As we are receiving the first round of feedback after releasing the survey earlier this week, I thought I should address some of the questions and comments.
First of all, a big thank you for everyone who contributed to this success by filling in the survey, which was quite long indeed. There were some technical issues as well, which caused many to have to wait for the page to load and some even had to enter the answers more than once before it reaches us. Thanks again for bearing with us as we work our way through these teething problems.
There has been a lot of hearsay and anecdotes floating around on social media and other forums that suggested that many pharmacists feel that the profession is in crisis in many ways. As the IPANZ executive were trying to figure out ways of making a difference, we realised that there are many things that no-one knows about our the pharmacy sector.
So the purpose of the survey was to find answers to some fundamental questions about how much pharmacists earn, how they feel subjectively about their remuneration, their job, their career. Strikingly, nobody has ever asked pharmacists whether they feel stressed or whether they had negative experiences in the workplace that may affect their mental health. Shout out to Chemists & Druggists, as the questions around mental health and workplace pressures were inspired by their salary survey conducted every year in the UK.
So, the most important question for us right now is where to from here? This is the question that IPANZ is really called on to answer. This is where the rubber meets the road.
First of all, we want to understand the meaning of the findings. Then, not wanting to reinvent the wheel, we will map out where responsibilities lie. We want to establish which of the negative findings are due to failure of existing structures, or to put it differently, seek out whether there are any solutions that involve mechanisms/structures/organisations that already exist. We have already identified certain gaps that cannot be remedied this way, for example, there are no readily available services for pharmacists who require counselling or pastoral care.
Meanwhile, we continue to build our core activities to be able to effectively promote professionalism and ethical behaviour, advocate for better work conditions, facilitate civil and respectful discussions, maintain safe harbour and provide support for vulnerable individuals, receive information and complaints from pharmacists.
But wait, there is more…
Many will have noticed that the analysis we released does not address the entire range of information we gathered. This is because there is so much there that it will take some time to process all the data, but we wanted to release as much as we could within a reasonable time frame.
However, it’s not over yet. There is more to come. We will be releasing smaller chunks of “quick insights” with some very interesting information. The format has not been decided yet.
So, watch this space and read our release if you haven’t done so yet! Read it, share it, discuss it and give us feedback on it!