Josh Miller – Pharmacy student
It was no surprise when BBC statistics stated that over 54% of surveyed officer workers regularly worked through their lunch hour. I can only imagine that this percentage is higher within pharmacists. Speaking from my experience working within a community pharmacy I have rarely seen a pharmacist take an entire (entitled) hour, and it’s becoming more regular for those to have a “working lunch” consisting of nothing more than a sandwich eaten between checking prescriptions. This begs the question, should pharmacists have protected lunch hours? I must say personally I don’t take a full hour, because I simply get bored, and would prefer to help out, even if that is at a slower pace while checking twitter every so often! With the ever-increasing pressure and workload on pharmacists, I think it is paramount to take a break, disconnect and remove some of those stresses even for 30 minutes. I am almost positive that this would have a beneficial effect on the pharmacist’s mental health alongside the safety of the patients through decreased errors. Breaks can also be a valuable time to engage in education, similar to the commonplace idea of “Learning at Lunch” seen within our hospital counterparts.
Pharmacies should close at lunchtime!! Those that don’t, offer a reduced customer service for TWO hours whilst counter & dispensary staff staff take their lunch. Customers then get frustrated when the RP rightfully takes her/his lunch & the dispensing services grind to a halt!
If pharmacies want to operate through the lunch hour they should be staffed accordingly, so no reduction in service occurs. (including additional pharmacist cover!!)
In those pharmacies that do close, customer expectation is easily managed & staff are rested & consequently more productive in the afternoons