Your pharmacist is part of your healthcare team.

There are more than 322,000 pharmacists in the United States. In addition to dispensing medications, these trained medical professionals play an important role as part of your healthcare team. 

by Nashville General Hospital
Jeff Hardwick, PharmD at The Community Pharmacy at NGH

Pharmacists are a bridge between you and the provider who wrote the prescription. 

These highly-skilled, licensed medicine experts are trained to understand how drugs work including side effects, interactions with other medications, and effectiveness – both long-term and short-term. Your pharmacist can help you achieve the best possible outcome from your medications. 

“When you pick up a prescription, discuss any questions you have about the medication with the pharmacist,” says Nashville General Pharmacist, Jeff Hardwick, PharmD. “We want to be sure you take the medicine properly and understand how to incorporate it into your daily routine.”

Questions to ask your pharmacist when you pick up your prescription:

  • What is this medicine supposed to do?
  • How and when should I take this medicine?
  • What should I do if I forget to take it?
  • What side effects can happen? When should I call my doctor if side effects happen?
  • Should I avoid any activities while taking this medicine, such as driving?
  • Should I avoid certain foods while taking this medicine?
  • Can I take this if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Is there a less expensive generic alternative?

“Your pharmacist can also help you choose and understand over-the-counter medications. These are medications you can buy without a prescription,” says Hardwick.

Questions to ask your pharmacist when choosing over-the-counter medications:

  • What medicine should I get to treat my symptoms?
  • How and when should I take this medicine?
  • Can I take this with my prescription medicines?
  • What side effects can happen?

In addition to helping with your medications, pharmacists also give immunizations, conduct health screenings and can review your medicines to help you organize them and take them correctly. 

Click to learn more about how the pharmacists at Nashville General Hospital serve you by watching this Wellness Wednesday presentation

Click here to find a neighborhood pharmacy.



Bureau of Labor Statistics

Federal Drug Administration

Nashville General Foundation