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Regional Pharmacist Manager - NSW
For Richard Sam, there’s so much more to medications management than medicines themselves.
Richard, who is NSW Regional Manager at Ward MM, says engaging face-to-face can provide a different kind of lifeline for aged care residents doing it tough.
‘There was one woman I would provide care for who had a background of depression, and one day she opened up completely for the first time as a resident, sharing how her husband had passed away “early on” and her sons lived remotely and could rarely visit.
‘It was gut-wrenching in the moment but she was thankful for the opportunity to share her story as we, her care team, realised she hadn’t felt comfortable to speak honestly until that point. This was the moment that felt right for her – she was incredibly grateful, and I was honoured.’
Richard says for aged care residents across Australia, breakthroughs of many kinds can be life-changing.
‘When you identify something related to medication that isn’t working, you know you have the chance to make recommendations that could improve that person’s quality of life.
‘This is incredibly powerful and comes with a great sense of responsibility, which is shared by your care partners at the facility and the treating GP – we truly work as a team with the resident and their needs at the centre.’
Richard visits 16 facilities, primarily in Sydney, and four regional facilities about every six weeks.
‘This sees me deliver Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMRs), support facilities to train and educate their nursing staff in the Quality Use of Medicines through comprehensive audits, and participate in Medication Advisory Committee meetings to ensure facilities identify and mitigate any medication-related risks.
‘Even though we’re largely operating by ourselves on the ground, I’m amazed at how everyone at Ward MM is so quick to support one another. We definitely feel like we’re part of something much larger that is incredibly worthwhile and it’s a privilege to be a part of it.
‘Day to day, there are many variables that keep things really interesting – travel to beautiful locations, and I’ll treat residents to an impromptu concert or two when I find a piano!
‘It’s so much more than work, it’s about forging human connection and sharing in little moments of happiness along the way.’Go Back