National Pharmacy Week is about acknowledging and celebrating the crucial impact pharmacy professionals make on their patients. At freeCE, we’re taking this week as an opportunity to support pharmacists, pharmacy Technicians, and nurses by sharing a few of our favorite videos from freeCE’s 2021 National Pharmacy Week video series. See our previous posts in NPW day 2.
Have you ever thought about humor as a coping mechanism? Pharmacist and comedian Cory Jenks has. Today we’re sharing his story about how he “manages the chaos.” Keep scrolling to discover how camaraderie and team building can also be powerful mental health tools. We hope you pick up some useful tips you can apply to your everyday life.
Managing Stress As a Pharmacy Worker Through Comedy – Cory Jenks, PharmD, BCACP, BCPS
Hey there, my name is Cory Jenks, and I am a pharmacist and I am also an improv comedian and professional speaker. I was asked to do a video to talk about helping to manage the chaos.
As an improv comedian, what we do really well is we simply accept reality. That doesn’t mean that we have to love reality or hate reality–we simply accept whatever happens in a scene on our terms. That’s what I’ve tried to do in my daily practice as a pharmacist and what I would say is a really useful tool for managing the chaos of what we’re going through.
It would be disingenuous for me to think that I could come on here, give you a funny little joke, a quick pep talk, and make everything all better. A joke for me is not going to make up for the last several months of struggle that we have all faced as frontline health care employees. So I’m acknowledging the reality that that is not the fix that you’re probably looking for. But what we can do is live in the moment and live in reality.
Living In The Moment – a State of Flow in The Midst of Chaos
That’s what I do as an improv comedian. I can’t be thinking of the next line or the line that just happened. I have to be right in the moment, listening and reacting. A lot of frustration–and I’ll admit I’ve gotten frustrated during this thing too–is thinking about what we could have done or what things will be in the future. The reality is if we want to tackle the challenges at hand, we’ve got to live in this moment right now. If you want to handle the chaos, you take it on right here in the moment. Don’t worry about what could happen, or lament what has happened. All we’ve got is right now. So that is the first piece of advice I would give to you.
Spinning Chaos Into Positive Outcomes Through Adaptability
The other little nugget I’m going to leave with you is that in improv, unlike in healthcare, there are no mistakes. So liberating! What are there? There are only gifts. Sometimes your tech person, you could be doing a scene and they forget their microphone was turned on and they’re talking over you during a scene. Instead of seeing these as mistakes or problems, we view them as gifts and turn them into something really fun and beautiful in each of those particular scenes.
I think if we can accept reality and see the gifts–in not just this situation but in any situation–we might not be able to control chaos because that’s impossible, but we might be able to manage it and turn it into something really positive. I hope you all have had a good day and I hope you have gotten something out of this video. I wish you all very well wherever you are watching this.
Finding Joy In The Pharmacy- A Guide To Mental Health Through Camaraderie & Team Building By Dr. Tammy Lee Demler, BS PHARMD
Greetings, I am Dr. Tammy Lee Demler, one of your freeCE faculty and family members. I wanted to just say I’m honored to be here speaking with you today to give you words of encouragement, and to be able to offer some glimmer of hope as we continue to plod along in this ongoing pandemic, which it seems will be with us for longer than we had anticipated.
I really recommend that we start to feel the importance of our pharmacy workforce family. We spend a lot of time with people, side by side, and it should be noted that they’re experiencing the same level of stress. I strongly encourage you to try to strengthen those bonds.
Bringing Joy Into Others’ Lives Brings Joy To Yours
I have a fun story that might help you be more cognizant of strengthening those bonds. There’s a very wise teacher who brought in a bunch of balloons to her classroom one day. She passed out the balloons and had the students blow them up and put their names on the balloons. She put the balloons out in the hall and asked the students to go find their own balloon.
Five minutes went past and hardly anybody found their balloon. She stopped the exercise and she said, “I’m going to change this up a little bit. So let’s each of us grab the balloon closest to us, and then find the owner of that balloon.’ Within a minute, every balloon that had been in the hall had found its owner.
Filling Other People’s Bucket Fills Your Bucket Too
Our own happiness really pivots around making other people happy and recognizing their happiness and their well-being. With that, I would like to thank you all for all the work you’ve done and the work that you continue to do. I look forward to seeing you in my classroom soon.
Why Choose freeCE For Continuing Education
freeCE is the #1 platform for pharmacy professionals who want to stay up to date with their continuing education.
We offer a robust catalog of live and on-demand CE that not only meets state requirements but is also interesting and beneficial. We’re committed to helping pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurses enhance their skills and improve patient outcomes.
NATIONAL Pharmacy Week GIVEAWAY
Today’s Giveaway: Subscriptions to the Rx Consultant
Healthcare is constantly changing. It can be hard to stay on top of the latest information. Each issue of the Rx Consultant dives into important topics in pharmacy, from hormonal contraception to biologics. Today we are giving away 5 Rx Consultant subscriptions. To enter our giveaway, fill out our form.
(You will be entered into the giveaway for the 24-hour period you entered. We will choose winners and notify them before the end of the week.)