The Pursuit of Excellence At Work: A New Kind of Addiction


Here is one pharmacist's plan to strive for more excellence professionally.

I am addicted to the feeling of having my act together. I love to go to bed early on a work night, so I can wake up early feeling refreshed and energetic. I know I need my energy to be high to run the pharmacy. It is hard, stressful work, and it is very demanding physically and mentally. I must keep my cool at all times and under some very challenging conditions. I need to focus, concentrate, keep a clear mind, make important decisions quickly, give advice, prioritize, and calculate life-saving drug doses quickly.

Several people have told me, “I could never do what you do.” And I believe them. I multitask nonstop for 8 hours. It is a marathon. Only occasionally do I stop to take a break, get coffee, eat an energy bar, take a selfie, or freshen up my makeup.

I want to be at the top of my game and stay there. I want to continue to receive excellent wages for excellent service.

Here is my plan to strive for more excellence professionally:


Commit to having the highest standards and acting on them. That means, reading and addressing all the computer alerts that I encounter: allergy alerts, drug interactions, and dosing alerts.



very time I process an antibiotic, blood thinner, or other dangerous drug I will double-check the administration of the last dose to make sure I set the times right.


Every time I process an order for a drug that needs to be renally dosed, I will calculate the creatine clearance and make sure the dose is adjusted properly. I will take the time to call the nurse and get the height and weight when necessary.


With regards to long-acting narcotics orders, I will research and make sure that the hospital orders are congruent with the home regimen.


I will complete a consult to the best of my abilities. I will ask my supervisors how I can improve when necessary.


I will NEVER, do a task half-heartedly. I will NEVER do the minimum.


I will pay attention and participate in all meetings that I must attend.

But pursuing excellence is more than just the mechanics of the job. It also involves working with others.

In my opinion, to achieve excellence, pharmacists must also do the following:


Do not complain even when you have every right to; tell your complaints to your journal.

2. Always be at your work station doing what you are supposed to be doing.

3. Always be professional and kind even when others don’t deserve it.

4. Go with the flow and be easy to work with.


Encourage coworkers instead of criticizing them. Do you tell them what they are doing wrong or doing right? You get more of the stuff that you focus on. If you want better technicians helping you, thank them often for their hard work and dedication.


Listen and learn from unfair, hypercritical comments. Use that experience to improve. Do not engage in mean, destructive behavior. Avoid unnecessary drama. Always be the bigger person.


Volunteer information so others can make better decisions, but do not tell others what to do.

8. Genuinely want the best for your team and teammates.


Always be courtesy and helpful to others. Forget the notion that “this is not my problem.” We are all in this together.


Smile when appropriate, introduce yourself to new people, and offer your assistance.

11. Mitigate stress and tension with humor and laughter.

12. Put coworkers at ease by telling them everything is going to be OK, and we will get through this together. Prioritize, and be the best you than you can be. That is excellence.

After doing all these things, when that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment comes over you, relish it. But keep it a secret. Otherwise, detractors will create drama in an attempt to take it away. Let that feeling of excellence be an addiction that grows over time.

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