Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Dec. 6, 2017

The way many community pharmacists are practicing now is definitely risking the safety of the public. For 8 or more hours straight we are on constant alert and trying to focus and not make any errors. This is a hard thing to do for anyone, and if it is while starving and with a full bladder it is even harder. Not being adequately hydrated, or energized is negatively affecting our ability to help the public. Just a short time to refuel with food, empty bladders, and take a mental break will drastically improve our ability to think, solve problems, and be efficient. It is super hypocritical when we are the most accessible health care providers and we are not even advocating for our own health. In fact, pharmacists can be extremely unhealthy by snacking or not eating regularly which can lead to health problems like GERD, or triggering migraines. The rush of patients and inability to focus can cause anxiety.

We need to change the rules and provide regular breaks for pharmacists. If we are overwhelmed with work and can't get a break, we often need to rush. Quality of care would definitely improve if we were refreshed from a break. Even half an hour is amazing. In terms of access to timely pharmacy care, I don't see any prescriptions that would need to be dispensed immediately that could not wait half an hour. We have transformed the practice of community pharmacy into what is like working in fast food. Your health should not be rushed, and neither should we be rushed when giving the correct medication can mean life or death. People in winter are willing to wait an hour in the lineup to get their car washed. Half an hour is nothing in the grand scheme of things, so no, closing the pharmacy for half an hour will not impact access to the pharmacy.

As a person who has been working in pharmacy for 15 years, conditions have not improved but have worsened. It is very hard to physically do this day to day. Please give us the basic human right to be able to pee, eat, and have a mental break. Even half an hour would be wonderful!

In addition, something needs to be done with "personal days" or "sick days". It is nearly impossible to take sick days without feeling bad about it, like you are causing so much distress to the store for not being available last minute. Often myself or coworkers need to continue to work even while sick, which is detrimental to the public. We should be able to be able to use our professional judgement in using a guaranteed number of sick days or personal days without any penalty.

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