Highlighting our trusted medication experts: March marks Pharmacist Awareness Month

With over 24 years of experience working in the Pharmacy Department at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, pharmacist Alain Desroches has seen the impacts of advances in drug therapy firsthand. “I remember when I first started working in the Hematology-Oncology Department, the pharmacy activities we had were limited to one very small room that was previously used for examinations. Today, things have changed. We’re part of a very big department and we have access to highly developed and specialized tools and appropriate work spaces.”

Alain currently works in the central pharmacy located in the ground-floor atrium of the Glen site. His role is to fill and check prescriptions that will be sent to inpatient floors and outpatient clinics to be administered to patients, and to liaise with clinicians when there are questions about a given prescription or medication dose. Given the vast fluctuation in each pediatric patient’s weight and height, accuracy and attention to detail is key. “We see patients who range from newborns to teens who are 18 years old and can be given adult doses of medications. We therefore need to pay particular attention to how medication is administered and ensure that we have all the information we need.”

Thanks to his wealth of experience working in various hospital departments over the course of his career, Alain says his relationships with hospital staff members brings a richness to his job that he thrives on. “Because I know many of the physicians and nurses on some of the floors, I can easily collaborate with them to find solutions to sometimes complex problems. I take it upon myself sometimes to fix technical problems or system issues to help improve work flows and make this easier. It’s something I really enjoy doing.”

But what makes his job the most rewarding, says Alain, is the combination of being able to learn from his fellow pharmacists as well as other health professionals and to come in to work every day and contribute to something concrete. “I like the challenge associated with the fact that my day starts even before I get to work, with prescriptions coming in overnight. I feel really satisfied when I’m able to help ensure we safely deliver everything that’s needed in the time frame expected.”

Join us in thanking our team of dedicated hospital pharmacists for the expert care and counsel they provide, day in and day out.