There’s no doubt that 2021 has been stressful, confusing, unpredictable and daunting. From mice plagues and football bubbles to vaccinations and a Victorian earthquake, this year might be one we’d all prefer to forget. But there have been some stand out moments for Locumate, for the pharmacy industry, and for our community in general that are worth reflecting on before heading into 2022.
Lockdowns, social distancing and PPE
Never have more Australians tuned into daily press conferences by state and territory premiers and health officers. And pharmacies, like many others, had to change the way they worked on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. QR codes, social distancing in stores, and click and collect became a regular part of our vocabulary, and a regular part of how we operated. Throughout lockdowns, pharmacies were deemed an essential service, so remained open, but lockdowns and travel restrictions meant pharmacies might have started serving more customers online.
Another important factor was – and continues to be – personal protective equipment (PPE). Staff and customers were required to wear PPE throughout 2021, and pharmacies were a large supplier of PPE to Australians, too. From masks and face shields to gloves and hand sanitiser, pharmacists had to work hard – and in different ways – to meet consumer demand.
Another incredibly important call out in 2021 for pharmacies – and for everyone – was of course, vaccinations. With pharmacies authorised to supply and administer COVID-19 vaccinations, pharmacists played a mammoth role in Australia’s vaccination roll out. With booster shots well and truly here, pharmacists will continue to do lots of the vaccination heavy lifting well into 2022.
Plenty of pharmacy events this year were all hosted virtually. While this was exciting and again demonstrated our industry’s resilience and willingness to adapt, as a newly launched business, we’re excited to get back to face to face and start meeting our members in person!
I can’t wrap up 2021 without a mention of launching Locumate! In October, we launched a phased roll out of Locumate across Victoria, with the rest of Australia to follow. The launch is a culmination of years of hard work, risks, plenty of sweat, even more tears, and a burning desire to give pharmacists and locums a better way of working.
There’s no mistaking that 2021 was like no other, but I know that we’re absolutely ready for anything that 2022 throws at us. Bring it on.
Find out more at: https://locumate.com.au/