Meet Amber Ruben
Pharmacist, Misericordia Community Hospital
April 12, 2023
Despite the daily hustle and bustle, pharmacist Amber Ruben feels a sense of community at Covenant Health’s Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton.
“The Misericordia is really close-knit overall,” says Amber. “I recognize so many faces and know so many names of all the staff here, so it really feels like its own community.
I don’t think you get that everywhere, especially at some of the larger sites within the city.”
Having spent her entire 17-year career in pharmacy at the Misericordia, Amber has practiced in a variety of different areas. However, she has spent most of her time with the medicine unit, the intensive care unit (ICU) and the geriatric program (GAU).
She values the diversity of practice she gets in her current areas of focus. “Right now, I’m with the GAU and ICU, and those units hold a special place in my heart,” says Amber. “It gives me a lot of diversity in the work that I do because geriatrics is quite a different population from those who are critically ill.
“I see a lot of different patients and families with very different needs, which is interesting.”
Amber says teamwork is an important aspect of her daily work. “In the ICU, for example, we do bedside rounds that would include the physician, nurse practitioner, bedside nurse, charge nurse, respiratory therapist, registered dietician and the pharmacist. We hear a head-to-toe assessment of the patient from the bedside nurse and make clinical decisions as a team.”
Although she isn’t quite sure where it stems from, Amber sees a recurring theme of compassionate care at the site.
“I don’t know if it’s because of Covenant’s mission of compassion or because we’re a smaller, tight-knit site, but I do find that we are very compassionate to patients and families.”
Communicating with patients and seeing the results of her work provide Amber with a great degree of satisfaction.
“I enjoy when I sit down and have discussions with patients and feel like the interventions I’ve made have helped them move forward with their health and wellness in a positive way,” she says. “It's really satisfying.”
Amber offers advice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy.
“It’s really important to know that medicine is not black and white; there’s a lot of grey,” she says. “Each person, their situation and their needs are different. And so you need to be able to navigate all the evidence that you have from the science world but also be willing to work with patients specifically towards their own goals and what they're comfortable with.”
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