You ask, we answer!
United Pharmacists Association just launched a few weeks ago. During our soft launch we had a lot of visits to the website, that was exciting. We were hoping for more feedback, and recently we have received inquiries about the polls. First, thank you to those who gave feedback, it has been helpful and is exactly what we need to make this organization what you want.
We are starting this professional coalition from the ground up. Grassroots. We all have full time jobs, as pharmacy professionals.
We are trying to bring people together, and we are very grateful to The Cynical Pharmacist and to Dan Hussar of The Pharmacist Activist, for their support, kind words and contributions of content and advice.
Polling is our first step for trying to get collections of viewpoints to see where we trend on certain issues. Some of the polls are for fun or for curiosity.
In networking with pharmacy people, we (the core team) found that across settings there were a lot of shared concerns. Being understaffed, for example, is a concern that come up a lot. There were other conversations that indicated we can’t take anything for granted, because not everyone feels the same way about their job, their management, their company, etc.
Polls are a quick, anonymous, easy way to gather viewpoints of a large number of pharmacists, technicians and interns in a way that will provides an initial picture of the collective voice on certain issues. Polls are conversation starters.
Why is this important?
The United Pharmacists Association is all of us. Us being hardworking pharmacists, technicians and interns. Together, we are pharmacy. We are important and should be heard. There are approximately 700,000 pharmacy professionals working in the United States. I’m going to guess (by the way, if anyone knows the actual number please let us know) by looking at user activity and followers on popular pharmacy platforms, that there are around 150,000 pharmacy people who are active online, and many feel frustrated that our profession is less and less our own practice of pharmacy and patient care, and has often been reduced to metrics and dollar signs for corporations. Several known activists in the field have called for an organization made up of us.
What Do Polls Do?
At 150,000 strong that’s a pretty big voice. Polls are one way to begin harnessing our voices to be able to hone in on where pharmacists and their techs stand on issues. This helps us identify priorities, by way of vote. It’s a fast way to collect a lot of voices in a way that honors anonymity. There is no way a corporation, or any organization, can retaliate against poll results. It gets people engaged in being active in the profession even if they haven’t done any activism on their own. It produces unbiased data. It helps to start a conversation, and offers the opportunity to dig deeper as more questions come up.
Where Do The Poll Questions Come From?
The poll questions come from us. We encourage members to submit poll questions. Remember, some members are also activists, some are leaders in the profession who work for other valued associations, we hope to get at least a handful of state board of pharmacy members, we have members who are professors of pharmacy, and members who are hard working pharmacy professionals who work in their community stores, hospitals or clinics, and we have members who are pharmacy students. All of those voices are very important to the profession and each has something to offer.
Creating your own poll is fun and exciting because we get to know one another through asking questions. And it’s difficult to sort through 150,000 comments or emails to get a quick answer on what most of us think. The initial polls for this website were questions asked by board members, core team members, extended team members and their pharmacy friends and coworkers. There is a running list. We hope members will contribute to submitting poll questions. It’s a way to get to know what our colleagues think.
One of the polls done during the soft launch was originally just a test poll. But as an afterthought, we really wanted to know how many of us love our job. A few of us were really surprised to hear the majority of people who took the polls said they loved their job most of the time. The outcomes of the polls can teach us that maybe not everyone does feel the same way we do.
Where Do The Polls Go?
Right now, the polls won’t be useful in and of themselves. Because we are trying to promote user engagement, we will continue to post weekly polls, request feedback and content from anyone who wants to help us build and shape this association. We can only do this by the power of numbers. Once we have a large coalition of us, we can dig into topics that are important to us in many formats.
Multiple polls and surveys on a trending issue can give us a quick map and starting point. Then, after sorting through poll data, comments, conversations in the Think Tank, or on public social media, feedback from members, possibly collaborating with credible associations, and backgrounding said issue – the poll results may be used in an appeal to a representative, or a regulator, or every governor, or to the media, or BOPs, or any other influential entity. Appeals, initiatives, petitions, letters of concern, or any other United Pharmacists Association communication will not go to corporations or labor unions.
Some of the polls are there for public education. If the public wants to know how a pharmacy professional feels about COVID, the COVID vaccine, healthcare coverage, internet pharmacies, the flu season, the opioid crisis, telemed, and just about anything else in healthcare that the public may be curious about, they may value seeing the poll results on social media.
Some of the polls won’t be sent anywhere, but the results are always posted on the poll results page of the website.
Once we reach a number of 5,000 votes on any poll, the poll results will then show the number of people who voted. It will take a while to grow this, so help us spread the word so that we can engage more of us, help inspire pharmacy activism, and create a large association to form a powerful, and influential coalition.
If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with us. We ask for your patience as we make changes to our website to enhance your user experience. We are working to improve many aspects of the website including the polls. We’ve recently had issues with the Think Tank and are remapping the login page.
Please remember to check your spam email for any updates from United Pharmacists Association. To contact us for any reason please email: PDoggRPh@gmail.com. It may take us a few days to respond, but one of our core team members will reach out to you.
We are new, and we are you, so we graciously accept all feedback. We want to deliver, so that this association can provide one online platform where we can all come together to share ideas, find support, enjoy content, spark activism, and help restore and benefit our profession.
THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!