Healthcare professionals are notorious for neglecting their own health in favour of their patients’. But as COVID-19 rapidly became a disruptive presence in all of our lives, it became clear that pharmacy professionals need the tools to manage the resulting increases in stress and anxiety: it bears repeating that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
That’s why we published a number of self-care articles, which proved to be some of the careers section’s most popular pieces in 2020. During the UK’s first national lockdown, Karen Neil, a mindfulness teacher and an associate tutor in professional development at the University of Nottingham, shared five simple methods pharmacists could employ to keep both themselves and their team mentally healthy during the uncertainty of those first few months.
Our professional dilemma about ‘presenteeism’ — going to work when you are unfit to do so — addressed how pharmacy team members can recognise the warning signs of unmanaged stress, and advised how to approach their employer to express their concerns and reach out for help.
It’s not just established pharmacy professionals who have been affected this year: COVID-19 has also had a significant impact on junior members of the profession. This year’s cohort of preregistration trainees entered the profession at the height of the pandemic. But it has been heart-warming to see outpourings of reassurance and advice from the rest of the profession in our feature on getting through the preregistration year during uncertainty.
However, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom — in December, The Pharmaceutical Journal’s Women to Watch 2020 initiative celebrated 12 brilliant, under-recognised female pharmacy professionals. Our call for nominations garnered considerable interest and we published our shortlist of outstanding women to an overwhelmingly positive response.
Here are your favourite careers articles from 2020:
8. ‘We are at the forefront of COVID-19 research’ — a day in the life of a clinical trials pharmacist
6. ‘It is difficult witnessing patients fight for their lives’ — a day in the life of a critical care pharmacist
5. ‘It motivates me to know we can make a difference to patients’ lives’ — a day in the life of a medical affairs head
Still popular from 2018 and 2019: