Sure, it's always easier to say "here are some easy steps to avoid burnout while working" but they always assume that you can step away from the desk, breath, and leave the world around you for a second and feel better. What they don't account for is someone coming up to ask where the adult diapers are, while you're on the phone with a 3rd party, with someone waiting at the drivethru window knocking on the glass.
Ahh, a day in the life of a Pharmacist.
It's no secret that pharmacy, especially retail pharmacy, can put pharmacists at high risk of burnout with the expectations put on them by financial models designed to get as much medication out of the pharmacy as possible, all in the course of a 10 or 12-hour shift. In fact, APHA conducted a survey that found that 57.1% of respondents revealed a moderate level of burnout. Half the survey population. "The study found that the typical pharmacist who reported the highest level of burnout was a woman less than 40 years old, who works in a chain community pharmacy setting, and who has been in practice and in the same job for less than 10 years."
So how do you avoid burnout, when you have little control over your day? Here are some options:
- Special Projects. You're probably thinking, why give yourself more work when you're already overworked? This isn't meant to add work, more to reengage you in your profession. And if you find the right idea, it won't feel like work. Some examples: volunteer to do MTM, hold a diabetes clinic, think of ideas that could help better the customer service in the pharmacy or add services that customers could benefit from. Not only will this give you a push to learn something new, but it will potentially make you a better asset to your employer. Remember this can be inside or your workplace and also outside. And if you're employer frowns upon special projects, skip to option #3.
- Mentor. You are an experienced professional with budding young minds working around you every day. Think how how they look at you running your like your hair's on fire, mumbling under your breath like Milton from Officespace. Remember how you first found pharmacy. It wasn't too long ago that you may have been a teenager working in a family friends' pharmacy after work or on the weekends. Teach the future of pharmacy about it's past, what they have the opportunity to contribute to healthcare, and help them direct pharmacy in the way it should go. We like to think that Walgreen's and CVS have been around forever, but Joe's Pharmacy was there before.
- Quit. Yes, I seriously just wrote that. It's likely a reality that many of the people reading this are probably so miserable that this might very well be the best option to be happier. Start something new. Go out on your own. There are new opportunities in pharmacy coming, and now might be the perfect time to start something. Remember, Microsoft was started during a recession. The right idea and business model can work in any economy.
Those are three options to help you avoid burnout, and ultimately re-energize you. Sorry, I didn't post breathing tips, counting to 10, or any meditation secrets. I'll leave that to the pros.
Best of luck to you all! If all else fails, SERENITY NOW!