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Promoting the role of pharmacists in the interprofessional care team


March is pharmacy appreciation month
Rebecca and Brysha are just two of our awesome pharmacy staff we're celebrating this month!

March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month, and we’re celebrating the pharmacists, technicians, assistants, and administrative staff who work in this area across our Northern Health region. Pharmacy professionals are integral members of the interprofessional care team. Allow us to introduce you to a couple of Northern Health’s finest and their contributions to the pharmacy field in Northwest BC!

Rebecca Arsenault – clinical pharmacist, Mills Memorial Hospital

Rebecca grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick and graduated from the pharmacy program at Dalhousie University in 2006. After graduation, she felt that she needed a new life adventure and moved to Terrace with her husband to work as a community pharmacist. After four years, she transitioned to hospital practice at Mills Memorial Hospital.

As a hospital pharmacist, she's been able to experience both dispensary and clinical-focused roles.

“When I started here, the manager had been here for years and was the sole pharmacist on site,” says Rebecca. “Only the pharmacy technicians were handling the day-to-day, and then I tagged along.”

For the past year, she has enjoyed being a member of the multidisciplinary ICU team, where she attends daily morning rounds.

“The hospital has continued to get busier over the years, and this shift from dispensary to starting clinical work has been a rewarding learning curve,” she says. “Especially the relationship development with healthcare staff outside of the dispensary; it has been more of a clinical and team approach to patient care, and that's the part I love most about my job.”

She can balance this with problem-solving any concerns that arise in the dispensary, monitoring new admissions, and answering any drug information questions from other areas of practice.

Outside of work, you can find Rebecca spending time with her husband, their dogs, and the many animals who live on their hobby farm, including horses, sheep, and chickens. You can also find her gardening and running.

“I love the beauty of Terrace,” she says.

Brysha Renfree – pharmacy technician, Prince Rupert Regional Hospital

Brysha was born and raised in Prince Rupert and now works as a pharmacy technician at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital (PRRH). She started her career as a pharmacy assistant and gained registration in December 2022, recently hitting her one-year milestone as a pharmacy technician and her six-month anniversary with Northern Health.

“I love hospital pharmacy because I'm working in my full scope of practice as a pharmacy technician, which includes sterile compounding, which I find more rewarding,” she says.

Brysha is also enthusiastic about the future implementation of physician order entry across Northern Health, which will allow expanded roles for pharmacy technicians.

“I am so excited to transition to a more clinical role and being involved with things like Best Possible Medication History (BPMH) reconciliation on the ward. I love working directly with my patients,” she says.

Rural hospital practice can look very different from that in an urban centre, but Brysha enjoys the problem-solving that’s involved.

“Working in a rural community keeps you on your toes but this can make it more rewarding when we make something work with limited resources. Haida Gwaii is a satellite pharmacy, and collaborating with the team there and reaching out to communities that don’t otherwise have a lot of support is another unique part of our role,” she explains.

Brysha has a deep appreciation for her pharmacy colleagues in the department at PRRH, adding to her enthusiasm as a pharmacy technician with Northern Health.

In Prince Rupert, she spends much of her spare time with family, which includes her husband, 11-year-old daughter, and 8-year-old son. They hike as much as they can, and go adventuring on road trips throughout the Northwest. She is also involved with local theatre, participating in improv, and was recently a part of the local Mamma Mia musical.