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My first job in high school was working at a pharmacy. I stocked shelves, cleaned commodes, filled the furnace with water (which I forgot about, needing to turn it off, then forgot to turn it back on) and waited on customers. One thing I learned about pharmacies is that for many, pharmacies represent the first stop (and sometimes only stop) for medical advice. So a pharmacist is not simply someone who counts pills or measures doses, a pharmacist is one who provides care and concern for those who seek advice about their health.
This advice and help was not limited to prescriptions. Pharmacists offered advice on over the counter medications, pain relief, and more. In the small town where I grew up, these services were quite valuable and important. If I was helping in the back (where the pharmacy was) I encountered more people who were sick. They needed more concern. Some needed care when they learned the price of the drug they needed.
I mention this story because it can be easy to forget that whether they staff a local pharmacy or are involved in significant research, the role of a pharmacist is one of service. The same is true for those women and men who are health care professionals. Even though they too often deal with people at their worst due to illness, at the same time the ones who stand out are those who are kind and gracious during these times. The work of pharmacists in keeping us safe, the care provided by other healthcare workers can be such a reflection of God’s loving care for us. As we continue to pray this Rosary Marathon, let us pray for all pharmacists and healthcare personnel.
Today’s Intention: For all pharmacists and healthcare personnel.