A Heritage of Loving Service: The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Tucson
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Heritage: The Story of St. Mary's Hospital, 1880-1980
By Leo G. Bryne and Sister Alberta Cammack, C.S.J

Chapter III Contemporary St. Mary's

Medicines are designed to help diagnose illness, treat symptoms, and cure disease. The primary functions of St. Mary's Pharmacy are to provide medication and to furnish services which will effect their correct utilization.

Profiles are maintained for each patient listing all medications. With this information the pharmacist is able to monitor drug and intravenous incompatibilities. Also listed are patient sensitivities which might possibly introduce severe allergic reactions.

The Pharmacy is responsible for the filling and distribution of a twenty-four hour supply of medication for each patient using a unit dose distribution system. It compounds IV admixtures and parenteral nutritional solutions. Other responsibilities include medication control and storage, together with in-service education and drug information.

The use of pharmacy technicians has helped in the expansion of the department, and the opening of the satellite pharmacy on 3-West is providing greater possibilities for the pharmacist to become directly involved with the nursing staff and also the patient.

The near future holds computerized Patient Care Pharmacy Programs with instant retrieval of patient profile information, drug and IV incompatibility data along with administrative record material.

New medications create the continual need for in-service education. The future inclusion of the pharmacist as a member of the health care team will make use of his/her expertise concerning medication therapy and enable him/her to monitor patient responses.

The pharmacist's role will include responsibility for medication monitoring, in-service education to nursing and medical staff, and patient counseling programs. An initial step in the expanding role of the pharmacist has been the utilization of pharmacy technicians. Another step will be the introduction of the clinical or patient care pharmacist to St. Mary's Hospital. The ultimate goal of such expansion is to provide improved patient care and needed service to the health care team.

Continue with Chapter III: Contemporary St. Mary's Facing the Future

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