Pharmacy students, I love them!! They have such a joy about them as they look forward to graduation and becoming pharmacists. They look forward to the patient interaction, making a difference in patient’s lives and empowering patients to lead healthier lifestyles. I have had the pleasure of being a preceptor for many years now. After graduation, there is sometimes a slow shift from the attitude of joy to frustration.
While most pharmacists still love their career, it is not unusual to hear chatter about insurance claims, grumpy patients and irresponsible doctor’s offices. When and how does this shift happen? Pharmacists have demanding jobs and one can easily get caught up in the the busy work of the profession and let it consume our day. One way to get through a difficult day is to turn your thoughts around. Go from thinking how tired you are on your twelve hour shift to how you brought a smile to Mrs. Smith’s face and brightened her morning. Do not concentrate on how frustrated you are with a prior authorization claim but think about how you taught Mr. Smith how to organize his medications. Now he is more compliant and having better outcomes with his medications. Turning negative thoughts into positive thoughts can be the difference between having a good day or a bad day.
When you can’t change a certain situation, the best thing to change is a certain someone. Yourself! The attributes that you want to be known for in the pharmacy are often the characteristics you want to be known for in your everyday life. What qualities do you want to be known for as a pharmacist? You can be kind, friendly, resourceful, content, caring, inspiring. Of course we are pharmacists, but the title is so much more. What standards represent you and would make you feel more complete and satisfied with your day in the pharmacy? What would you like to be known for from your patients, coworkers and other pharmacy staff? You can be whomever you choose to be! So just go out and be YOU!
As pharmacists, we are constantly giving to others. We are also required to multitask frequently throughout the day. The career not only requires physical stamina for the long shifts but complete focus on error prevention. Take time for yourself on your days off. There is no need to feel guilty about self-care. You can”t give from an empty vessel and that includes not only giving back to your patients but also to your family and friends. Be sure to take time to rest, take a walk, meditate, read a book, get fresh air, write in a gratitude journal. Taking care of yourself allows for change to manifest in your life. Take care of yourself because although this may sound cliché, you are worth it!
While pharmacy can be a very difficult and trying career it is also a very fulfilling career. When you take the time to turn your thoughts around, be all you want to be and fit in occasions for self-care you will feel more satisfied with your days at the pharmacy. These are all factors that contribute to having the rewarding pharmacy career that you deserve!
Written by: Lisa King, RPh