When a child comes into the emergency room at Children’s Medical Center, Eddie Mercado is part of the trauma team that is responsible for making sure that the right medications are administered to the child. Mercado is a pediatric emergency room clinical pharmacist, which is far different from your neighborhood drugstore pharmacist.

(Photo Courtesy of Eddie Mercado)

(Photo Courtesy of Eddie Mercado)

“I have to be ahead of the game,” said Mercado. “Everything from estimating a child’s weight to determine the right medications, the dosage and timing the administration of them to making sure that a patient is able to tolerate Tylenol falls under my duties.”

Through the organized chaos, Mercado works closely with doctors to ensure that specific medications are administered to the patient who might need a life-saving medication like Epinephrine.

“I have to be pro-active, not reactive,” said Mercado. “When you are reactive, you are behind and that’s not good. By the time a physician decides he needs medication for a patient, I already have to have the dose ready to be administered.”

Mercado was in college and wanted to be a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, but after realizing that it required 19 years worth of training, he decided to quit school to try to figure out what he was going to do.

Mercado worked at Minyard grocery store and later had a moving company and a water filtration business. He worked on and off for Minyard’s in virtually every department of the store except for the pharmacy. Then he decided he wanted to work in that department and landed a job as a pharmacy technician. He enjoyed it so much that he returned to school to become a pharmacist. Mercado holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy from Texas Tech.

“We are our own enemy. We set our own ceiling. I’m too old, I’m too tired, I don’t have enough money are all excuses we come up with. If you want it [the education], go get it. That is how we succeed. It is going to take work but nothing worth doing is easy.” Mercado said, in reference of going back to school to further your career.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com