Attitudes of Emergency Department Staff towards the Role of Clinical Pharmacists in a Region of Saudi Arabia - A Pilot Study

  • TM Khan
  • CM Shahzad
  • MKK Ahmed
  • S Azhar
Keywords: Clinical pharmacist, Medical staff, Emergency department, Direct patient care, Saudi Arabia

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of medical doctors and nurses in the Emergency Department ED towards the role of clinical pharmacists.
Methods: A pilot study was conducted among the medical and paramedical staff of the ED of Public Hospital, Eastern Region, Saudi Arabia, Al-Ahsa, using a 24-item questionnaire on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D) program as well as clinical pharmacist and medical staff attitudes toward the availability and possible role of clinical pharmacist in EDs. The data analysed statistically.
Results: Sixteen of the 20 respondents expressed a willingness to participate in the study. Six (37.5 %) of the respondents were doctors while the rest were nursing staff. Ten (62.5 %) of the ED staff were aware of the professional degree held by clinical pharmacists (i.e., Pharm-D), and a majority, 12 (75.0 %) had heard of a health care professional called a clinical pharmacist. While exploring medical staff attitude toward the availability of a full-time pharmacist in EDs, 13 (81.3 %) of the respondents viewed this favorably while that regarding the role of pharmacists in drug adherence and patient care was viewed less favorably. Fourteen (87.5%) disagreed with giving prescription rights to clinical pharmacists for minor ailments.
Conclusion: These findings highlight the need to enhance the interaction between the medical and paramedical staff on the one hand, and the clinical pharmacist on the other. Clinical pharmacists need to be given an opportunity to prove their capabilities in direct patient care in order to facilitate the full participation of future Pharm-D graduates in direct patient care in the Saudi health care system.
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eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996