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Friday Five (December 10, 2021)

This edition of the Friday Five features pharmacy safety guidance, a compounding reminder, and learning opportunities

Pharmacy Professional Safety During the Pandemic 

The College recently forwarded guidance to pharmacy managers outlining resources and detailed steps that they and pharmacy professionals can take to promote a safe and respectful workplace and reduce the chances and impact of pandemic or vaccine-related threats. 

If you are a pharmacy professional that may or may not have received threats to your personal or public safety in the pharmacy, or if you are looking for suggestions on ways to keep your team and patients safe and have not yet had the opportunity to discuss your concerns with your pharmacy manager, the College has compiled several resources found under the Health and Safety section at the bottom of the COVID-19 Resources for Pharmacy Professionals page. 

Thank you for continuing to provide healthcare services for Manitobans during this uncertain and stressful time. 

 

Selling Rapid COVID-19 Tests to the Public and Rapid Test Administration/Observation 

Recent communication from the provincial COVID-19 Testing Task Force indicates that rapid COVID-19 tests can now be sold directly to the public through pharmacies.  

However, it is important to note that international travelers (depending on destination) and individuals required to submit for regular COVID-19 testing under various Public Health Orders (e.g., unvaccinated front-line designated persons, unvaccinated youth aged 12 to 17 participating in and/or attending indoor sporting/recreational facilities, etc.) must use rapid testing kits that are administered and/or observed by a health care professional with a confirmation report generated from the observation. CPhM has received confirmation that the pharmacist can either observe the person self-testing and confirm the result or perform the test themselves. Regardless of who performs the test, the pharmacist must ensure the test is done properly and confirm the result. 

Members of the public exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, or having tested positive using a rapid test, must be directed to a provincial testing site immediately. For any questions regarding rapid testing or the public health orders, please contact the COVID-19 Testing Task Force at TTF@gov.mb.ca.   

 

Pre-Filled Syringes – Sterile Compounding Reminder  

The College  has adopted the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) Model Standards for Pharmacy Compounding of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Sterile Preparations.  For information regarding implementation and other sterile compounding information, please see the Pharmacy Compounding Standards: Sterile Preparations section on the College website. 

The NAPRA Standards outline the requirements in which compounded sterile preparations are prepared including the facilities, training of personnel, and quality assurance procedures necessary for sterile compounding. 

A sterile environment is required for the production of compounded sterile products and the manipulation of sterile products.  A sterile drug product that is transferred from vials or ampoules into sterile final containers with syringe and needle is classified as a sterile compound. 

Pharmacies and pharmacists that are engaged in sterile compounding are required to meet and comply with the NAPRA Model Standards for Pharmacy Compounding of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Sterile Preparations. Pharmacists must possess the requisite knowledge and competencies to prepare sterile compounds. 

Repackaging of sterile products, including the preparation of pre-filled syringes containing medications such as insulin, is also a sterile compounding activity. 

Pharmacists who are asked to dispense pre-filled syringes and do not have the sterile compounding equipment and facilities  in accordance with the NAPRA Standards must refer the patient to a NAPRA compliant pharmacy with the necessary resources to prepare them safely.  The Pharmacy Public Register can be used to find pharmacies with self-declared NAPRA compliant sterile compounding facilities. 

 

Communication for Internationally Educated Health Professionals Course by Red River College 

Red River College’s Language Training Centre offers a free culture, language, and communication online course for Internationally Educated Health Professionals, in preparation for registration and licensure in Manitoba. 

The Communication for Internationally Educated Health Professionals course helps individuals to: 

  • Understand more about culture and communication within the Canadian workplace; 
  • Build confidence and skills for interacting with co-workers and other health professionals, as well as with patients and their families; and 
  • Build language and communication skills that can help with language assessments or clinical assessments that include interactions with patients. 

The next potential offering for this course starts in January 2022. If you are or someone you know is an internationally educated health professional who may benefit from this program, they must apply by December 14, 2021, to secure a spot.  Details can be found at the following link: https://www.rrc.ca/ltc/programs/permanent-residents/esp/health/communication-for-internationally-educated-health-professionals/  

 

In case you missed it: Overdose in the Era of COVID-19 and Approaching Mental Health in Pharmacy Practice

On November 23, 2021, the College hosted its third annual Medical Examiner Professional Development (PD) event, entitled Overdose in the Era of COVID-19 & Approaching Mental Health in Pharmacy Practice.   

If you were unable to attend the live PD event, the recording is now available on the College website under the Recorded PD Programs section. Answers to questions that were not answered during the live session due to time constraints will be posted in the coming weeks. To receive your statement of participation for 1.5 CEUs, please fill out the evaluation form and submit it to reception@cphm.ca 

The College would like to extend its sincere gratitude and thanks to the presenters, as well as those who participated in the program. 

 

Notice: Pharmacists at Risk Disbanding 

With gratitude for their many years of service to their colleagues across the province, we publish the following message from the Pharmacists At Risk Committee: 

Changing Times 

The Pharmacists At Risk Committee was founded in 1981 by two pharmacists; Vern Cook and Norm Taylor. Over the last 40 years the Committee and its volunteers have strived to support our colleagues through personal and professional struggles and allowed them to practice safely in our profession. We have been independent of both the College of Pharmacists and Pharmacists Manitoba. Times have changed, and in this new era with so many resources available to pharmacists, it has become apparent that our work behind the scenes has become redundant. The committee has attempted to be more available to members through the web and social media without great success. We have regretfully decided to disband the group at this time and encourage all pharmacists to practice safely and to always take care of their own physical and mental well-being. 

Penny Shefrin, Chair 

Gord Walkty 

Barbara Cinnamon 

Alfred Au 

Ron Silver 

Nancy Kleiman 

Greg Skura 

Yvonne Skura 

 

Call for Award Nominations 

The College is now accepting nominations for the 2022 College Awards.  If you or a pharmacist you know has made a noteworthy contribution to patient care and safety or the practice of pharmacy, please consider submitting a nomination or application for one of the awards listed in the College Awards brochure. 

The College has created award submission guidelines for your consideration prior to forwarding your nomination to the College’s Awards & Nominating Committee.   

Young Leader Awards 

The Young Leader Awards celebrate the efforts of up to ten leaders in pharmacy practice. The recipients will receive a plaque to commemorate their contributions to the pharmacy profession and a $500 cash prize. 

The awards are open to recently licensed pharmacists (practicing one to five years post-graduation) and to pharmacy students (interns) in their final year of study who have made a professional contribution to patient care, the pharmacy profession or amongst their colleagues and peers at the University of Manitoba’s College of Pharmacy. 

If you or someone you know meet these criteria, please submit a nomination or application package including the nominee or applicant’s Curriculum Vitae and a summary of their activities and contributions within pharmacy practice or within the University of Manitoba’s College of Pharmacy.  

The deadline for nominations or applications is Friday, January 14, 2022.  Please send submissions by email to info@cphm.ca with the subject line “Attention: The Awards & Nominating Committee – CPhM Awards”.
 

CPhM Office Holiday Hours  

The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba will observe the following holiday schedule: 

  • Closed at 12:00 noon Friday, December 24 through Tuesday, December 28, 2021 
  • Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 29 and Thursday, December 30, 2021 
  • Closed at 12:00 noon Friday, December 31, 2021, through Monday, January 3,2022 
  • Regular office hours resume on Tuesday January 4, 2022, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Please be reminded that the CPhM office remains closed to visitors and continues to operate as a virtual office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  All services continue, however adjustments in service delivery and delays may occur.   

Documents may be left in the black deposit box to the left of the main entrance.  Email is the most efficient means by which to contact staff. A staff directory can be found here: https://cphm.ca/about-the-college/staff-directory/ 

Thank you for your kind attention and cooperation. 

 

Upcoming Events & Professional Development Opportunities 

CSHP Together Conference
January 29 – February 6, 2022
Register here