As a locum pharmacist, it’s common to find yourself in unfamiliar territory, whether you’re working in a new environment, with unfamiliar colleagues, or dealing with new patients. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be a challenging but rewarding experience that can help you grow both personally and professionally. In this article, we’ll explore how you can embrace challenging experiences and get the most out of them as a locum pharmacist.
Growing as a Pharmacist –Embrace the Challenge
The first step to getting the most out of a challenging experience is to embrace it. Rather than seeing it as a negative, try to see it as an opportunity for growth. Facing obstacles may not always be pleasant, but they can guide you in where to go next. Obstacles shift our perspective by equipping us to handle what is thrown our way.
Instead of viewing setbacks as roadblocks, choose to see them as opportunities for self-improvement. Leaning on your mentors during difficult times can also be beneficial in providing advice or a different outlook on the situation (see our article on mentorship for more information on the importance of mentors and finding a mentor).
Before stepping into a challenging situation, it’s important to be prepared. This means researching and learning as much as possible about the new environment or situation you’ll be working in. You can ask other pharmacists who have worked in that particular pharmacy or area before, research the area or pharmacy branch online, or reach out to the person who hired you for more information.
Utilising the chat functionality in the Locumate app can be particularly useful in ensuring effective communication between you and the pharmacy. It will allow for an exchange of information to ensure that you are well-prepared before you start your shift. Visit the AppStore or Google Playstore to download Locumate.
Growing as a Pharmacist – You have to keep an open mind
When you step out of your comfort zone, it’s important to keep an open mind. You may encounter new ways of working or different perspectives from your new colleagues. Try to be open to these new experiences and ideas, and learn as much as you can from them. This can help you develop new skills and perspectives that you can bring back to your work as a pharmacist, professionally and personally.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be a challenging experience, and you may make mistakes along the way. However, it’s important to learn from these mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth. Take the time to reflect on what went wrong and what you could do differently in the future. Reflecting with a mentor can also be beneficial. This can help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future and become a better pharmacist overall.
Take Care of Yourself
Finally, taking care of yourself is important when stepping out of your comfort zone. Challenging experiences can be mentally and emotionally taxing, so it’s important to practise self-care. This can mean taking breaks when you need them, getting enough sleep, eating well, and doing activities that help you relax and recharge. If you require additional support, the Pharmacists’ Support Service is available all year round (every day from 8 am to 11 pm AEDT). The service provides a listening ear over the telephone to pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and students.
Embracing challenging experiences can be a rewarding experience for locum pharmacists. By embracing the challenge, being prepared, keeping an open mind, learning from your mistakes, and taking care of yourself, you can get the most out of these experiences and grow both personally and professionally. So, the next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, take a deep breath and see it as an opportunity for growth.