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Pharmacists are reportedly being “smashed” on the frontline serving patients during the COVID-19 crisis… let us know your experiences in this poll

More than ever, pharmacists need to consider how they manage conflict in their workplaces whether with difficult and upset customers, prescribers or colleagues, PDL Professional Officer Gary West told delegates at the APP Online conference on the weekend.

Pharmacists were reporting a rise in conflict even before the COVID-19 pandemic, said Mr West.

“I think it’s pretty clear that there’s a lot of conflict out there: that complaints are increasing,” said Mr West. “We recognise that conflict is part of being a frontline health professional.”

“The pharmacist Professional Officers at PDL are aware of the increasing number of complaints and threats that pharmacists are receiving, and obviously this has escalated significantly with the COVID crisis.

“Pharmacists are being smashed, and the reports to us are that the high volumes, the challenges with stock shortages and the demands of patients are leading to exhaustion and frustration, and PDL are also concerned about not only the wellbeing of the pharmacist but the safety of the public, because of the demands on the sector.”

“We’re copping the brunt of people’s stress … everyone’s just on high tension,” Sydney pharmacy owner Caroline Diamantis told AJP earlier this month.

“People are really freaking out. We’re trying to keep people calm, we’re trying to encourage good hygiene and tell people the facts – that they don’t need to take all their repeats and medicines aren’t going to run out unless people start taking all their prescriptions,” says Ms Diamantis.

“I’ve had people, when you don’t have stock or run out, saying ‘What do you mean I can’t have it? What do you mean I can’t have six?’

“That’s put a lot of pressure on us as pharmacists. You’re constantly explaining yourself and saying that you want there to be enough for everyone. We’re very exhausted.”

We want to know your experiences of late.

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