1. Why did you become a pharmacist?
I decided to become a pharmacist when I saw an interaction between my mentor, a pharmacist, and a patient during my grade 11 co-op placement in a pharmacy. This pharmacist had so much knowledge about the medication and was able to educate the patient, making them feel cared for and comfortable with taking the medication. It was that knowledge and ability to educate others that really inspired me to go down the path of becoming a pharmacist.
2. What is your day to day like as a pharmacist with TELUS Health? And at the pharmacy?
My day as a pharmacist with TELUS Health is quite untraditional. I manage a team of superb Client Service Managers who ensure an overall high satisfaction level, exceptional quality of service and positive relationships for our major clients. Once in a while I put on my Pharmacist hat to look into reported drug interactions and provide best practice insights and trends in the pharmacy world.
In the pharmacy, there are multiple tasks that keep me on my toes, including verifying prescriptions to ensure they are clinically appropriate, providing over the counter recommendations, offering prescription counselling, performing professional services such as vaccinations, MedsChecks, pharmaceutical opinions and, lastly, overseeing the pharmacy workflow to ensure it is operating smoothly.
3. What do you love about your profession?
One of the things I love about my profession is catching a drug therapy problem (DTP) and notifying the physician. It really brings me value and gives me the confidence that I am protecting my patients from harm. It wholeheartedly reminds me of the importance of a pharmacist and how patients are grateful and trust us when we show how much we care.
4. How has it been for pharmacists during Covid-19?
It has been challenging but rewarding. With the increased pressure pharmacists face by providing COVID vaccinations and rapid screening, and just overall being the most accessible front line health care worker, we are faced with the risk of burnout. However, I’ll never forget when a patient came to get their vaccine: they were so excited that they asked for a picture to be taken as I was administering the vaccine and they cried from relief of being able to get vaccinated. They wouldn’t stop thanking me and telling me how we are making a difference. It was a reminder that pharmacists are doing all they can to protect society and helping us fight through this, one vaccination at a time.
5. What does World Pharmacists Day mean to you?
To me, World Pharmacists Day is a day of celebration for pharmacists around the world. It means recognition internationally for a profession that for the most part tends to get overlooked. It really brings awareness and understanding to the public of what we do and our role in patient care.