Take the Well-being Index for the first time…and a second, and a third

Your well-being isn’t a static snapshot of life. It’s a dynamic ebb and flow of experiences and events, and how we respond.

By now, I hope you’ve all at least heard of the Well-being Index for Pharmacists (WBI) that APhA launched in July. The WBI is a validated screening tool developed by the Mayo Clinic to longitudinally evaluate your fatigue, depression, burnout, anxiety, and both mental and physical quality of life. A similar tool has been used to measure and track physician, nurse, and other health care providers’ burnout—they face many of the same burnout issues as pharmacists. This survey, just for pharmacists, only takes moments to complete, is anonymous, and provides insights into your well-being over time.

When you complete the survey, you receive immediate individualized feedback on how your well-being stacks up to that of your peers and whether you could be at risk for negative consequences at work or home. It is available to all pharmacists. While there are significant benefits to APhA membership, it is not required for you to take advantage of the WBI.

Through this survey, you’ll be connected to tools and resources that address individual well-being. Participants’ results will be aggregated, analyzed, and shared.

Even if you have already taken the WBI—and I thank you for that—I encourage you to take it about once a month. The survey allows you to track your results over time. Are things getting better? Getting worse? Are there areas where you’re getting stronger and others where you’re consistently doing more poorly? It’s valuable for you to know that as an individual, and it also enhances APhA’s well-being initiative by providing objective data on pharmacists’ mental and physical state. We use these data to create programming and advocacy to meet your needs.

Stress and burnout—no matter their source—affect your ability to do your job well. The WBI connects you with tools to build resilience and develop your emotional intelligence. But the WBI also gives us the evidence we need to address the systemic issues facing the profession.

Take a moment to view or review the recommendations that came out of the Enhancing Well-Being and Resilience Among the Pharmacist Workforce consensus conference. The recommendations were organized into seven categories, including “data, information, and research on pharmacist well-being,” as well as “well-being education and training.” We’ve also got “pharmacist work conditions and patient safety,” “payment models,” and “relations between pharmacists and employers.” All of these are given equal weight, and that reflects the reality that it’s going to take progress on many fronts to fully ease the pain pharmacists are feeling.

So, how can you be a part of the solution? One easy way is take the WBI at least once (and ideally on a monthly basis) in response to prompts. By doing so, you get resources to build your individual resilience, and you give us the data to make our case to the people and entities we need on our side.

I often talk about getting pharmacists on the team and in the game. But we’ve also got our own team that’s fighting our own fight. We’re fighting to practice the kind of pharmacy we all got into the profession to practice.

I’m on your team, and APhA is on your team. Stay tuned for our next steps and take a second to breathe. Be well.