Why 2 pharmacists left their roles

The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on all front-line workers, and pharmacy employees are no exception. Pandemic-related stressors have worsened existing pharmacy shortages and magnified burnout among staff members, causing many to leave the field, according to Bloomberg.

Pharmacist Jennifer Morrow, PharmD, said she quit her job at a CVS store in Binghamton, N.Y., last year over concerns about patient safety linked to her heavy workload. 

"I would say a little prayer before I went into work, 'Lord, please let me help somebody today,'" she told Bloomberg. "But that white coat got heavier and heavier every day, and my prayer changed to, 'Dear Lord, just don't let me kill somebody today.'"

Bled Tanoe, PharmD, a pharmacist who left her job at a Walgreens in Oklahoma City, Okla., expressed similar fears. 

"I felt I was being put in a place where I was going to harm a patient," she told the publication. "And when technicians and pharmacists get to that place, whether or not they have other employment, then they might leave. Because if I harm a patient, there's no coming back from that."

Walgreens has more than 15,000 open pharmacist positions and nearly 16,000 technician positions listed on its website. CVS lists almost 4,000 pharmacist openings and 10,000 technician openings nationwide. Both retail chains told Bloomberg that they've hired tens of thousands of people to address staff shortages and raised their minimum wages to $15, among other actions.

View the full report here.

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