Have a Plan for Battling Burnout

You'll see even more focus on preventing pharmacy burnout...as workplace demands and challenges continue to run high.

This is different from normal frustration or stress.

Burnout is a CHRONIC state of feeling emotionally, mentally, or physically exhausted...and that you aren't accomplishing much.

If left unchecked, burnout may cause serious problems...such as depression and impaired concentration...that can lead to errors and threaten patient safety.

But burnout doesn't have to be a normal part of the job.

Even though there's no magic bullet for battling burnout, use these strategies to keep it from taking a toll.

See the good in what you're doing...especially when performing seemingly mundane tasks or handling challenging situations. This can improve your resilience...and reduce burnout risk.

For instance, recognize that delivering meds is a way to help patients recover from illness, procedures, trauma, etc...and not just another task.

Remember that "cooler heads prevail" when dealing with a difficult colleague or situation. Take a moment to breathe...ask for help if you need it...and try not to take things personally.

Ask about moving into different roles or switching up tasks...burnout may be prevented by revamping your daily schedule.

Consider methods to help boost morale and productivity. For example, celebrate the achievement of team goals...and give credit to a colleague for a job well done.

Promote open communication with colleagues and managers...to share concerns, discuss challenges, and improve processes.

Research your employer's benefits. For instance, use vacation time to help reset...or reach out to your employee assistance program (EAP) if available for advice and support.

Assess your risk and develop your plan to prevent burnout with our CE, Self-Care and Well-Being for Pharmacy Staff.

Key References

  • Am J Health Syst Pharm 2019;76(9):571-3
  • Am J Health Syst Pharm 2018;75(23 Suppl 4):S93-S100
  • www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/burn-out/en/ (3-2-20)
Hospital Pharmacy Technician's Letter. March 2020, No. 360312


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