“Being a pharmacist carries tremendous responsibility as a professional,” she says. “Your job is not only to dispense, but to clinically assess if the medication is not therapeutically duplicated, there are no interactions, no mistakes with the doses, no allergies to the class of drugs, no contraindications for the drug, no underdosing, no overdosing, vaccination administration, and so much more. That’s a lot of weight.”
Over the years, Cann has de-stressed with other pharmacists on days off, getting together to vent about expectations, share stories, provide and receive support. She belongs to a number of pharmacist-only Facebook groups where information and support is shared and also attends professional meetings where she can network with other pharmacists and other employers.
During the time when Cann worked the longest hours in retail pharmacy—as much as 14 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week—she sought the help of a therapist to work through issues with work stress and to learn ways to diffuse difficult situations at work.
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“I once took an online course in conflict management to better deal with coworkers who behave in unprofessional ways and with patients who escalate situations,” she says. “Good communication among pharmacy staff members helps the workflow run smoothly. Exercise is a must to release tension and help counter those long hours at work.”
What has worked for El-Khatib to relieve stress has been creating opportunities to gain more business and attract more customers, and manage inventory and cash flow. He has also made an effort to build banking relationships in order to be able to increase business credit when cash flow is needed, so that lines of credit or loans can be taken out.
Over the years, Lukyanovsky has tried many avenues to relieve stress and keep job burnout from creeping in.
“Mindset, meditation, planning, and preparing all worked for me. I would mediate at night for an easy flow and good energy day the next shift. I would envision the flow of my next day, being smooth and steady” she says. “I would intend for a good day the morning of the shift, listen to positive affirmations and start the day right. Also, giving compliments or saying nice things to your customers before they even say something can work even for your meanest client.”
Lukyanovsky learned many of those options through self-help books and coaches.
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“I was sick at some point so my functional medicine practitioner taught me his method of how to resolve physical stress through functional medicine and I was so impressed that I started helping others, even fellow pharmacists to help them resolve their physical stress,” she says. “I also worked with a hypnotherapist and she also helped me tremendously dealing with work related stress, understanding and assessing stressful situation and resolve it instead of fuming.”
Advice from Stress Experts
Andrew Alexander, a stress-management consultant, explains at the most basic level, stress is a collection of emotions building up within the body and when the emotions build up too much, they need a way to channel them out in order to release them.
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