As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, it is putting increasing pressures on the pharmacy profession. More than two-thirds of pharmacists responding to a survey in 2019 said their workload had increased, with some reporting a significant increase from the previous year. Since these results were tabulated before the COVID-19 outbreak, they do not even take into account the increased precautionary measures necessitated by the pandemic.
Almost three-fourths of pharmacists in the survey reported their workload as being high or even excessively high. That is up to five percent from previous years. Workloads appear to be highest among those working at chain pharmacies or in mass merchandiser positions. Those reporting the most satisfaction with their workload were pharmacists working at independent community pharmacies and in ambulatory care settings.
The authors of the survey recommended that chain pharmacies look for ways to increase job satisfaction for pharmacists and explore what can be done to help them handle the increased workloads. These measures need to be taken if the chains expect to retain their pharmacy professionals. The survey authors suggested that the chains look at what medical centers have done to improve working conditions for their pharmacists.
Other Survey Results
The survey also looked at pharmacist salaries. About 45 percent of those responding said they received salary increases in 2019, compared to just 32 percent of those responding to a 2014 survey.
The survey also revealed an increasing diversity within the pharmacy profession. In 2019, two-thirds of all pharmacists were women, a 32 percent increase from 2009. Also, in 2019, 60 percent of all pharmacy management positions were held by women.
The number of ethnic minority pharmacists has grown by almost 50 percent during the past five years, and they now represent almost 22 percent of the profession. The survey also showed that about half of all pharmacists are 40 years of age or younger, up from just one-fourth in 2009. Healthcare experts called this a positive development because these younger pharmacists are trained in the latest systems and techniques to help patients.
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