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Well-Being During COVID-19

Students

Featured Updates

Well-Being Webinar Video

Learn strategies to help you manage your well-being during COVID-19 from Dr. Ken Duckworth, Chief Medical Officer at NAMI.

Financial Education Webinar Video

Certified Financial Planner Tim Baker addresses questions and concerns surrounding investment guidance, work uncertainty, student loan repayment, and more during COVID-19.

Assess Your Well-Being Link

It’s important to track your well-being over time. The free online screening tool Pharmacist Well-Being index is 100% anonymous and uses nine questions. Invitation Code: APhA.

Message

Message from Alex C. Varkey, APhA Trustee and Chair of the APhA Well-Being Steering Committee
I’m Alex Varkey, Director of Pharmacy at Houston Methodist Hospital. Health care professionals, by and large, have been at risk of burning out, even prior to COVID-19. That certainly is true for pharmacists and pharmacy personnel. Add a global pandemic, and it becomes something that’s unbearable for a lot of people; and the natural tendency still is to suffer silently. We’ve heard about the unfortunate passing of the emergency medicine physician in New York, to suicide. That’s a cautionary tale for all of us.

With the stigma associated with mental health, people don’t necessarily know that it’s okay to not be okay. We, as health care leaders and as peers and as colleagues, need to do our part to be extra supportive and be there for one another. So that things like what happened in New York don’t continue to happen. So that all of us don’t feel that we’re alone and dealing with this on our own.

I’m extremely fortunate to be able to work in a place like our hospital. Our health system as a whole has done an outstanding job in supporting our team members. They’ve implemented several programs and support groups. Health care professionals need to not feel isolated. We need coping strategies and ways to just feel supported by one another. Your APhA membership is very much a part of that. Our community is strong, and we are here for you in many ways. If you feel lost, reach out to your fellow members. Let us know how you’re doing.

—APhA Trustee Alex C. Varkey, PharmD, MS, FAPhA

Message from Alex C. Varkey, APhA Trustee and Chair of the APhA Well-Being Steering Committee
Listen to the recording of our weekly COVID-19 webinar, where Alex shares more about his experiences on the front line in the Houston, TX, region. We also hear the community pharmacist perspective from APhA Trustee Randy McDonough, BS, PharmD, MS, CGP, BCPS, FAPhA, who is the co-owner of Towncrest and Towncrest Compounding Pharmacies in Iowa City and Solon Towncrest Pharmacy in Solon, IA. (Video - Slides)

 

Well-Being Index

What’s the Latest?
I’m Alex Varkey, Director of Pharmacy at Houston Methodist Hospital. Last July, APhA launched the Pharmacist Well-Being Index (WBI), a validated screening tool invented by the Mayo Clinic, for the pharmacy profession. At last count, 5,927 pharmacy personnel have taken the WBI. Of these, 34.6% overall were at risk of high distress. Since COVID-19, this number has not changed; however, more individuals are reassessing, as well as accessing the WBI resources.

As of May 4, 31.32% of APhA members who have used the WBI were at risk for high distress, compared with 37.49% of those who are not APhA members. Belonging to the APhA community could be good for your professional well-being! Indeed, studies have shown that reaching out and engaging with friends, family, and colleagues improve well-being.

For reference, the Distress Percent measures the percent of individuals who have assessed a Pharmacist WBI score ≥5. The score of 5 as the distress line was established by the WBI researchers at Mayo Clinic through a validation process.

Assess (or Reassess) Your Well-Being
It’s important to track your well-being over time. The free online screening tool Pharmacist WBI is 100% anonymous and uses nine questions to evaluate fatigue, depression, anxiety, stress, and quality of life. Whether or not you’ve previously taken the WBI, please complete the assessment for both yourself and the Association’s ability to gauge the state of the profession.

Assess (or reassess) your well-being and take advantage of resources from Mayo Clinic, APhA, and other national organizations to manage your stress and build resilience.
Take the Well-Being Index. Invitation Code: APhA

 

Practical Tips

With pharmacy practices strained under new protocols and increased demand for services, taking care of yourself is more crucial now than ever. It’s difficult to take care of your family and patients if you’re stressed to the brink of burnout. Well-being experts agree about focusing on these areas:

Start with appreciation. Be kind to yourself! At the start of your day, write down what you are grateful for; when you get really stressed at work, take a glance at what you wrote. Then sprinkle the kindness to your family, workmates, patients, neighbors, and friends.

It’s hard to relax when you don’t have time to do the basic things, let alone relax. Well-being experts indicate that relaxing is one of the basic things! Start with limiting your news and social media intake.

Another way to combat stress and burnout is to connect with your friends and family.

You know exercise is important. You may not have an hour to do a video routine, but do you have 30 seconds or 7 minutes? The Wakeout app has more than 300 free 30-second exercises—some can even be done while working. Get the rest of your workout at home in 7 minutes with science-based Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout® app. Both apps are available through your device’s app store.

Engage in your profession through weekly live and on-demand COVID-19 webinars, ENGAGE communities, and your APhA Academy. You can also engage with APhA’s Well-Being tools and resources to help you learn about and navigate your well-being.

APhA cares about your well-being and is here for you. Are there tools or resources that APhA could provide to enhance your well-being? Email us at wellbeing@aphanet.org.

 

Strategies to Help

APhA Weekly Open Forum Webinar: Well-Being and Resilience (May 14)
Learn strategies to help you manage your well-being during COVID-19. Our featured speaker, Dr. Ken Duckworth, Chief Medical Officer at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), discusses perspectives on well-being and resilience for pharmacists during COVID-19. We also address the latest information on the clinical and regulatory fronts. (Video - Slides)

APhA Financial Education Webinar: COVID-19 Financial Considerations (March 31)
In this APhA webinar, Certified Financial Planner Tim Baker addresses questions and concerns surrounding investment guidance, work uncertainty, student loan repayment, and more. (Video)

APhA Know the Facts: What Pharmacy Personnel Need to Know During the COVID-19 Crisis (March 30)
Knowing the basics of COVID-19 symptoms and prevention as well as indispensable information for practicing pharmacy and managing well-being will help you as a health care worker on the front line. (PDF)

 
Public Resource Links

This CDC resource explores the impact of stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides strategies to help reduce this stigma. (Real-Time)
This CDC resource provides some important steps responders can take to ensure they are able to do their job and cope with challenging situations. (Real-Time)

 

Key Links