.We look at both sides of the debate when a manager tells the pharmacist to clean the bathroom.
There is a fascinating (to me!) pharmacy-related debate I have been following on social media this week. A store manager told the pharmacist that the pharmacist must clean the store restroom. Following this Facebook post was a heated debate as to whether this chore was indeed within a pharmacist’s scope of responsibility. Let’s take a look at both sides. It is important to note that this is a chain pharmacy scenario.
Here are some arguments presented as to why the pharmacist should clean the bathroom:
Here are some arguments presented as to why the pharmacist should NOT clean the bathroom:
We need to stand up for our profession. This is proof that our profession is going down the toilet (no pun intended)
When I was PIC of my store in a large chain, my pharmacy supervisor would remark that I was doing "too much" to help the technicians. I would be the first to grab the register, help count, scan out of stocks, etc. My supervisor was worried that if I wasn't there one day, some of the newer technicians wouldn't know what to do.
I would say that I was always a team player in general, and it is important and beneficial to team morale when the pharmacist helps out with pharmacy related tasks. However, after reading all of the comments and thinking about both sides, I would say that in a chain environment, it is a misallocation of resources to utilize a pharmacist to clean the bathrooms.
Cleaning the bathroom is a skill that can be taught to anyone. The very specific skill set of a pharmacist should not be put to waste cleaning bathrooms. I think there needs to be better staffing in general so tasks can be assigned appropriately to the person most able to do that task.
Pharmacists have more on our plates than ever before. We are already rushed, with barely enough time to USE the bathroom, let alone clean it. What if we are pulled away for this cleaning time, then come back and rush through things, missing an important drug interaction because we are even more backed up from cleaning a toilet?
We certainly know the patient will not be able to sue the manager for making the pharmacist clean the bathroom. Our job is one where any mistake can be fatal; we should not be pulled away from our main focus of ensuring patient safety to perform tasks unrelated to pharmacy. With our license on the line and our name on the label, ensuring proper verification of prescriptions is our responsibility.