There are many courses available to prescribers that can help them improve their knowledge of minor ailments (also known as minor illnesses). This applies to community pharmacists and those in primary care. It also includes advanced nurse practitioners and allied healthcare professionals.
These courses are often aimed at those who prescribe medicines for patients and work in general practice, but could also be valuable to those working in other settings such as hospitals or community pharmacies. These courses cover a wide range of topics including managing coughs and colds, diagnosing chest infections, prescribing treatments for skin-related ailments, recognizing the symptoms of depression and more!
These courses can be a great way for prescribers to brush up on their knowledge of minor ailments and learn about new treatments and management strategies. They can also be a useful networking opportunity, allowing prescribers to meet other healthcare professionals with similar interests.
What are pharmacist prescribers?
Pharmacist prescribers are pharmacists who have undergone special training that allows them to prescribe medicines to patients. This is a great development, as it means that pharmacists can now help to manage minor ailments and improve patient care.
The training program is rigorous, and pharmacists must have a good knowledge of both medicines and patients in order to be successful. However, the benefits of having pharmacist prescribers are clear. They can provide an important service to patients, and their expertise can help to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.
There are many courses available to prescribers that can help them improve their knowledge of minor ailments / minor illnesses.
What training will you receive during a minor ailments course for prescribers?
During your course, you should receive training in the following areas; (1) taking a clinical history, and undertaking a physical examination; (2) the importance of documentation and record-keeping and (3) how to practise evidence-based medicine.
Why will I receive training in history taking and clinical examination skills?
Pharmacist prescribers need to be able to properly understand the patient’s complaints and conduct a physical examination of the patient in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
History taking allows the practitioner to gain important information about the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle habits that may be contributing to their current condition. The clinical examination helps the practitioner to identify any physical signs or symptoms that may be indicative of a particular ailment. Together, these skills are essential for making an accurate diagnosis and providing patients with appropriate treatment.
What is evidence-based medicine?
Evidence-based medicine is a principle that is at the heart of modern health care. It’s based on the idea that decisions about the best treatment for a patient should be made by considering the available scientific evidence and what is known about potential benefits, harms, and costs. Essentially, evidence-based medicine requires practitioners to base their decision on knowledge rather than tradition or opinion.
The advantages of evidence-based medicine are clear. By basing decisions on scientific evidence, practitioners can be sure that they are providing patients with the best possible care. In addition, evidence-based medicine helps to ensure that treatments are safe and effective and that resources are used effectively.
Why is recording keeping and documentation important as a prescribing pharmacist?
Recording keeping and documentation are important for a number of reasons. First, accurate records help to ensure that pharmacists are providing the best possible care to their patients. By having up-to-date information on a patient’s medical history, pharmacists can avoid potential drug interactions and ensure that treatments are effective. Good record keeping also allows pharmacists to track the progress of a patient’s condition and identify any potential problems early on.
Second, accurate documentation is essential for liability purposes. In the event that something goes wrong with a patient’s medication regime, well-kept records can help to absolve the pharmacist of responsibility. In addition, good documentation can be useful in the event of a lawsuit or insurance claim.
Finally, recording keeping and documentation are simply good business practices. In today’s competitive market, patients have a number of choices when it comes to their healthcare. By providing accurate and up-to-date records, pharmacists can show that they are committed to providing quality care. This commitment is likely to win the trust and loyalty of patients, which can translate into repeat business.
In summary, recording keeping and documentation are important for a number of reasons. They help to ensure that pharmacists are providing the best possible care to their patients, and they protect pharmacists from liability in the event something goes wrong. Finally, recording keeping and documentation are simply good business practices that can help to attract and retain customers.
In addition to the above, upon completion of your course, you should be able to recognise the following common presentations;
- Upper & lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, colds & flu, cough, sore throat, fever, nosebleeds, acute otitis media, acute otitis externa and more
- Skin infections, rashes, wounds, bites and stings, lesions, parasites, allergies etc
- Abdominal complaints such as; pain, diarrhoea and vomiting, indigestion, constipation and plenty more
What minor illnesses should a pharmacist prescriber be able to treat?
There are many minor illnesses that can be treated by prescribers. These illnesses include the common cold, bronchitis, and urinary tract infections. Prescribers can provide medication to help relieve symptoms and speed up the healing process.
Below is a list of common conditions a prescribing pharmacist should be able to treat with appropriate training:
- The common cold; a viral infection of the nose and throat. Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat. Most people recover from a cold within a week or two without treatment. However, prescription medication can help to relieve symptoms.
- Bronchitis; inflammation of the airways that leads to coughing and difficulty breathing. Bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection, but it can also be caused by bacteria or other irritants.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs); are a common type of infection that can occur in the bladder, kidneys, or urethra. Symptoms of a UTI include a burning sensation when urinating, cloudy urine, and strong-smelling urine. Antibiotics are typically prescribed to treat UTIs.
What is the difference between minor illnesses and chronic conditions?
There are certain conditions that a pharmacist needs to be specially trained in order to treat. This includes chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. In most cases, these drugs will only be prescribed by a prescriber with the proper training. For example, pharmacists who have completed advanced clinical practice (ACP) training similar to an advanced nurse practitioner in primary care are able to prescribe for a wide range of chronic conditions.
While most pharmacists are able to treat minor illnesses, chronic conditions require specialised knowledge and training. This is because chronic conditions are long-term illnesses that can require complex treatment plans. In some cases, chronic conditions can be managed with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication. However, in other cases, prescription medication may be necessary. Therefore, it is important for pharmacists to be aware of the different treatment options available.
Once a pharmacist has completed further training, gained clinical skills, has an independent prescribing qualification and understands the importance of continuing professional development; they will be able to prescribe for a wide range of chronic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
Who is the course suitable minor illness course for?
This is a course, which is delivered by clinical experts who have up to date working knowledge and skills. The training will progress candidates towards a safe standard for practice in the management of adults with a minor illness. Attendees will then be ready to gain competency when returning to their place of work.
Aimed at pharmacists, advanced practitioners, independent prescribing pharmacists, community pharmacists, nurses and non-medical prescribers working in walk-in centres, urgent care centres, minor injury units, primary care, general practice, schools and accident & emergency.
The course will also appeal to allied professionals.
How much does a minor illness course cost?
The cost of a minor illness course can vary depending on the provider. It is important to find a course that fits your budget and has the skills you need to offer a minor illness treatment in your area of expertise. Clinical experts who have up to date working knowledge and skills should deliver the course, so you know you are prepared when you return back to work.
To get an idea of how much a minor illness course might cost, we’ve compiled some average prices below:
- A one-day course from a provider could cost around £85+VAT per person.
- A two-day course could cost around £180+VAT per person.
- A three-day course could cost around £360+VAT per person.
These are just some examples of providers and pricing, so be sure to shop around to find the best deal for you. Also keep in mind that some courses may offer discounts for group bookings, so it’s worth enquiring about this when you’re searching for a course.
Benefits of training in minor illnesses and improving access to healthcare services
As minor illnesses can be misdiagnosed, training in how to correctly diagnose and treat them can be beneficial for both patients and healthcare professionals. Pharmacists play a vital role in the healthcare system and are often the first point of contact for patients seeking advice or treatment for minor ailments. By undertaking training in minor illnesses, pharmacists can improve their knowledge and skills in this area. This, in turn, can lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced pressure on the healthcare system.
There are many benefits of training in minor illnesses for pharmacists, some of which are outlined below:
- Improved patient outcomes: By accurately diagnosing and treating minor illnesses, patients can avoid developing chronic conditions. This can lead to improved patient outcomes and a reduction in the burden on the healthcare system.
- Enhanced skills and knowledge: Training in minor illnesses can help pharmacists to develop their skills and knowledge in this area. This can be beneficial for both patients and pharmacists, as it can improve the quality of care that is provided.
- Improved access to healthcare services: When pharmacists have the skills and knowledge necessary to accurately diagnose and treat minor illnesses, patients can receive the care they need in a timely manner. This can help to reduce pressure on the healthcare system and improve patient outcomes.
From the above, it is evident that training in minor illnesses can be beneficial for both patients and pharmacists and the healthcare system as a whole.