Growing Pharmacist Burnout Needs To Be Addressed, Say Experts

Strategies to address burnout include taking vacation time, reflecting on work, relying on others for help
Strategies to address burnout include taking vacation time, reflecting on work, relying on others for help

HealthDay News — Increasing demands are leading to burnout among pharmacists, which can be addressed at different levels, according to a report published in Drug Topics.

As part of the National Pharmacist Workforce Study, pharmacists' work habits and satisfaction levels are examined every 5 years. In the 2015 report, two-thirds of respondents categorized their workload level as high or excessively high and 45% of respondents believed that their workload had negatively or very negatively impacted their emotional and mental health. In a 2016 survey, reasons cited for growing stress included increased work volume, inadequate support staff, increased paperwork, and a negative work environment. 

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Strategies to avoid burnout include programs offered by pharmacies to help pharmacists maintain a healthy work-life balance. Taking time off and using vacation time is one step to avoid burnout. Strategies can also be employed to help reduce stress while at the pharmacy; these include pharmacists taking a few minutes each day to talk to customers and refocus on why they chose this profession, as well as taking time for reflection before work or after the shift. Relying on other pharmacists for support and advice can also be helpful.

"Today's pharmacists are faced with increasing stress and responsibilities on the job," according to the report. "There are tools and strategies that are within reach for every pharmacist that help improve job satisfaction and improve mental health and well-being."

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