Workloads in Hospital Pharmacies

Beavering away on wards and in dispensaries, hospital pharmacists are being swamped by an alarming increase in workloads.

For many the balance between wards and dispensary is getting more difficult as more work is piled on to hospital pharmacists. It beggars belief the frequency with which politicians keep demanding more of a workforce that is already drowning in high workloads without commensurate increases in staff.

It’s a story that sadly we’re all too familiar with.

With a growing list of responsibilities like giving vaccine shots, Victoria’s hospital pharmacists are being asked to take on more and more front-line work while not being resourced with the staff to ease workloads. It’s easy to ask pharmacists to administer something like a vaccine but it means that this is one more duty to be completed. It adds greater tension in the workplace as pharmacists juggle competing priorities to ensure patients are sent home with the correct medication, patients on wards are having their medications checked and the dispensary is being staffed.

But as the extra work comes extra pharmacists are not being employed to handle the extra work. This isn’t a one-off sort of thing – workloads are always increasing. Hospitals are tending to ignore fundamental responsibilities of properly resourcing pharmacy departments by setting necessary staffing levels and instead demand more and more of hospital pharmacists.

Is your management putting more pharmacists on to ease workloads or assist during busy times? Are you doing unpaid work during breaks or before or after work to make sure tasks are completed?

We want to know how your workloads are changing and how management is responding so we can do more about the increasing expectation of doing unpaid work.

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