The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) have released the seventh edition of their Pharmacy Workplace and Well-Being Reporting (PWWR) series.
In an Oct. 30 announcement, the organizations said the PWWR “serves as a safe space to submit both positive and negative pharmacy workplace experiences in a confidential and anonymous manner. The goal of PWWR is to tell the stories of those who submit their experiences so that the profession may begin to act on the findings and learnings.”
Contributions from Across the Country
Since the PWWR series began in October 2021, more than 1,800 pharmacy supervisors and pharmacy support personnel have contributed to the reports, representing “nearly every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico,” the announcement said.
For this third-quarter 2023 report, 378 submissions were sent in. Professionals who sent in submissions held a range of titles, from supervisors to student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. But the majority (54 percent) described themselves as pharmacists, with 22 percent describing themselves as pharmacy managers/supervisors/pharmacists in charge.
Contributors shared both positive and negative experiences, with the former including examples of successful communication, collaboration, organization, and quality controls.
Workloads & Working Conditions Dominate Negative Experiences
Negative experiences that were shared, the organizations said, “focused primarily on volume/workload expectation mismatched to hours available, followed closely by staffing/scheduling, working conditions, and pharmacy metrics.”
Contributors who reported negative experiences said 95 percent of the examples were recurring problems. As a comparison, 96 percent who reported negative experiences described them as recurring in the sixth PWWR report, and 98 percent reported problems as recurring in the fifth report.
Report contributors also shared instances of being harassed by patients/customers and coworkers. Those reports included instances of verbal/emotional harassment, sexual harassment, the threat of physical harm, actual physical harm, and discrimination or microaggressions based on race, ethnicity or gender.
The “learnings” from this seventh report include, the organizations said, that “Workplace conditions continue to be the primary reasons for negative experience submissions. However, the negative submissions of pharmacy staff dealing with bullying and harassment from patients/customers grew again this cycle and continues to be concerning.”
Of the 378 experiences shared for this seventh edition, 9 were positive, while 369 were negative.
Pharmacists — under pressure for years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages, and corporate performance mandates, among other stressors — have been making national news. On the day that APhA and NASPA announced the latest PWWR report, pharmacists at some CVS and Walgreens locations began a three-day walkout.