Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Dec. 15, 2017

I work as a retail pharmacist with 12+ hour shifts. I think as pharmacists, our goal is to provide quality healthcare to our patients and ensure they are receiving the right therapy. However, the current unreasonable working conditions of long hours, no breaks (no time to eat or use the bathroom), lack of staff support (minimal technician assistance), increase in work load and demands (flu shots plus other immunizations, medschecks, pharmaceutical opinions, etc) and of course pressure from head office, I find it extremely difficult to function as a pharmacist, who is highly responsible and liable, without getting excessively stressed physically and mentally. As pharmacists, we often advise patients about following a healthy lifestyle while us pharmacists are clearly not following that. Unfortunately, pharmacists are now being used as means towards increasing business revenue, rather than focusing on patient care. There are times in my practice that I do not have time to discuss a patient's health concern or to help a patient with a recommendation, simply because I work mostly by myself in a very busy pharmacy with patients who become easily frustrated if they have to wait a bit longer. This is unfortunate as we are supposed to be the most accessible healthcare providers and lack the support that we need in order to fulfill this. As a professional who always tries to put patients first, I feel like we do not get the support and respect that we need. Changes need to be made in the pharmacy profession before this situation gets worse. There also needs to be an increase in awareness in the public, as most people are unaware of our working conditions. I really hope the OCP and the government look into this.

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