Keaton Higgins reflects on events and opportunities that have shaped his pharmacy career. He also shares how he plans to stay connected while on the...
Sustaining Health in an Unhealthy World
Can We Heal the World Without Healing Ourselves?
“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a sick society.”
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
The American Pharmacists Association admits burnout is a significant patient safety issue.
“It is impacting patients today with delayed prescription fulfillment, unacceptable waits for vaccines and testing, and potential errors due to high volume, long hours and pressure to meet performance metrics.” (Dec 2021)
We can’t singlehandedly shift a system built over decades, but we can establish an internal locus of control and define/defend healthy boundaries to shift how we respond to life’s challenges. And we can insist on two-way communication between employers and pharmacy employees. Becoming a healthy deviant doesn’t mean giving up your current life, but it does involve:
- waking yourself up and noticing what’s going on within and around you
- reclaiming your energy, attention, and autonomy
- learning to think differently, choose differently, be different in ways that support greater personal and career satisfaction
I was one of the last graduates to receive the designation RPh. My advisor pitched a fast game trying to convince me to pursue PharmD, but I was a single mom with three kids and a mortgage. Another year of loans and minimum wage wasn’t an option. It was a fluid transition to staff pharmacist, and I worked with some genuinely amazing humans over the years in retail, long-term care, home infusion, hospice, compounding and inpatient mental health.
Soon after graduating, I discovered yoga and meditation, which settled my frazzled nervous system and encouraged me to let go of expectations. Pharmacy paid the bills and fulfilled my desire to help others, but often spit me out frustrated and depleted at the end of the day. My kids pulled me aside one day to share that they liked me better when I came home from yoga than when I came home from the pharmacy.
I became an entrepreneur, opened a studio, and divided my time between yoga and pharmacy. My physical and mental health improved through yoga, and a broader view of dis-ease and healing emerged. But the practice of pharmacy was changing, and so was I. After 7 years of splitting my time between the passion and the paycheck, I chose yoga and studied with neuropsychologists in the US, yoga gurus in India, and yoga philosophers in Brazil. The path of looking within is littered with challenge and second guessing. It’s hard giving up “perfect” and beginning the work of becoming yourself. Inner growth is more often about unlearning than learning…
Many of my colleagues in yoga therapy are healthcare practitioners seeking answers through ancient wisdom. If you are exhausted, isolated, anxious, or even feeling “stuck,” there are simple tools you can utilize to regain balance and reconnect with oyful living.
Join me this month on CEimpact's The Pharmacy Network for my three-part event series to learn more about how to identify habits/thoughts that need to be unlearned and learn simple movement & breathing practices that return your nervous system to harmony.
All classes led by Sandy Eimers (pharmacist, trauma informed yoga therapist) and Meghan Bass Petti (licensed social worker and trauma informed yoga instructor). The Overcome! clinic is available online as small group OR one to one study/practice. Having an accountability partner is a powerful catalyst for change!