Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Pharmacy
Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy [18 VAC 110 ‑ 20]
Action Pharmacy working conditions
Stage Emergency/NOIRA
Comment Period Ended on 11/22/2023
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11/21/23  6:57 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Staffing issues in chain pharmacies

I am grateful for the opportunity to shed light on the impossible staffing conditions in chain pharmacies.  Pharmacists, including me, have voiced our concerns to district managers so many times and never even received a response. Our company increases tech hours in the fall so that we can administer as many immunizations as possible. By January, our tech hours will be slashed often leaving pharmacists to work alone for hours a day and frequently most of the weekend.  Pharmacists are pulled in so many directions- running the registers, rebilling for insurance changes, checking in orders, answering all the phone lines, manning all the ques involved in processing prescriptions, giving immunizations, answering questions, counseling patients...the list goes on. It is almost impossible to keep all these balls in the air with only a few tech hours in the day.  But when we are working alone, it seems like a nightmare.  It's like being trapped in a 10 hour, high stakes game of "whack-a-mole" with patients' lives, our jobs, and our mental and physical health at risk.  Out of necessity, we have no choice but to rush through checking and filling prescriptions in an attempt to keep up.  This situation is not safe for the patients we are supposed to be serving and providing with an excellent level of care.  I believe that employee burnout is at an all time high.  The situation is just so stressful and unhealthy for our colleagues.  Every day I worry that constant distractions and being forced to rush through my work to keep up will result in a potentially fatal misfill.  In addition, we are at risk of losing our most valued,  proficient technicians. They cannot pay their bills or feed their families when their hours are slashed. I pray for a minimum 1:1 pharmacist to tech ratio during all hours of operation.  It is my firm belief that pharmacy managers should be the ones to determine the level of tech hours necessary to adequately staff their locations.                               Thank you so much for providing this platform for discussion.


CommentID: 220697