Pharmacist Employers Must Address Employee Burnout

Pharmacy Times, May 2022, Volume 88, Issue 5

The APhA noted that burnout had been a problem in the pharmacy profession for a long time but had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) issued a statement in December 2021 titled “Pharmacist Burnout Hits Breaking Point, Impacting Patient Safety.” In the statement, the APhA noted that burnout had been a problem in the pharmacy profession for a long time but had been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burnout, the APhA cautioned, was pushing many pharmacy professionals to “the brink of despair.” What’s more, burnout “is impacting patients today with delayed prescription fulfillment, unacceptable waits for vaccines and testing, and potential errors due to high volume, long hours, and pressure to meet performance metrics.”

Recommended remedies for burnout in pharmacies typically involve self-care: meditate, get a massage, take deep breaths during the day. But that advice puts the burden of fixing the problem entirely on employees.

In this issue’s Women in Pharmacy article, Suzanne Soliman, PharmD, BCMAS, chief academic officer at the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs and founder of Pharmacist Moms Group, provides 9 ways pharmacy employers can address employee burnout.

Burnout is defined as emotional exhaustion, a feeling of detachment from other individuals or one’s work, and having a reduced sense of accomplishment, Soliman writes. Limited resources, staffing issues, and work schedules are just some of the many factors leading to burnout. Soliman’s suggestions include providing child care, offering encouragement to employees, and seeking their input when scheduling work hours for staff members.

With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, the article provides food for thought on how employers can focus on the well-being of employees and try to minimize stressors in the pharmacy.

With spring in full swing, this May issue also focuses on allergies and asthma. Yvette C. Terrie, BSPharm, RPh, discusses in the cover feature how climate change is affecting pollen counts, why allergy symptoms are intensifying for many individuals, and how pharmacists can best help patients treat their symptoms.

You’ll find other interesting and useful content in this issue, including a look at the pros and cons of stockpiling medications, smoking cessation techniques, pharmacist prescribing, flexible practice models, and treating insomnia.

As always, we thank you for reading.