What is your role at St. Al’s?
I am one of the Saint Alphonsous Medical Group’s Ambulatory Care Clinical Pharmacists. I work within the SAMG 12th Ave Family Medicine clinic in Nampa, ID. I assist patients, caregivers, staff and providers with medication inquiries, reconciliation and/or access. With a Collaborative Practice Agreement in place, I also have the ability to create patient care plans, start/discontinue/change medications, and order lab work in collaboration with the patients’ primary care providers. I also provide transitions of care counseling for patients who are being discharged home.
How do you work with caregivers?
Working in a family medicine clinic allows for multiple opportunities to work with patients and their families either in person or through telephone encounters. During our conversations, the needs of the caregiver can some times be overlooked especially if the patient has multiple comorbidities requiring intense management. Ascertaining the needs of the caregiver involves intentionally having that conversation with them. For example, asking “How are YOU doing during this challenging time?”
Why do you refer caregivers to the Family Caregiver Navigator program?
I refer providers and/or caregivers to the FCN because all members of a care team need to feel heard. Understanding that the patient AND caregiver are influential members of a health care team for patient goal attainment is crucial. If the caregiver is not healthy physically and/or mentally, it is challenging to care for someone else with the same vigor, love and compassion. They need to know that it is okay to have those feelings and there are people and resources available to help them remain resilient while also expressing their concerns in a safe space.