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Wellness: A priority for pharmacists
Michelle Powell 1565

Wellness: A priority for pharmacists

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Today's Perspective

Kristin Wiisanen, PharmD, FAPhA, FCCP

Since the start of the pandemic, pharmacists have faced an unprecedented level of chronic stress and burnout. Many factors have contributed to this, including increased responsibilities, PBM policies, systems defects, and high pharmacist and staff turnover rates. Fortunately, this problem is getting increasing attention from employers and pharmacists alike.

What’s the solution? This month’s Pharmacy Today cover story presents some short-term and long-term strategies for success, but first digs more deeply into the cause of the problem. “What we have learned collectively is that everybody is at risk of experiencing burnout and organizations need to pay attention to sustained chronic stress,” said Nancy Alvarez, PharmD, FAPhA, from the University of Arizona R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy. “We can manage and address emerging situations—emergency situations—for short periods of time, but we can’t do this for sustained periods of time.”

Organizations and individuals are thinking creatively and developing solutions, from flexible work schedules and shorter workweeks to workflow redesign. Many are looking to develop new pharmacy technician roles in clinical and nonclinical activities to allow for expanded career paths for technicians…and free up a portion of the pharmacist’s time.

In this issue of Pharmacy Today, you’ll also find the latest on new drug approvals and whether arnica lives up to its hype for joint and muscle pain treatment. You’ll learn about the 2023 vaccination schedules, including COVID-19, and the latest on ADHD drug shortages and OTC naloxone. Get your CPE on with this month’s article on gender-affirming care and pharmacy practice.

If you are feeling a high level of stress and burnout, use evidence-based techniques that have been shown to help respond to stress productively. Focus on the moment. Breathe. Be aware that you are okay right now. Move your body to release muscle tension.

Recognize your thoughts are just that―thoughts. They are not necessarily the facts that govern your situation. In fact, your emotions can sometimes make the situation worse. Be present and focus on the realities that you can control in the moment, at every moment.

Have a great Today! ■



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