What if you could control the way you felt by controlling the way you thought? Like a remote control for television, our negative thoughts take us to the shows playing in our heads.
Pharmacists are bad at taking their own advice. We counsel on sleep. We counsel on sleep hygiene. Then we go home and flush it. We doom-scroll our phones, grab a snack because we skipped food while busy at work, and sometimes even pour a drink.
Have you ever stopped to consider how much you actually make per hour as a pharmacy owner? And have you considered how much you make based on the type of operation you run? You might be surprised to run the numbers.
Reflecting on 15 years of being a pharmacist, which started as a part-time pharmacy cashier making $6.85 per hour five years before that, I have held all these traditional job titles that we find in community pharmacy.
People get sick, it happens. But when we see obvious patterns like repeated incidents of staff calling in sick before a weekend or the same employee being sick on a weekly basis, there is some work do to.
We are not lawyers. We are not real estate agents. However, that does not mean we are devoid of negotiating skills.
Compartmentalization permits risk management. Viewing your pharmacy down into its pieces can bring tremendous advantage.
Ever find yourself working harder than you need to in the process of buying something for your pharmacy?
We know that emotional decisions rarely end being up the right ones. When this happens, great leaders have the ability to zoom out, resist the urge to be swept away by the details and focus on the overall broader situation.
In a repetitive pharmacy world that craves constant peaks of new-ness, those with the ability to grind will out-succeed those that make impulse decisions and routinely make big pharmacy system changes.
One job of the pharmacy leader is to moderate the range of personalities on the team.
Spend time building meaningful patient relationships instead of focusing on the empty calories of transactions. Transactions pay off once, while relationships pay off repeatedly.
In the pharmacy, there are countless ways of being a set-up person.
Pharmacy is like a snow storm. During a heavy storm, we cannot keep up with the falling snow even with constant shovelling. We end up going about our lives, then dealing with the damage when the storm is over.
For the pharmacy world struggling with back orders, recalls and mixed-up orders, owing is a part of the job. But owings – or debt – for a pharmacist are analogous to the problem of lost luggage.
With a very sparse number of pharmacy staff in the neighbourhood to choose from, we now often select workers without actual pharmacy experience.
By their scientific method, scientists’ actions demonstrate that they do not know the true answer but have ideas as to what it could be. Scientists resist the urge to form irreversible public opinions.
Pharmacy does not come with a user guide. Pharmacy leaders must hear what is going on in the game and help the players find a solution that fits within the rulebook. To do this, we do not necessarily need to invent the answer ourselves.
Pharmacy is a little like jumping out of an airplane. It takes bravery, practice, training and most of all, a parachute. While the primary parachute is obvious, there is another essential need before jumping out of the plane: the back-up chute.
Gone are the days of a "druggist" using leeches or being the only druggist in town. Gone are the product-driven experts solely paid for dispensing. Pharmacists have stretched the limits of their horizons before us and now it is our turn.
Some bets in life are simple once you wrap your mind around them. For years, my wife and I resisted paying someone to cut our lawn.
Like many pharmacy manager-owners, I have conducted a few interviews in my time. Some were highly collaborative and resulted in all-stars still working strongly with us today. Other résumés turned into napkins or scrap paper.
The problem with pharmacy is that it is all practice. It is training without race day. The daily grind offers much of the same training as it did the day before. After a short time, we become jaded.
Important negotiations are about relationships, something pharmacists know a ton about. Each day we make friends with strangers needing health advice and tools to pair them with.
In writing about the anecdotes and lessons offered by managing people, the business and the profession, I found seven recurrent themes, which I called the seven dimensions of the ideal pharmacy leader.
In an era when pharmacy scope of practice is changing rapidly and we venture out into new practice models, we may feel insecure at first.
All pharmacists have at least one thing in common: we passed a few multiple-choice exams. Remember when your classmate said he would know the answer when he saw it listed in the options? He was right.
Once we invest (or waste) time doing (or not doing) something, we do not get it back. Staffing your pharmacy is much the same, since time spent recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, training and support a new employee will never be given back.
This sounds harsh, but it often goes unrecognized so here it is straight: no matter what your pharmacy role is, you are replaceable. While you may not imagine that someone else is capable of taking over your job, there is.
Bad news is confrontational. We hesitate to disrupt homeostasis because we are afraid of the negative emotions it will cause others and ourselves. The imagined response in anticipation of our inflammatory reaction makes others procrastinate.
Do you have a friend with repeated car problems or perhaps own a car like this yourself? That car ends up costing you time and money repeatedly and the frustration has you thinking about a new vehicle. That car is high maintenance.
It is the boss’s job to filter the conversations of the workplace and make informed decisions. The hardest part of being the pharmacy decision-maker comes in the times we are wrong. When that happens, do you have the guts to change your mind?
You know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Remember the porridge that was just the right temperature and the bed that was just the right softness?
As part of the duties of being a pharmacist, our job involves helping people when they are not at their best.
There seems no reprieve to the pharmacist’s daily battles, let alone carrying the weight of nurturing a high-volume prescription count, staff that need plenty of attention and keeping an eye on a business that depends on a ton of moving parts.
While a pharmacist is counselling a patient in-person, would it be appropriate for them to stop to answer the phone? Would we expect this of a surgeon or a plumber?
Some urgent moments of pharmacy involve getting prescriptions filled, managing wait times and dealing with due dates like order cut-off times, answering phones and patient line-ups.
People are any workplace’s most valuable asset. They are what make it all tick. To run a great pharmacy, we need great people. To find great people, we need to interview like a champion.
Gone are the days where your next hire would walk in, shake your hand and a conversation led to finding your next all-star. The fact that this may have even worked in the past is mind-blowing.
Workplace exit happens organically when new philosophies and overarching reassessments happen inside a team.
The patient-healthcare provider bond is an alliance of honesty, understanding and trust. In our best attempts to provide patient care, we sometimes fail to establish the required relationship based on the way a patient treats us or the staff.
The pharmacist personality is commonly a confrontation-avoider. We will often put ourselves out for the sake of others. People are used to getting our attention whenever they want it, no matter how small their query.
For the past five years my work portfolio has been a mix of corporate and independent pharmacy work.
If anyone wrote down the negative thoughts that go through the minds of pharmacy people, it would alarm you (and a psychiatrist). Trust me.
Leaders must be prepared to put their bulletproof vest on and own it. To process the time-waster’s feedback, remember that the issue is not a reflection on you, but a reflection on a set of circumstances that you were a part in building.
At the stroke of 2023, Ontario pharmacists were capable of initiating prescription medications without patients seeing a prescriber beforehand. It is a major solution to a major ailment plaguing a complex and congested healthcare system.
We get a call in the pharmacy asking if we have a drug. The busy pharmacy assistant checks our software that tells them we have what they are looking for.
Bold prediction: Pharmacists will grow in medical responsibility and clinical expertise. But while complexity (and exhaustion) increase, who will take care of the pharmacists?
The simplest way to obtain buy-up is togetherness. A team matures when they are united and have each other to follow. During turmoil, if they win as a team no one overstays their welcome by taking too much glory.
Whether you like it or not, optically you are the expert. Your words and actions drive behaviour change and it is up to you to provide the feedback that allows staff to navigate their own individual mastery curves.