oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - An overview of the time needed to render critical ward services in a neonatal intensive care unit : documenting the activities of a clinical pharmacist : original research

Volume 78, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



This study describes the documented activities and the time it took to perform the activities of a clinical pharmacist, based in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) over a period of nine months. The study further compares the activities performed by the clinical pharmacist with the needs assessment for a pharmacist in the NICU conducted by the other members of the health care team, the doctors and nurses. The need for a clinical pharmacist in the NICU was assessed before the clinical pharmacist commenced duties, and then nine months after initiation of the study. Both doctors and nurses confirmed the need for the pharmacist in the unit and identified specific areas of assistance. The functions performed by the pharmacist included patient care, ward functions, meetings and ward rounds. Most time was spent on patient care (73%), with 15 % of the allocated time being spent on ward functions. Nine and three per cent of the time was spent on attending ward rounds and meetings, respectively. The results of the study indicate that the need for and role of the pharmacist in an NICU is not an option but rather a necessity, as identified by doctors and nursing sisters, and should be used to further improve the services rendered to the NICU.

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