Recognising when a pharmacist needs support

Recognising when a pharmacist needs support webiste image 1

PDL Professional Officers continue to receive enquiries and incident reports that have contributing factors such as pressure, stress, workload or fatigue.

PDL recognises the high demands placed on community and hospital pharmacists including interns, pharmacy owners and other staff members have not eased. The ongoing staffing challenge is impacting pharmacists in the community and hospital pharmacy sectors and unfortunately, these workload and capacity issues seem likely to continue.

Furthermore, recent changes to services such as the opioid dependence treatment program and future changes to dispensing services and remuneration are placing a great deal of strain on all pharmacists involved in those areas of practice. Finally, pharmacists seeking to work in the aged care sector have a degree of uncertainty regarding their role and employment. Overall, these issues are leading to a higher level of stress for pharmacists.

PDL recognises these challenging times and would encourage all pharmacists to think about their well-being and that of their colleagues. Now is a time when our profession needs to increase its focus on looking after ourselves and our colleagues and offering support to each other.

PDL recommendations for pharmacists experiencing stress

  • Share the load. Reach out to colleagues, friends, mentors, GPs and counsellors.
  • Lean on support organisations. Many organisations have Employee Assistance Programs that employees can access. There is also the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS), a not-for-profit organisation, supported by the profession and organisations such as PDL. PSS offers free, confidential, counselling support 365 days a year between 8am – 11pm AEDT.
  • Be mindful of limitations to your practices. Sometimes explaining the limit of your ability to assist a patient and the offer of reasonable alternatives is preferable to proceeding against your better judgement and having to defend an action to a regulator.
  • Access PDL support. The Professional Officers are available for PDL members to discuss these situations and to offer non-judgemental support and advice.

For immediate advice and incident support, call PDL on 1300 854 838 to speak with one of our Professional Officers. We are here to support our pharmacist members 24/7.