Open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm | Phone 250.585.1980

Pharmacist & Owner

Deryn Edgett

Hello, I'm Deryn Edgett, a pharmacist and the proud owner of Pinnacle Pharmacy. I have found my calling providing compassionate and personalized care to each individual who walks through our doors. I hope this Q&A helps get to the heart of what drives me to make a positive difference in the lives of my patients and community.

Q&A with Deryn

What motivated you to pursue a career in pharmacy?

After graduating from high school, I pursued a BSc degree in Psychology from UVic. I took a course on "Drugs and Behavior," which outlined the effects of natural substances like caffeine, as well as prescription and illicit drugs, on brain chemistry and how that translates into changes in the body and mind. I was absolutely fascinated by the science of it all (and still am!).

After graduating from UVic, I realized I did not want to pursue a career solely in psychology, but instead in the whole body and wellness. Pharmacy was just the perfect fit!

What are some of your proudest moments in healthcare?

It's a tough call – luckily, I have many stories and shared successes with my patients throughout my career. I believe one of my proudest moments was several years ago while conducting a medication review with a patient at a busy pharmacy where I was working. This patient had been labelled as a bit of a “difficult customer” because she always complained about having adverse reactions to almost every new medication she tried. She requested a medication review due to ongoing GI issues.

While discussing her case, I noticed that she couldn't tolerate the 75mcg tablet of a certain medication, so she needed to take 1.5 tablets of the 50mcg tablet to achieve the same dose without experiencing side effects. The 75mcg tablet is purple, while the 50mcg tablet is white. Upon further investigation of all the noted “intolerances” she had on file, I realized that they were all related to coloured tablets.

I suggested we change all of her medications to white, non-dyed tablets, and her GI symptoms cleared almost immediately. Turns out, she was sensitive to the dyes, not the medications.

This was something that happened early in my career, and it really taught me to listen well to my patients. Sometimes, the simplest little anecdote could be the piece of the puzzle you need to complete the picture.

What qualities do you bring as the owner of Pinnacle?

I am a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), which means I have extensive experience in assisting individuals in managing their diabetes through lifestyle adjustments and medications. I can provide guidance on interpreting blood glucose readings and adjusting insulin doses.

For those unable to handle this independently, I work with a fantastic team of nurses who can make daily visits, collect essential data, and share it with me so that I can offer daily guidance. This helps reduce the stress on patients associated with calculating doses, etc. Let me take care of the thinking for you!

What values influence your work?

Compassion, kindness, and patience.

Everyone has a story, everyone has value, and everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. You are more than just a prescription: YOU matter to me as a person. I care! Sure, sometimes that means I have to work late to get the rest of my tasks done, but if I can go home feeling like I've made a difference for someone, then I go home happy.

What challenges do you face as a pharmacist? How do you overcome them?

I've encountered my fair share of irate folks at the pharmacy counter during my career, and have been subjected to verbal abuse more than once. I have developed strategies to defuse these situations by understanding the motives behind their behaviour and finding solutions to address them.

In most cases, there is an underlying cause for these actions, and these folks are simply seeking acknowledgement and understanding.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

I live for my kids and family time. When I'm not at work we love to do day trips to different beaches or parks. We also love fishing and camping in the summer.

My husband and I also enjoy squash and tennis, and we are introducing this to our kids now, too.

We also recently got a puppy, so he has been a joyful addition to our family!

What do you find most rewarding about being a pharmacist and business owner?

Hands down, the customers/patients.

I love my regulars like they were my own family. I love hearing about their lives, their families, their personal wins (and I grieve with them in their losses). My life is more full and enriched because of them.

What is your educational and professional background?

I hold a BSc in Psychology and a BSc in Pharmacy.

I started as a staff pharmacist at a corporate grocery store pharmacy, but I felt like my clinical knowledge wasn't being utilized enough.

Then, I moved to an independent pharmacy focusing mostly on long-term care and facility pharmacy. This position was highly clinical, but lacked personal customer connection.

Eventually, I became the manager of that pharmacy and created a balance between facility/clinical work and community pharmacy. It was through this experience that I realized my true passion lies in building one-on-one relationship with people. This realization led me to start my own pharmacy in Nanaimo, my hometown.

What message do you hope readers will take away from your bio?

I hope that readers recognize my dedication, my "care factor". I genuinely love my profession, and am enthusiastic about the ways in which pharmacists can influence and enhance patients' lives.

How Can We Help?

Thanks for taking the time to meet Deryn Edgett, Pharmacist & Owner.

If you are in Nanaimo and wish to benefit from a greater level of involvement from your healthcare team, we would love to hear from you.

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