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5 Mistakes That Cause Pharmacist Burnout

5 Mistakes That Cause Pharmacist Burnout by Elements magazine |

April 10, 2017

As an independent community pharmacy owner or manager, you wear a lot of hats. Owner. Manager. Provider. Purchaser. Accountant. Marketer. Adviser. Techno-wizard. You name it.

Those hats can get heavy.

And hot.

Especially if you make one mistake. Then two. Then three…

Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’ve made a mistake but you can feel the burn of its consequences.

Loss of motivation, emotional depletion, exhaustion.

Your pharmacy can feel it too.

It hurts your bottom line. And it makes you want to quit.

But don’t worry—relief is on the way.

Avoid these five mistakes to combat job burnout.

1. Isolating yourself (or letting your employees isolate themselves)

When you’re busy, it’s easy to keep your head down until the workday ends.

Or to ignore others when you’re having a bad day.

Isolation breeds discontent, detachment and inertia.

When you isolate yourself (even to get things done), it also harms your employees, your patients and the business. Same goes for your employees.

Deep and positive engagement with others fosters joy, well-being and productivity.

Engage with people more deeply and more often with these approaches:


2. Letting others affect your attitude

Nothing grinds on you as much as rude, disgruntled patients.

You’re improving their health, and they’re killing yours.

If you don’t have strategies to deflect their negativity, you’ll burn out quickly.

Cultivate ongoing positivity with these practices:


3. Losing sight of your dream

Why did you become a pharmacist?

If your current operations aren’t helping you achieve your dream, you won’t feel fulfilled.

Job burnout most often occurs when you don’t find your work meaningful and fulfilling.

Instead of fueling and exciting you, work drains you. Instead of engaging and satisfying you, work drags you down.

Ask yourself what your core values are and if what you’re doing achieves them.

Reevaluate your business strategy to ensure it aligns with your dream.

4. Neglecting self-care

When you’re caring for others, it’s easy to forget to care for yourself.

In some circles, it’s considered a virtue. After all, you’re sacrificing yourself to serve others, right?

But self-care is essential to better care for your patients. When you neglect yourself, you set yourself up for job burnout and limit your ability to serve others.

Self-care looks different for everyone, but it must include activities that replenish your physical and emotional energy.

Ask yourself these questions:


Then, try these common practices to promote well-being:


5. Working too much

You have a lot to do but not a lot of time.

So you work until you fizzle out.

Working extra hours every now and then can drain you, but chronic overwork causes job burnout.

Many factors cause chronic overwork. Are any of these at the root of your job burnout?

Trying to control too much
Pharmacy owners and managers sometimes find delegating difficult. So you give yourselves more than one person can handle. Assess what tasks you’re doing that you can entrust to your staff.

Using inefficient systems
Outdated technology or inefficient workflow adds unnecessary work for you. See what you can automate, and reevaluate your workflow to cut out inefficiencies.

Doing more than you need
You set goals for your pharmacy for a reason. Make sure you don’t overreach. Ask yourself if a task is necessary to achieve your goals or if you’re overreaching.

Being understaffed
Sometimes there’s too much to do and not enough people to do it. Assess whether you need to invest in more employees to help bear the burden and improve productivity.


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