Our volunteer pharmacist Roly started at Fresh Start 8 years ago after a friend mentioned there was a need for a qualified pharmacist at the clinic.
A usual day for Roly starts with checking the medication charts and preparing Webster-paks of medications prescribed by the Fresh Start doctors. Patients can take up to 6 different medications several times a day and it takes a while to check, prepare, enter into the system and deliver packs to staff to enable them to supervise each resident to take their medication.
Roly is technically retired but enjoys the work and believes the patients are getting the help they need.
“The beauty of working at Fresh Start is that everyone works together so well. If there’s a query with the medication, I can go directly to the doctor and discuss it. We primarily treat addiction so I mostly dispense anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and medication that blocks the effects of illicit drugs on the brain.
“Most patients are motivated and trying hard to recover. I have seen a lot of troubled souls over the years. Addiction affects both physical and mental health and many people have had difficult lives so it is a very hard journey for them “ he said.
Even as volunteers, pharmacists have to be registered. Roly re-registered just last week.
“I chose to re-register for 5 years so I will be at Fresh Start for a good while yet” he said.
We are very grateful to Roly for his professional services despite having to work in what can only be described as a cupboard. We are still seeking donations to support the Subiaco clinic refurbishment which will commence in the new year and we hope to offer Roly a much more spacious work area!