As we become more experienced in patient care, we learn to treat not only the conditions a patient presents with, but also enquire about their overall health, and give then suggestions on ways to improve it.
Pharmacists are qualified in what we know as “good” health, and in ways to attain it.
How closely do we follow our own advice?
Pharmacists work incredibly hard, struggling to keep up to date in education as well as spending many unpaid hours in patient care and counselling.
Sleep deprivation comes to mind, and over time it can get worse. We counsel our patients to have good sleep hygiene, and often attribute lack of sleep to problems with mood, concentration and general quality of life.
But what about us?
Directly related to the lack of effective slumber is an increase in the amount of stress we put onto our bodies and minds. The stresses that accompany a career in pharmacy are rather unique, yet as health professionals we advise our patients to reduce the stress in their lives.
Stress has many effects on people, including the dissolution of partnerships, family strife and depression just to name a few. We advise our patients to go easy on themselves when they are having trouble in their personal lives or at work.
Why don’t we afford ourselves the same luxury?
We don’t have the opportunity to even get a decent meal break during the day – hopefully that will change as respectable working conditions are implemented.
We must try to be the best versions of ourselves, but always recognize that we are not above the maladies that can affect our patients.
The next time you ask a patient if they are downplaying a problem, ask yourself the same question.
That wasn’t part of the lecture series we attended though.