This year we have seen a dramatic increase in flu cases in the NT. Thanks to Pharmacy Guild’s National Immunisation Course, some 40 additional pharmacists are able to prescribe and administer vaccinations for Influenza, Diphtheria Tetanus and Pertussis, and Measles Mumps and Rubella to adults aged 16 years or older from approved community pharmacies.
The National Immunisation Course was facilitated by NT Branch pharmacist, Helen Bowden, and Undergraduate Nursing Course Coordinator and Lecturer in Nursing, Nicole Norman. Pharmacists completed ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) training, along with a CPR and First Aid course. The Course also included a series of e-Learning modules to be completed online.
This year, two courses were held in Darwin and one in Alice Springs. Last weekend, the final group from Darwin, Palmerston and Katherine attended training at CDU, bringing the total successfully up-skilled community pharmacists in 2019 to nearly 40.
Pharmacy Guild Branch Director Judith Oliver said, “Pharmacists have always understood the pharmacology of vaccines, and been a critical part of the supply process. However the actual administration of the vaccine to a consumer is still relatively new to the pharmacists’ scope of practice.
“The skills and experience of CDU’s nurse immunisers have been very reassuring for community pharmacists and the feedback that we have received has been very positive.”
Lecturer in Nursing, Ms Norman said, “The course is delivered in a multi-disciplinary environment – we are all one big team trying to meet immunisation rates to reduce communicable diseases.
“By the end of the course, all the pharmacists are able to correctly administer intra-muscular and subcutaneous injections, including all consents, hand hygiene, safe handling of sharps, as well as being able to identify and treat any possible side effects.
“They are excited to be able to go back to their pharmacies and help their communities.”
Amcal+ Casuarina pharmacist, Adrian Marshall, said, “Our flu vaccination service is proving to be very popular. With pharmacies open after hours and on weekends, it is very easy and convenient for anyone to get their flu vaccination without the need for a prescription.”