Celebrating National Pharmacist Day with a Belle Fourche pharmacist

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Saturday is National Pharmacist Day, a time to recognize and honor all pharmacists across the nation.

We spent the day with a Belle Fourche pharmacist to learn the ins and outs of her job.

Cheryl Westland is a pharmacist at Lynn's Dakotamart Pharmacy in Belle Fourche.

Cheryl's been a pharmacist for four and a half years now, but she didn't always have her eyes on this career.

Cheryl Westland says, "As a kid I always wanted to be a vet. Growing up on a ranch I think that's what all kids want to do. I got to spend a day with my pharmacist in my hometown and I really enjoyed it and I decided I wanted to go that route."

Katrina Lim says, "Counting pills is a small part of Cheryl's job, and she has many other duties as well."

A big part of Cheryl's day involves consulting patients about their medications.

Cheryl Westland says, "I spend a lot of time with insurance companies, helping get the medications approved. We spend a lot of time talking to doctors and nurses on the phone, watching for medication errors, and things like medications that interact and shouldn't be taken together."

Cheryl says the hardest part of her job is telling someone their insurance company won't cover the cost of a medication, making customers unable to afford the treatment, but the friendly faces she sees on a daily basis make the job worthwhile.

Cheryl Westland says, "I enjoy my customers and my patients. I enjoy getting to see them on a regular basis. I enjoy helping them out. They come in not only to fill their monthly medications. They come in and I help them if they're sick or not feeling well with over the counter medications, helping them get vitamins, things of that nature."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there were more than 300,000 pharmacists in the U.S. in 2016.

Cheryl encourages everyone to get to know their pharmacist and use them as a resource.