Are you a shining beacon of professionalism or is your dispensary manner in need of a pick-me-up? Take our quiz to find out. 1. You're busy in the pharmacy when a patient calls you over to complain about the 10-minute wait for prescriptions – how do you react?
a. Break down in tears. If this doesn't pacify them, pointedly make a call to the Samaritans within their earshot. b. Explain you are busy and trying your best to dispense prescriptions as quickly as possible. c. Angrily gesture at the pharmacy across the road and ask the patient whether they think they could do any better. If their answer is "yes", explain it was a rhetorical question and put their prescription in the shredder.
2. Your pharmacy manager demands that you complete more MURs despite a lack of eligible patients. How do you react?
a. Break down in tears and consider helping yourself to the controlled drugs cabinet. b. Make it clear that you will try your best to do more MURs, but only if there is a genuine clinical need. c. Chase patients angrily around the pharmacy demanding they either agree to a medicines review or face a premises ban.
3. When was the last time you got angry in front of patients?
a. Angry? Never. Tearful? Yesterday. b. A few months ago when under extreme pressure, but you regretted it afterwards. c. It's hard to remember when you weren't angry. Especially when dealing with patients.
4. How would you describe the appearance of your pharmacy?
a. Enough to drive you to tears. b. Clean and uncluttered, with all merchandise sorted into clear categories. c. Great. Apart from the clutter of stress balls on the counter and the dartboard, which you occasionally mistake for a patient's head.
5. How do you dress for work?
a. You wear whatever happens to be washed and ready. The thought of spending time planning work outfits is enough to provoke another tearful episode. b. You always dress smartly – it's important to give customers the right impression. c. Your trademark hoodie emblazed with the slogan: "Do you feel lucky, punk? Do you?"
You believe in professionalism, but the stress of pharmacy has pushed you to the brink. Tears are now your only weapon in the pharmacy workplace. Try telling your manager how you feel and, if possible, put in a request for a long holiday with plenty of relaxation.
Well done – you've managed to maintain a professional image despite the pressures and challenges of the pharmacy environment. No whooping in front of the customers, though.
Anger is an understandable reaction to work-related stress. But unfortunately, stress is not a valid excuse for going on a Bruce-Willis-style rampage. Seek help to manage your anger, or find an outlet for your emotions that doesn't result in GBH.
Is workplace stress taking its toll on your professional abilities? Take the C+D Salary Survey 2013 to tell us about your pay and working conditions.