Feedback for Exemptions and Exclusions Under the Employment Standards Act

Pharmacist  ·  Nov. 19, 2017

The practice of pharmacy has changed drastically over the years not as much for what we do, but for who we work for. The majority of retail pharmacists are employees, and not owners of the places they practice in. The greater number of retail pharmacies are no longer privately owned, but are run by large corporations. Operational decisions and directions are made by upper management, that are not pharmacists or even other health professionals.
Longer pharmacy operational hours, expansion of pharmacy services and reduction of support staffing have all contributed to increased duties, responsibilities and stress. So it seems completely out of step that pharmacists are not protected under the ESA while all the other employees in the retail establishment are.
Constant interruptions, additional duties, long shifts without any meal, rest or bathroom breaks all can be contributing factors in medical errors. But of course most of these medical errors get blamed on the pharmacist that missed capturing it. That doesn’t matter since your stores malpractice insurance will cover you any costs will be recovered from your own mandatory malpractice insurance. The prospect of registered pharmacy technicians being able to take over some tasks and responsibilities may be the panacea for our problems, but this appears to be an unfulfilled promise. We have yet to see their employment numbers increase in the majority of retail settings. These folks earn higher hourly rates. Do you suspect that those corporate folks having tighter reigns over pharmacy staffing funds have any influence upon this? Quantity vs. Quality The metrics pharmacists are measured by are how many prescriptions, flu shots, medication reviews, customer positive reviews and pharmacist interventions are performed during their shifts. You notice the length of the shifts, number of meal or rest breaks, number of dispensing errors or close calls, number of OTC questions, number of other interruptions and pharmacist work satisfaction are metrics that never get tracked. The question to ask is why? Unfortunately I think we all know this answer. It appears that pharmacists have lost control of their profession. At least having protection under the ESA will restore some civility to an eroding profession.

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