It is stressful caring for dying patients, and in situations with limited healthcare resources. This can lead to compassion fatigue (due to looking after suffering people) and/or burnout (due to working in difficult conditions).
Keep yourself healthy: healthy food, adequate sleep and regular exercise, time away from work.
Self-awareness is essential: monitoring your own emotions when working with suffering people.
Reflect on your emotions, learn new skills, find meaning in this work; leads to clinicians who are present and empathetic to suffering and feel energized rather than drained by it.
Strategies for managing stress
- Mindfulness during work: (slow deep breaths, think of a loved one, pray, or imagine you are in a favorite place)
- Mindfulness during work: As you walk outside taketime to notice something in nature;fully attend to it for a few moments
- Connect with patients, families, orcolleagues; through humor or noticesomething about the other person or their environment
- Deliberately shed your role when you leave work; donot take it home with you
- Form a team to care for suffering people. With “team approach,” members support each another
- Know your limits. Recognize difficult patient situation with family dysfunction, mental illness, or refractorysymptoms—cases when good outcomerare no matter how hard you try
- Use challenging situationsto motivate yourself to learn new knowledge, skills, attitudes
- Do what relieves stress – exercise, time with friends, sports
- Write about experience and your feelings
- Have a special place you like to visit as a “getaway”