Zaheen, Pharmacist | Staff Feature


Clinical Pharmacist and Informatics Specialist

Pharmacy Services> Clinical Pharmacist
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I first started my career in Pharmacy Services within the Lower Mainland many years ago as a casual pharmacist at Saint Mary’s Hospital in New Westminster. From there, I moved on to working at a provincial mental health centre, a government pharmacy servicing corrections, Pharmacare, Riverview Hospital, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, and on to my current position. Working within the field of mental health and addiction that has been humbling but most rewarding. What I love most about my career as a pharmacist working in the public sector is the diverse population I have been fortunate to serve.

Now, as a clinical pharmacist informatics specialist at the Red Fish Healing Centre in Burnaby, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam and Heartwood Centre for Women in Vancouver, I work closely with the pharmacy department at all three sites to support and optimize Clinical and System Transformation (CST) Cerner functionality [replacing paper charts and older systems], and other pharmacy-related applications. This involves liaising with staff, management, and many other teams supporting CST Cerner enterprise wide. I am fortunate to work with different teams, each with a different scope. Being a small department, the staff is familiar with one another and all add their own special talents, which I learn from every day.

Last October, we went live with CST Cerner at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital while the pharmacy team was going through a complete transition at the same time. Despite some challenges, everyone put in their best effort to make the transition as smooth as possible with a very successful outcome.

There are a variety of pharmacy-related work opportunities available across the health region, allowing for both personal and professional growth. I have been very fortunate to work in a department that supports professional growth with accessible on-going educational programs. The educational funding allows us to attend conferences where we can keep up with the latest information. There is also funding for staff appreciation which allows for celebrations for accomplishments with other team members. Last year I was also honoured to receive a long-service pin and had a mini celebration to acknowledge my years of service.

I would strongly encourage individuals who are passionate about the use of technology to optimize patient care to consider positions in the field of clinical informatics. Applying for temporary postings is an excellent opportunity to try out different workplaces and experiences to see if they are a good fit.

Living in Burnaby, one of the best features is how central the city is in relation to all the other places in the Lower Mainland. Within 20 minutes, I can be on the beaches downtown Vancouver, at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, or at work.

I feel blessed to live in beautiful British Columbia. Though I love travelling around the world to see different places and different cultures, I am always glad to be back home. There is something very spiritual about being outdoors that feeds the soul.”

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