2018 Volume 44 Issue 4 Pages 180-186
Pharmacists working in the community must be able to accurately triage customers who present with a medical complaint or request advice. In Japan, one of the problems in pediatric emergency medical care is that parents expect an immediate consultation regardless of time or place. Accurate pharmacist triage is expected to help meet the need for these consultations. The aim of this study was to assess pharmacists’ triage of pediatric emergency patients and the educational needs among community pharmacists working in pharmacies and drugstores. An anonymous questionnaire survey was conducted with 1273 pharmacists employed by Cocokara fine Inc., and 238 responses were received. Only 33.2％ of the respondents had heard of pharmacist triage and only 43.7％ reported triage experience with pediatric emergency patients. When asked about their anxiety levels at the time of pediatric triage, 74.0％ of pharmacists responded “I was sometimes anxious” and 10.6％ responded “I was always worried”. When pharmacists who had no triage experience in pediatric emergency cases were asked how they would feel if they encountered such a case, 93.3％ responded “I think I would be anxious”. A large number of respondents (89.5％) indicated a willingness to attend triage training sessions or workshops. The survey results indicate that almost all community pharmacists working for pharmacies and drugstores lack both awareness and experience of triage for pediatric emergency patients. Appropriate education is required for them to develop the necessary skills for pharmacist triage in pediatric emergency cases.