What is Burnout? In the literal sense, is defined as “the cessation of operation usually of a jet or rocket engine; exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration” by the Meriam-Webster Dictionary (Meriam-Webster)
The National Institue of Health defines it as “The term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions. Doctors and nurses, for example, who sacrifice themselves for others, would often end up being “burned out” – exhausted, listless, and unable to cope. Nowadays, the term is not only used for these helping professions or for the dark side of self-sacrifice. It can affect anyone, from stressed-out career-driven people and celebrities to overworked employees and homemakers.” (National Institute of Health)
What can we do to prevent burnout in the workplace? Specifically healthcare and pharmacy. According to a study conducted with licensed pharmacists in Florida to assess if resilience factored into burnout at work. Recovering from stressful workplace situations more quickly decreases the likelihood of burnout, according to this study. Over 900 participants were statistically assessed for workplace performance, burnout, and, ultimately, job turnover to see if there was any significant relationship. The conclusion. “The results of this study suggest that resilience significantly predicts both pharmacists work-related burnout and job performance. The more resilient the pharmacist, the lower the chances of work-related burnout and the higher the likelihood of better job performance. Organizations should pursue opportunities to educate healthcare workers on methods to increase resilience and to bring attention to the importance of this topic.” (Weiss et al.) Therefore, evidence exists supporting ongoing resilience training in the workplace to support the mental health and fitness of pharmacists, pharmacy staff, and healthcare workers. The addition of pharmacy staff and healthcare workers provide critical to a productive pharmacy. Staff, technicians, cashiers, office staff, and auxiliary workers collectively determine the productivity and efficiency of pharmacy staff and operations. When the business begins to take mental fitness training and support at the same level as physical wellness, the industry improves the chances of sustaining the longevity of business practices, increased productivity at work, and a healthier work-life balance.
Coaching-led intervention, tested via a 17-week program by The Medical Research Council (MRC), including online and in-person workshops, webinars, weekly case studios, reflective journals, and development plans, resulted in “a safe, supportive, albeit online facilitated learning environment, appeared feasible and valuable in supporting guided reflection and developmental discourse. This facilitates transformative learning, and supports NCPs to gain proficiency and become independent reflective practitioners.” (Magola et al.)
Coaching is breaking ground in expansive ways worldwide. Programs that facilitate workplace mental fitness, such as Positive Intelligence, “Positive Intelligence provides a neuroscience-based approach to mental fitness. Discovering these root-level factors of performance and wellbeing dramatically simplifies personal and professional development. Intercepting one’s Saboteur and activating one’s Sage automatically results in a wide array of impacts including stress management, relationship improvement, performance, selling and persuasion, creativity, leadership, resilience, and happiness.” (Chamine) Business coaching guru, Tony Robbins, wrote, “There’s a great new book out called Positive Intelligence by a friend of mine, Shirzad Chamine. In it, he shows that the amount of true potential that we realize is really controlled by how often our brain works to serve us versus conflict with our core desires and needs. Training yourself so that you are emotionally fit, so you can tap into the power of the Sage in you—instead of letting the part that’s constantly judging yourself interfere—will enable you to make a valuable contribution.” (Robbins Blog) Businesses use Positive Intelligence trained coaches to allow greater value to organizations in a personal and professional context to build resilience.
Ultimately, employers, this decision is for you to make when it comes to the long-term goals of your organization and businesses. Turnover creates uncertainty, potentially decreased levels of patient safety, increased finances spent for training and development, and, ultimately, constant organizational change. “Many studies have reported that organizational commitment and job satisfaction had significant influence on pharmacist turnover intention in all settings. Career commitment and perceived organizational support had direct and indirect effects on community pharmacist turnover intention.” (Thin et al.)
Increased ability to recover from stress, identify leading causes of stress, and increase communication, productivity, and teamwork is attainable in a scientifically proven operating system to prevent burnout for employees today!
Encourage your leaders to take action and forward them this article to prevent burnout in pharmacy proactively.
Working your butt off is exhausting. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way! The key to stable growth with your business is building resilience, so you can keep moving forward after a tough week. It's time for a mental fitness program.
Chamine, Shirzad. “The Science of Positive Intelligence.” Positive Intelligence, https://www.positiveintelligence.com/science/. Accessed 5 April 2023.
Magola, Esnath, et al. “The development, feasibility and acceptability of a coach-led intervention to ease novice community pharmacists' transition to practice.” PubMed, 16 April 2021, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33994115/. Accessed 5 April 2023.