We can 3D print body parts, we can sequence the human genome, transplant faces, and vaccinate against a myriad of diseases – but we can’t figure out how to cure the pesky common cold.
But oh, do we want to. Being honest, the common cold is typically not a serious diagnosis for most people. That’s why it’s common. But that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. Runny nose, scratchy throats, headaches, coughing, and terrible drowsiness – who wants that? No one (hopefully).
Yet, that’s what we all get. And we get it all the time! The average adult gets a cold 2- 3 times a year, according to the CDC.
And while most people know the common cold is not super serious, they will be looking for relief. Will they be scheduling an appointment with their doctors? Not likely. They want relief, and they want it fast! Chances are, they’re coming to the community pharmacist for help!
All of your patients are likely to come down with a cold at some point or another – even if they seem healthy, remind them that you can help when the time comes. And if they are already sick, them coming into your pharmacy is a great opportunity to further build your patient relationships.
As a health professional, you probably already know all the things to tell your patients and community members when they are looking to feel better. Remind them of all the things they can do to fight the cold, and prevent it in the future – but also remind them why they came to you in the first place! Because you’re the expert!
A patient buying an over the counter medication is an opportunity to speak with them about their medication regimen (Will these interact with the medications you’re currently taking?). A community member stopping by for some hand sanitizer might learn about your medication delivery program. Every time a patient walks in the door is an opportunity for your pharmacy to increase your business and improve your customer service.
So even though the cold is a terrible inconvenience for all of us, it may just have a silver lining for your pharmacy.