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
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
10/26/23  10:24 am
Commenter: Anonymous


patient care is in jeopardy due to the CURRENT DANGEROUS working environment pharmacist have to work in every day.

It is very very very very easy to make a mistake when YOU are the ONLY person working at a pharmacy for 12 hours shift with NO bathroom break and NO meal break. These are all tasks, a pharmacist have to do on a daily basis every day such as: you have to accept the incoming medication order (example 1- 15 totes full of medications), accept incoming mail with potential vaccines that need attention immediately (whether they need to be put in fridge or freezer according such as flu, covid), accept doctors or other providers (nurse, physician assistant) calling in prescription over the phone or making adjustments to prescription or other questions from providers all over the phone, taking care of the line for people trying to pick up prescription in-person, taking care of people trying to drop of prescriptions in person, giving vaccines, typing in-coming prescription in the electronic system, pre-verify prescriptions, counting prescriptions by hand these days (because counting machine(for example Kirby) is broken these days and corporate has no comment if they will replace it or not),verifying prescription, answering question from patients/customers or their family member in person, answer question from patient/customers on the phone, trying to refill a prescription from a patient who is calling in from the phone, trying to meet vaccine quotes from corporate (for example: we are not allow to have zero flu shot quote for the day right now), dealing with recalls (can be 1-5 recalls in 1 day), trying to listen to conference calls about new updates, trying to do random corporate miscellaneous task that are handed to us and tell us we are not allow to have a zero count for the day ( example: corporate telling us to advertise a coupon book and with the profit that corporate will donate to a random charity), and then finally customer service every day ( for example: trying to apologize to the customers that get frustrated with me because that prescriptions cannot be done in 1-5 minutes because I am only person at the pharmacy and there is 1-20 task at any given time from 1-20 different people in different locations all waiting to be done and I am only human and can only do 1 task at a time.

I thank board of pharmacy so much for attempting do something about the work place environment for pharmacy but this is an only start and more needs to be done! please please please make it a law- please! Patient care is very important but when a pharmacist health is imposed by the environment that they are given, how can a pharmacist under all this stress be expected to take care of a patient with optimal care? It only leads to mistake being done, and patient care being impacted as a result.  And what of the results from all this? When a mistake is done in the pharmacy, a pharmacist try to resolve it through calling the doctor and patient and following up with them, writing up that incident report (which can take 1-4 hours), follow up report about what can be done better (and the answer to just double check everything and be  more aware next time) but it is really better? when you are the only person at the pharmacy and this same mistake can happen again because you have a burn out pharmacist as a result?

What is the answer from corporate? just fire that pharmacist- they are replaceable. 

you get a burn-out pharmacist that is fired as a consequence and a result from the current working conditions that pharmacy have are in practice right now. 

pharmacist study 4 years in graduate school, and 1-4 years in undergraduate school to get the pre-requisite, get burn out from work due to the current work environment and can get fired in 1 day. pharmacist are humans. customer service is never easy. patient are very important. but you as a person have to healthy yourself to have the energy to take care of another person(patient) so PLEASE BOARD OF PHARMACY - please make laws to help optimize patient care and help pharmacist so they are in a safe work environment to do so because pharmacy CURRENT WORK PLACE IS NOT SAFE for patient and pharmacist at the moment.

Oh, and you ask: why do we not hire more people you ask? because it is impossible to find a person who will help this pharmacist with all the task listed above (see the text above) at MINIMUM wage due to current union laws and minimal wage, anyone can find a better job outside the pharmacy for 20 dollars easily. (for example: you can get paid $20 dollars per hour at McDonald's and that is the minimal pay at McDonalds). so why would anyone bother to work at pharmacy and help a pharmacist??? that is exactly the reason no one apply at the pharmacy. 

The new regulation that board of pharmacy put in place around July 2022 about pharmacy tech in training hinders the pharmacy currently- so even when we(pharmacy) get a person to train( tech in training), they (the tech in training) is spending all their time doing the modules and quizzes that are required by board of pharmacy about learning what a tech in training does and knowledge they are supposed to know and as a result: there is almost no minutes left for a pharmacy tech in training- to help pharmacy with any other tasks or help a patient out. The amount of time it takes to train a tech-in-training into a pharmacy tech increases due to the current regulations, laws so help is very hard to find these days at the pharmacy and when a tech-in-training is spending all their time with modules and a customer comes into the pharmacy, the tech-in-training is still learning and has to depend on the pharmacist to come out and help the patient themselves, which just adds another task to do on the already burn-out pharmacist.

board of pharmacy please- please help patient care be optimal by creating a safe environment for pharmacist to do so because corporate does not care. and pharmacist are humans too just like patients. the care of patient is very important to pharmacist. pharmacist try everyday to do so by giving it their best every day- getting burn out for the patients. we just get yelled at by patients and corporate everyday given the circumstance we are in.

nothing will change without the board of pharmacy. CHANGE Is needed. please board of pharmacy- the future rest on you.

signed a-very-burned-out pharmacist- in northern Virginia.




changes that I recommend to board of pharmacy

-please make it illegal for a pharmacist to be alone at a pharmacy.

-if there is a immunization clinic- the time it takes to process a vaccine through a patient insurance - pharmacist should also be allowed to get paid for that.

-consider creating remote jobs where someone can help a pharmacist type prescriptions on the electronic system.

-allow pharmacist to have a meal time/bathroom break without getting yelled at by a patient

-increase minimum hourly pay for pharmacy clerks, tech-in-training so pharmacy can find help

-outlaw vaccine quotes or miscellanous quotes- task that corporate require pharmacist to do- such as selling a coupon book (because that is taking time away from patient care)



CommentID: 220470