

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