Finding A Happy, Sustainable Pharmacy Career

Finding A Happy, Sustainable Pharmacy Career

Written by: Gunda Siska

 

I have been brainstorming for an alternative pharmacy job that is less stressful than retail and hospital work.

I currently work in a busy hospital. The medical and pharmaceutical questions, problems and tasks come at me so fast I cannot resolve one problem through, before the next problem presents its self to me. I end up with brain fog and migraines. I know I should change jobs to something more sustainable. I’m unable to do anything at home for my family after a long, hard day at the hospital. Living with chronic migraines is not my idea of success and so I often think about going to work at Walgreens…in the COSMETIC department, cuz retail pharmacy seems to be even more stressful.

I know I could NOT work retail pharmacy. I had glimpses of it during pharmacy school, and at the end of a busy day I would be shaking with frustrations from all the interruptions that occurred. I have so much respect and admiration for the cool, calm, smart retail pharmacists. HOW DO U DO IT?

Anyhow, I have been brainstorming for a better way of life.

I think pharmacists should double as health care coaches to solve our health care crisis. I think our hospitals are over run with patients who have illnesses that can be solved with lifestyle modification. I also believe we don’t have enough doctors to take care of all the sick people. I know at my hospital during flu season we end up in code black, which means we have overflow patients in the hallways and storage closets! There is literally no room for all the sick people.

So the win-win solution that I have come up with….have all the highly educated retail pharmacists, and any other pharmacists looking for a change to come out of the woodwork and become health care coaches.

The money part sort of slowed me down, but I have thought that through. I see two solutions.

Money solution #1, become affiliated with selling natural products and get a commission from the products you recommend. Pharmacists will never be an average sales representative. Our health is too complicated and individualized to just recommend the same product for everyone.

I believe only pharmacists should be selling and recommending OTC products, vitamins, minerals, and natural products of any kind.

I am currently writing a book about when natural products yield good results. Healthy people don’t need any pills to stay healthy, but many people are not healthy. Many people are looking for improved health, better energy, and improved appearance.

In my articles for Pharmacy Times Magazine I have been slowly telling the readers when natural products will yield good results. These articles are actually excerpts from my book that will be coming out soon, hopefully July.

Don’t let your customers read this book before you, cuz they will be asking you questions that will blow your mind.

Combined with the years of college education, and work experience I anticipate that this book will give pharmacists a clear view of how to slow the aging process down with natural products, and how to optimize health in unhealthy people. (more on my book later)

Money solution #2, Become a pharmacist clinician and expand your recommendations even more. Not only will you be recommending natural products, but you will also be recommending drugs.

I believe that our health care crisis can be solved with medicinal diets, natural products, and drugs. We need all three to restore health…and then keep us healthy.

After my first medical book is out in July, I’m going to immediately start working on my second book. It will be called Curing obesity through medication management. In that book i will explain how to use drugs as a catalyst to develop new, healthy lifestyle habits. Will power and drugs only work for a short period of time. We need to take advange of that opportunity to create new automatic habits and lifestyle choices. THAT is what the book is about. It’s about ending obesity. It’s about having the next generation of people automatically being thin because their parents instilled wellness in them as children.

So for now, I have to highly recommend that pharmacist who are looking for a change follow me on twitter, facebook, Pharmacy times magazine, and this blog. I will be telling you everything I know as I walk through the process myself. I am thinking this thing through for me, so that I can have a better life…and I’m telling you my trials and errors so that you can do the same if you chose to.

I am wishing you the best in life: success, happiness, health and love

The Space In Between Chapters

The Space In Between Chapters

 

A few big things happened recently:

  1. I donated BINS of baby/toddler items
  2. My son received his first phone call from a friend “just to talk”
  3. The pharmacy profession is causing panic at the disco

A local church was accepting donations for clothes and toys and for the first time, I entered the corner of the basement and pushed aside the cobwebs of the attic looking for bins. I blame my restlessness, Marie Kondo, and my husband for this urge to purge. Opening those bins brought back a flood of memories – holding some outfits pushed all of my maternal buttons and holding some toys had me singing along to our favorite songs. You know it’s time for the stuff to go when your kids see the piles and say, “Yeah, I’m good with that.” It took me a long time to sort, feel, reminisce, and pack 10 boxes full of stuff. On donation day, I loaded the car and ran back to the house to grab the last box when my son says, “So-And-So is calling your phone tonight!” “Oh really! How did they get my number?” I ask. “From the school directory that was sent home,” he answers confidently. My first thought was wow, So-And-So is so resourceful! Wait, what are they going to talk about? The phone rings, he grabs it, and he runs in the other room. I look at my husband in disbelief and say, “What’s happening?”

There’s no time to discuss as I’ve got to make it to the church before 7:30pm. After I unload the boxes, I drive away slowly, as if the volunteers will call me back saying the infant tutu outfit is too cute and I must keep it. I roll down the windows and soak in the last few minutes of an almost perfect (i.e. rare) weather day in Chicago. The warm wind on the way to the church now felt cool against the tears coming down my cheeks – as I say goodbye to one chapter, filled with baby smells, cute outfits, and lots of firsts– and anxiously think about the next chapter – to be filled with phone calls, awkward moments, and lots of firsts. On that drive home, I think about feeling in between two phases of motherhood. The transition from single digit to double digit birthdays. The growth in the width of their shoulders, the length of their feet, and the breadth of their independence. I think of the coincidence of my son receiving his first phone call on the same night I’m letting go of his baby clothes. I believe that saved me from having a complete sob attack. After a few hot tears, I realized I have a big kid who needs me to clear my attic AND my perceptions of a little boy disguised in a big boy shell.

Of course this makes me think about work (we can’t help ourselves, right?). Feeling in between chapters is the best way to describe how I’ve felt in the past when I’ve changed clinics. Similar to baby clothes, I remember donating materials I no longer needed and being grateful for that experience while anxiously awaiting my next pharmacy home. Some of us are between jobs or fear we may be there soon. Some of us have outgrown current conditions yet nervous to make a career move. Some of us can’t imagine working anywhere else yet the current climate encourages one’s imagination. These transitional periods are so tough. We’re planners, after all, and the future needs us. But in what ways?

Our very own founder of pharmacistmomsgroup.com, Suzy Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, explained the why behind her career switch. She said, “Having kids meant that my 90 minute commute wasn’t an option anymore and I needed to find a better fit for the “new” me. I loved what I was doing but I knew that my children and family needed me more so I resigned from my “dream” job as an associate dean and had to find myself once again.”

 

I find it interesting that some events in life force us to move on to the next chapter, whether we’re ready or not. The panic in pharmacy is widespread and impactful decisions are made every day. Feeling so out of control, how do we navigate this space as working moms? I reached out to my friend, Mary Heidkamp, PhD and Executive Coach,* to help answer this really easy (not) question. She put the power in our hands. And she gets right to it: “You don’t have to save your organization. That’s not on you. If you’re in a role that’s not professionally satisfying, you have two choices: stay or start looking- and there’s reasons to do either. As moms with high-level careers, we desire fulfilling careers AND hands-on motherhood. Maybe your job is not fulfilling but it’s suiting your family well at the moment. Maybe it offers flexibility, hours that work well, and benefits you need. Maybe the craving for more satisfying work weighs more than that, so you start looking. YOU have the choice.”

Suzy opened up about her own transitions between jobs. “I was scared. I didn’t even know where to start. I spent my entire career in Chicago and didn’t know anyone on the east coast and had little connections. I loved my job but I knew that moving 800 miles away was going to force me to look for a new job. I still needed to pass my boards for a new state; the hardest part was believing I could take an exam almost 10 years later. It wasn’t easy.”

Here’s the superheroic plan: Let’s make a pack not to rush through transitions. If we take a step back and reflect on how far we’ve come, at home or work, maybe we can ease into the next chapter with more gratitude and grace. Let’s give ourselves time (in my case: years) to be ready to say goodbye to things that are just things. Let’s give ourselves mental space to process everything that’s going on at work.  Let’s give ourselves credit when we actually DO let go of things we don’t need and let go of momentum that can’t change. When we find ourselves in the spaces in between chapters, let’s just breathe and give ourselves a moment to cogitate over what’s really important at the intersection of home and work.

Suzy adds, “What I learned is change is good. It has helped me to grow. Helped me become a better pharmacist. It helped me make new friends. New connections. I am now comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Brooke

Superheroic: A Blog for Moms with a Pharmacy Twist

Be.superheroic@gmail.com

* http://dynamic-insights.com/

 

An angry customer shot me #silentnomore

 

According to OSHA “between 2011-2013, workplace assaults ranged from 23,540-25,630 annually with 70-74% occurring in healthcare and social service settings. For healthcare workers assaults account for 10-11% of workplace injury versus 3% of all private sector employees.” This is UNACCEPTABLE and as the founder of Pharmacist Moms, I will be #silentnomore. Yesterday a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician were SHOT and are currently in the hospital. As health care providers, we must demand from our leadership more protocols and zero tolerance for any form of violence. This is not new to healthcare and we need to bring light to this situation. My thoughts and prayers for the victims and pharmacy staff and the patients of the pharmacy. Pharmacists play a unique role in healthcare and are caregivers and oftentimes similar to other healthcare providers have a difficult time taking legal action against patients, but we should. We will be #silentnomore

 

 

Just a Pharmacist

By: Lisa King, RPh, Amazon Best Selling Author

 

I recently read about a speech that the American Pharmaceutical Association president gave about how many times we find ourselves as pharmacists saying ‘I’m just a pharmacist, community pharmacist, staff pharmacist.’ I never really thought about this as I was always proud to be a pharmacist. I had heard so many women in the past say to me ‘I’m just a mom or other title” when I told them about my career. I never thought I was one of those people who referred to myself as “Just A” but when it came to my career as a retail, staff pharmacist, I was guilty as charged. I married my high school sweetheart, graduated from pharmacy school, and soon started having children. I was alway just a mom and a pharmacist. I have always loved caring for my patients at the pharmacy and know everything about their families. It was always my goal to share a smile with a patient. I love to comfort a new mom and tell her I had been there when it came to sleepless nights. I enjoy sharing nutrition tips regarding the diet and exercise portion of a diagnosis. We all love to dream big and many pharmacy moms have a side hustle that helps them feel more complete. At times, we become frustrated that the pharmacy is taking us away from what we feel is our true life’s purpose. That may be an additional income stream or it may be just staying home with our children. Sometimes, you have to step back in gratitude and reflect on one of the main roles in your life as a pharmacist. I challenge you to take out a piece of paper and write down everything that you feel grateful for in your career. Think about what the career actually does for you and your family. Is it financial freedom to go to the movies, buy a new outfit, contribute to a college fund? Is it the ability to feel that you are actually changing people’s lives, whether that be your patients, interns or technicians? I guarantee you your heart will be warmed by doing this exercise on what you are grateful for in your pharmacy career. We all want to live the life that we desire, to live our life’s purpose and be the best version of ourselves. That life can be many things, and I want that life for myself as well. I love sharing information on health and wellbeing. However; at this time in my life, I am happy to include all of those things as part of who I am. This includes not being “just a pharmacist” but a pharmacist!