Overwhelmed
Pharmacy Technician

As a pharmtech, it's likely you have been or are an Overwhelmed Pharmacy Technician.

It’s a common feeling that happens most often when you are pressed for time with helping customers and getting what needs to be done accomplished in a time frame that seems all too short and unforgiving.

The good news is that there are simple, straightforward techniques that will help you feel more comfortable in the job while still getting what you need done accomplished.

Keep in mind that not every day is going to be a perfect one and it’s how you deal with the unexpected that will help mitigate the feelings of being overwhelmed.

Still, there are some techniques that you can embrace that will help you manage your time more efficiently and make the bad days seem not so bad after all.

Plan Each Day

This is something that you should start the night before so you can get ready for the next day.

Take a few minutes and write down what needs to be accomplished and set up a reasonable time schedule so that it can be done.

The tasks that you may choose may be a little reorganizing, improving a specific aspect of your service, or setting a goal of working more efficiently.

Whatever it is that needs to be accomplished, write it down and make that your plan for the day.

It may seem counter-intuitive at first since you are adding something that you otherwise might not have considered, but in truth you are making more time to get something accomplished and that can make your day become more productive.

Improve an Aspect of Your Service

Over the course of a few days, a week, or longer, examine the services you provide and see which ones can be improved.

It may be something obvious or it may be minor, but working to improve a specific aspect of what you do will make your time more productive. Plus, it may deal with an issue that otherwise might have you feeling a little overwhelmed.

For example, if your typing skills are not the fastest, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you have some typing to accomplish while other jobs need to be done.

By improving that aspect of your services, you will feel more in control and get things done quicker and more efficiently.

Use Time Efficiently

One of the most common mistakes that pharm techs and many other people make is the idea of working long, hard hours because they have so much to do.

The truth is that if you indeed have that much to do, then you need to hire some help. Otherwise, it’s far better to use the time you have efficiently and get a good night’s sleep that will help you feel better in the morning.

When you plan your tasks, one aspect you need to consider is making the most out of the time you have.

In most cases, you can identify areas that are pulling away from the time needed to get important activities accomplished, so work to reduce your downtime and increase what you get done so that by the end of the day you are going home instead of working late hours.

Letting Customers Know You Care

The good news is that there are many little things you can do to let the customer know you care without taking away your time.

It’s a lot easier to deal with the feelings of being overwhelmed when you are showing to your customers that you care about them and what they provide to your business.

  • Say “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon”, or “Good Evening” when You Greet the Customer
  • Smile
  • Repeat the Information They Present so You Get It Right
  • Answer their Questions in Prompt, Professional Manner
  • Thank Them as They Leave

All these techniques do not take away from your other tasks and they help bolster your mood.

While you will get the occasional irate customer, you can avoid many mistakes or misunderstandings by paying a little more attention and greeting each customer as if they were the only ones in your business.

A “thank you” on their ticket is another way of letting them know your care.

How to Deal with Delays

There are many things that will happen which may interfere with what you set out to accomplish each day. For example, a question from a customer may turn into a chatting session that before you know it takes away precious time from helping other customers or delaying your other tasks from getting accomplished. 

If the conversation is idle chatter, then you should politely break it off by telling them you have other customers or tasks that need to be addressed, but you would love to talk to them later.

If they require more information, you can jot it down and send them an email or phone call later so they will have their questions fully answered.

Delays can come from many sources such as waiting for a shipment to arrive or buffering on your computer.

When a delay like that occurs, use the time to get something else accomplished that was part of your plan for the day.

By doing something that needed to be addressed, you can help alleviate any feelings of being overwhelmed while waiting through the delay.

It's Not the End of the World

For pharm techs, there will be days when bad things happen that upset your plans and set you back.

There is no avoiding that and instead of fretting about something that was beyond your control, it is far better to accept it and chalk it up to bad luck. By keeping it all in perspective, you can help mitigate the effects of having a bad day or unexpected incident which only makes things worse.

The sun will rise tomorrow and you will have a chance to get back on track.

So, keep all of this in mind when it seems like the end of the world, because it’s not.

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