Fired up instead of burned out
As I headed to the desert for December’s ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition in Las Vegas, NV, I was a ball of nerves. In the moment, it felt like a few days of first impressions and networking would either make or break all of my hard work. However, I turned this nervous energy into excitement, as I made meaningful connections and learned more about postgraduate programs. I also heard more about burnout prevention.
Since I am passionate about staying fired up for the profession rather than letting my flame dwindle down, I have decided to tackle the question, “how do you prevent burnout during APPE rotations?”
1. Stay active
Physical activity is known to reduce stress levels. Recently, I trained for a half-marathon in order to keep myself accountable during this busy season of life. I found myself using every excuse in the book to avoid my training plan and work on my to-do lists. During times of stress, physical activity is often the first plan to go. However, carving out 20 to 30 minutes a day can not only help reduce stress, but also help reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions down the road. Therefore, this should be kept as a consistent pillar of your life no matter what responsibilities come your way.
2. Stay connected
No man is an island, so stay connected! Rotations are exciting, because you finally get to practice what you have learned in the classroom in a variety of pharmacy settings. However, they can also be a little lonelier than your didactic training on campus. Overall, no matter how busy your schedule becomes, make sure you prioritize time for your friends, family, and mentors. At the end of the day, everyone needs a support system professionally and personally.
3. Stay centered
Feedback is imperative for growth. During rotations, your ability to handle constructive feedback will be tested. Despite these tough situations, it is important to find ways to stay calm under pressure. For some, this may only be 5 minutes of meditation each morning. Personally, I found listening to music and journaling a few times a week helps me unwind and gather my thoughts. As I prepared for Midyear, this time of reflection helped me turn that ball of nerves into excitement as previously mentioned. Additionally, before residency interviews, this time of reflection allowed me to prepare thoughtful answers for interview questions. I hope to continue this habit throughout my career as a pharmacist.
And for our Preceptor Feedback author: how do you prevent burnout? Do you stay “fired up”: active, connected, and centered? If so, which methods work best for your lifestyle?