Two pharmacists wearing protective medical apparel to help protect themselves against COVID-19.

Organizational enablers of mental resilience in pharmacy

In general, healthcare professionals cite strong management support, a team culture, good organizational structure (e.g. ability to plan for staff shortages) and the capacity to create a work-life balance as important enablers of resilience.24

This has been confirmed by research among Canadian pharmacists during the first coronavirus pandemic wave.18 It identified quick organizational wins that helped enhance both pharmacy operations and personal staff mental resilience:18

  • Avoid multi-tasking – use underused counselling rooms as offices to call patients or check prescriptions
  • Maximise technology – pharmacists that had embraced technology, such as video calls, were better placed to be resilient
  • Have non-professional support staff to ease the team burden – e.g. greeters to hand out face masks and other PPE, undertake extra cleaning or deliver medicines.

Challenging changes

More challenging is to implement staff scheduling changes. In particular working shorter 8-hour shifts, having mandatory break times and having entire teams work together consistently, rather than different people on each shift, have been shown to be beneficial.10,19 A recent US report suggests that such organizational changes can be particularly difficult for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals working in pharmacy multiples where there can be increased demand for services, such as vaccinations, but reduced staffing levels.25

Taking time to talk as a team about how you have responded to COVID-19 is valuable to move forward. Often pharmacists work in isolation, therefore, talking to colleagues about stressors and solutions to help ease stress and anxiety can help. Research across 38 Commonwealth countries found simply sharing knowledge on COVID-19 resources was useful for over 90% of pharmacists attending a multi-country webinar.26

“You can’t be resilient on your own” – UK healthcare professional24

A pharmacist wears a face mask and face shield as PPE to help protect herself against COVID-19.

Staying strong – Building resilience in pharmacy

Pharmacy teams have been on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic. This has had a big impact on their mental health and wellbeing and GSK wants to help. We are sharing the lessons learned from coping with COVID-19 and exploring how they could help pharmacists build mental resilience for the future.

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A pharmacist wears a face mask to help protect herself against COVID-19.

How COVID-19 has impacted pharmacy

Pharmacists and their teams were on the frontline during the pandemic. Discover more about how rising to the COVID-19 challenge impacted every aspect of life for pharmacy teams.

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A pharmacist works happily at a computer.

A crucial time of change in pharmacy

The pandemic highlighted the vital role pharmacies play in their communities, find out more about what this means for the future.

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Personal enablers of mental resilience in pharmacy

Personal enablers of mental resilience in pharmacy

Get tips and advice on how to manage personal wellbeing at work to help support better mental health.

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A pharmacist wears a face mask and gloves to help protect herself against COVID-19.

GSK support in mental resilience

Discover more about how GSK Consumer Healthcare is working with expert partners to support the mental health and wellbeing of pharmacy teams.

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Infographic explaining how to build mental resilience.

Tips to help build mental resilience

Download expert tips to help support mental health and wellbeing for you and your team – now and in the future.

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