Patient counselling-Theory

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Patient counseling- Theory Patient counseling, as the name implies, is simply advising the patient. It consists of a pharmacist advising a patient on how medicines are to be taken and how side effects, if they appear, are to be managed. This practice, as is clinical pharmacy practice, is not well-known in India. It is only in the last two decades, that the seeds of pharmacy practice were sown, first in south India, in JSS College of Pharmacy, Mysore and in JSS College of Pharmacy, Ooty. These colleges started pharmacy practice courses in collaboration with a hospital in Australia. So this heralded the practice of clinical pharmacy in India and patient counseling is an important part of pharmacy practice. Definition 1: Patient counseling is defined as supplying medication information orally or in writing to the patients or to their representatives, on the use of drugs, their side effects, and precautions in storage, diet requirements and life style modifications. Objectives of patient counseling: ? Patient compliance must increase. ? Patient must understand the need for the medication. ? Patient must get a confidence in the pharmacist's knowledge and reliability. If and when a need arises, patient must come back to the pharmacist. ? Patient must understand the strategies to deal with any side effects. ? Patient becomes an active participant in the treatment. ? Pharmacist must be seen as a professional. ? Adverse drug reactions and drug interactions must be prevented. Most important part of the entire exercise is that the pharmacist gives unbiased and authentic information in a most professional manner, with warmth and understanding. There are three stages in the patient counseling process; introduction, process (content, manner) and conclusion. Introduction: ? The pharmacist introduces himself and finds the name, age and medication information of the patient. ? The pharmacist explains the purpose of counseling and obtains information from the patient regarding any allergies, use of herbal medicines and any concerns the patient may have and patients understanding of the need for the therapy. Process: Content: ? The drug's generic name and brand name ? How the medicine helps the patient ? How the medicine will make the patient feel ? How long it takes to begin working ? How much should be taken at one time ? How often to take the medicine ? For how long to take the medicine ? When to take the medicine ? How to take it ? What to do if a dose is forgotten ? Foods or fruits or drinks or other drugs to be avoided while taking this medicine ? Restrictions on activities ? Most possible side effects ? How to deal with side effects ? When to report problems ? How long to wait before reporting no change ? Storage ? Expiration date ? Cost ? Refilling when necessary ? Necessity to complete the course ? Possible drug-drug or drug-food interactions ? Need for medication reminder chart Manner: ? Use of appropriate language which the patient understands ? Use of counseling aids, like charts and brochures ? Facts should be told in simple language in logical order Conclusion: ? Verify patient's understanding by feedback ? Emphasize key points ? Allow the patient to come forward with any concerns ? Help the patient to plan an action plan for follow up. Well, friends, when you look at the long lists under each sub heading, it looks rather frightening. But in reality it is not necessary that in each case we tell every point. The pharmacist has to deal with each situation as it appears, and to each patient he/she must tell the most necessary points. If a patient knows most of the points, as is the case with patients having chronic diseases, there is no need to repeat all the points. It is enough if we highlight the important points. In our coming blogs, we will develop the theoretical as well as the practical side of patient counseling much more and we will supply many more details. Reference: 1. Patient counselling, Ramesh Adepu, Proceedings of the National Seminar on Hospital and Clinical Pharmacy conducted by JSS College of Pharmacy, Mysore in October, 1999, pages, 36-38.

About the Author

Prof. J. Vijaya Ratna's picture

Dr. Vijaya Ratna Jayanthi serving Andhra University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences as Chairman, Pharmaceutical Technology Department.

Dr. J. Vijaya Ratna did her B.Pharm (1977), M.Pharm (1979), PGDAS (1981) and Ph.D (1998) at Andhra University Campus and won "M.L. Khorana Gold Medal" for standing University FIRST in graduation.


kranthi kumar's picture

Dear Mam, This is an awesome blog, this blog will definately provoke any pharmacist to do something to highlight our profession and also helps the youngs pharmacist like us to take courage and make correct steps in counseling patients.
Prof. J. Vijaya Ratna's picture

Dear Kranthi Patient counselling is to be done in a systematic and precise manner. It should be done with warmth. But it should be precise. Everytime you talk about , say oral iron, you must talk exactly the same words. We must be very clear, no chance for vague talking here. Vijaya Ratna
Niklesh Rao V's picture

Dear ma'am, The things you have told us about patient counselling is no doubt from personal experiences and that is most important than any information from books. That is why this information is so valuable. Thank you for sharing ma'am.

Regards, Niklesh Rao V

Sirisha Pingali's picture

madam, Your blog is very nice. What i believe is, the way we approach people and the way we speak with them is a sign of heeling if the patient is totally convinced in the discussion. This seems to be silly and simple for some but it has a great impact on the people especially the illiterates. Thank you for sharing this information.

Sirisha Pingali

Viswanadha Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Prof. J. Vijaya Ratna's picture

Sirisha Some people think it is silly but it has a lot of impact. We can feel it when we are talking to them. Vijaya Ratna
Santosh kumar. JH's picture

Ma'am, Infact, we experiencing it at KGH when we are counselling the diabetic patients.
Santosh kumar. JH's picture

Dear ma'am, This blog remembers me, your lecture on Patient Counselling in our 3.1 semester...
P.V.ABHIGNA's picture

Dear madam, Thats actually is what is missing in our active conversation between a patient and a pharmacist. but most of the people are unaware of the benefits behind such a conversation.This happens in many countries like the US where a pharmacist is treated equal to a doctor.This patient counseling shud be put into work. Regards,


V.B.S.Aishwarya's picture

Dear mam, You info is really beneficial to us.. these guidelines are must for a pharmacist Thank you for enlightening them. regards,






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