Tips for Surviving a 12-Hour Shift

Working 12-hour shifts in the pharmacy can be exhausting. You’re always busy on your feet and often without a break. Your job demands 100 percent focus because patients demand it. It’s a challenge trying to keep up, but if you’re prepared beforehand, your long shifts will be much easier to get through.

Here are some tips for you and your pharmacy staff to get the much-needed pep in your step you’ll need to prepare for long days or nights in the pharmacy.

Do what makes you feel happy

This will make a huge difference in your overall mental health and attitude. Pursue something you love, such as painting, swimming, baking, crafting, or gardening. Have fun with friends, go for a bike ride, or go fishing. Whatever you do, you’ll walk a little lighter and smile a little brighter at your job when you feel happy.

Get a good night’s sleep

You may be the best pharmacist in the world and love what you do, but you can’t do your best at working a 12-hour shift without a good night of sleep. If you want to be your best self and do your best work each day, try going to bed early so you get enough shut-eye. Just one more hour of sleep can make all the difference in the pharmacy.

Use blackout curtains. Not only do they block out the sun, but they absorb heat, which keeps your room cool in the heat of summer. Another idea is to invest in noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds, a sleep mask, or a white noise app.

Fit in some exercise

It sounds easy, but as you know, it’s not easy getting up early to fit in a workout. And after working a 12-hour shift, you definitely don’t feel like going to a crowded gym. Yet, it’s important to get 30 minutes of exercise each day to stay healthy mentally and physically.

Instead of begrudgingly heading off to the gym, consider going for a walk, either by yourself or with a friend (canines count). Follow along with a workout class on YouTube, jump rope, and/or do some yoga. All of these will help you get in some exercise and feel great!

Eat a healthy breakfast

Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day, and for good reason. It gives you energy, fuels your body, and improves your concentration. So, be sure you to make time in the morning to grab a bite to eat, and take along some healthy snacks for the midday munchies. It’ll make all the difference.

Stay hydrated

It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re in the thick of helping patients in your pharmacy. Staying hydrated is important for your body, so be sure to take a sip at least every hour. Invest in a good water bottle, and keep it by your side or at your workstation as a reminder to take a sip here and there.

Wear good shoes

Skip the sandals and heels. Preparing for a 12-hour shift must include investing in a comfortable pair of shoes that will get you though a long day of not sitting down. A good, quality lightweight shoe with laces and good insoles is best.

With the right preparations, working 12-hour shifts can actually be somewhat enjoyable. Giving yourself the necessary fuel and tools to keep going will make your long shifts in the pharmacy a piece of cake.

A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.

An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.

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