Clinical pharmacists in hospitals are responsible for providing the expertise to facilitate appropriate drug selection, dosage calculations and education to physicians, hospital staff and patients about medications.

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians work closely with other members of the health-care team to provide high-quality patient care.

Pharmacists are required to have a minimum of a five-year bachelor of science degree or a six-year clinical doctorate and a specified number of hours of supervised pharmacy experience before taking the national licensure exam. Colorado requires pharmacists to acquire continuing education each year to remain current in the practice of pharmacy. Pharmacy technicians are paraprofessionals who provide support for pharmacists by assisting with dispensing and compounding duties.

The duties of the Southwest Memorial Hospital pharmacy staff include providing medications for each hospital department’s daily and emergency use, and stocking unit-dose carts with medication for each patient. The pharmacy inventory is closely monitored to ensure that adequate supplies are available and that no outdated medications remain in stock.

At the request of physicians, pharmacists use pharmacokinetic techniques to determine safe and effective dosages of medications with narrow therapeutic windows. Pharmacists also consult frequently with physicians to determine which antibiotic is most appropriate to prescribe for a specific infection, in order to minimize the evolution of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms. The Southwest Memorial Hospital pharmacists are certified to perform Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support.


In addition to their clinical duties, pharmacists provide continuing education to hospital staff, provide lectures on pharmacology for paramedic and nursing students in local programs, serve as instructors for Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and provide practical experience for pharmacy students from the University of Colorado.

Hours of Operation

The Southwest Memorial Hospital pharmacy is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Pharmacists are on call for emergencies 24/7/365. The Pharmacy is under the direction of Dave Mortensen, RPh and he can be reached at 970-564-2190.