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Working on Well-Being
by Jennifer Arnoldi, PharmD, BCPS Clinical Associate Professor, SIUE School of Pharmacy President of ICHP
At this year’s Spring Meeting, I presented a poster detailing a research project I completed with a pharmacy student prior to the start of the pandemic. We focused on the issue of burnout in Illinois pharmacists, gathering data from members of ICHP and IPhA. The results were disheartening, showing many pharmacists who responded to the survey were affected by burnout, which encompasses exhaustion and disengagement from work. Pharmacist burnout can have a negative impact on patient care, outcomes, and efficacy at work.1
Along with the increased focus on professional burnout, there has been a growing interest in the topics of mindset, well-being, mindfulness, and resilience. As many of us fulfill caregiver roles at work and at home, this makes perfect sense. What do they tell us to do when there is an unexpected issue on an airplane? Put on your oxygen mask before you assist others. In terms of well-being, we need to put on our oxygen masks and care for ourselves so that we can optimally care for others. In the November 2020 issue of KeePosted, Executive Vice President Chris Crank extolled the virtues of positive thinking, especially during times of stress.2 If you missed “Crank’s Corner” from that issue, I’d encourage you to go back to the archives and give it a read. In our already busy lives, how can we make time for well-being?
One approach is to create a culture of well-being at the workplace. One way is to consider well-being challenges. Consider selecting a monthly well-being focus for the department and find a way to make it competitive. A recent study highlighted well-being challenges created for pharmacy students that focused on smartphone usage, practicing gratitude, achieving good sleep habits, and working on daily movement such as taking a walk.3 It might be necessary to use the honor system to report staff participation in these challenges, but rewards like a small gift card to a local shop or workplace incentives might have an impact. Another suggestion is to implement a weekly focus; my workplace has a “Wellness Wednesday” that has a different topic each week.
Would you rather use an app for that? We have a wealth of them at our fingertips to help us on our well-being journey. Did you know that if you are a member of ASHP that you already have free access to an app called Headspace? It is one of the most popular well-being apps that can help you with meditation, mindfulness, and sleep. This link https://bit.ly/30kvtmb
will help you verify your ASHP account and add this member benefit. Not an ASHP member? If you don’t mind paying a subscription fee, you can purchase Headspace on your own. Additionally, the Calm app is another very useful tool similar to Headspace. Each app offers a 7-day free trial period so that you can try before you buy. These are only two popular apps; there are many more available, some of which are free to use or have a trial period.
I would love to hear your well-being strategies, whether they are a workplace initiative or something you’ve found that works for you personally. Send me an email with your ideas and experiences (email@example.com - Subject: Wellbeing Ideas for Jen.
) I would love to hear from you!
- Padgett EH, Grantner GR. Pharmacist burnout and stress. US Pharm. 2020:45(5)HS2-HS-10.
- Crank C. Crank's Corner. Positive thinking: an important skill for stressful times. KeePosted. 2020; 46(4):11
- Cain J. Effectiveness of issuing well-being challenges to nudge pharmacy students to adopt well-being protective behaviors. Am J Pharm Educ. 2020;84(8): Article 7875.