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National Pharmacy Technician Association Study Shows Majority of Pharmacy Technicians Feel Unsafe at Work Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, and Likely for Good Reason | NEWS-Line for Pharmacists
 


National Pharmacy Technician Association Study Shows Majority of Pharmacy Technicians Feel Unsafe at Work Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, and Likely for Good Reason


Source:

New research shows pharmacy technicians feel unsafe working in pharmacy amid COVID-19 pandemic and that employers are not doing enough to protect the safety and well-being of the pharmacy staff, while also serving the needs of their patients. The survey, "COVID-19: A Survey of Pharmacy Technicians," compared the current workplace environment and opinions of U.S. pharmacy technicians (n=1,398) working in a variety of practice settings, compared to guidelines and recommendations for the protection of pharmacy personnel facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the findings, the majority of pharmacy technicians feel unsafe, unprotected, uninformed and ill-equipped as a result of a lack of resources and support from pharmacy employers, particularly in chain drugstores, mass-retail and grocery-store pharmacies. Independent community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies scored significantly better on the survey.

While only 26.1% of pharmacy technicians working in chain/mass/grocery-based retail pharmacies feel safe at work, 63.8% of those working in independent pharmacies and 52.8% of those working in hospital pharmacies reported feeling safe. Additionally, only 17.7% of pharmacy technicians working in chain/mass/grocery-based pharmacies feel that their employers is doing enough to protect the safety and well-being of the pharmacy staff, while also serving the needs of their patients, compared with 55.3% of pharmacy technicians working in independent pharmacies and 48.5% of those working in hospital pharmacies.

"Pharmacy employers across the board, but especially the chain stores, have got to implement stronger safeguards and protections for pharmacy personnel during this pandemic," explained NPTA Chairman and CEO Mike Johnston, CPhT. "Pharmacy employees are essential, front-line healthcare workers, and as such, employers have an obligation to follow the safety guidelines and recommendations established by the CDC, FIP and WHO."

Pleas for help and exasperated complaints have been flowing into NPTA's corporate offices, with reports such as - one of America's largest drugstore chains is prohibiting pharmacy personnel from wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), even if they supply it themselves, because it 'looks unprofessional' and they 'don't want to alarm patients.' "We knew the situation was bad," said Johnston, "but even we were shocked with the results from this survey."

NPTA is calling on all State Boards of Pharmacy and other appropriate regulatory agencies to immediately require pharmacies take the necessary actions and precautions to safeguard pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, as they serve on the frontline of this pandemic.

Data from NPTA's survey is available online - here.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fxh7m5rh979vvbu/COVID19_NPTA_PHARMACY_DATA.pdf?dl=0

About the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA)

The National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA), which was founded in 1999, is the largest professional trade association for pharmacy technicians in the world. The association represents over 80,000 individuals practicing in a variety of practice settings, such as retail pharmacy, health-system pharmacy, community pharmacy, federal pharmacy services, purchasing and education. For more information about NPTA, go to www.pharmacytechnician.org education. For more information about NPTA, go to www.pharmacytechnician.org






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