To prevent burnout, hospitals must care for caregivers

Hospital staff spend long hours maintaining a professional demeanor amid death, suffering, grief and anger from patients and their families, and those clinicians need support as well.

To take care of their staff and prevent burnout, hospital leaders increasingly look for ways to treat stress and prevent the job from overwhelming clinicians, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

For example, according to the article, Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center has maintained a Stress, Trauma and Resilience Program for more than six years, and other area providers are incorporating its strategies. One of them, a pilot program at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, adopted one of the Wexner program's primary strategies, which is to provide a setting for doctors, social workers and nurses to confidentially discuss their more trying cases.

For example, according to the article, at last month's meeting, Ohio State trauma surgeon Daniel Eiferman discussed the emotional toll of delivering bad news to patients' families and discussing difficult choices, such as the prospect of terminating life support.

Hospital staff's risk of internalizing on-the-job stress runs particularly high when they encounter familiar scenarios, Orin Newberry, a chaplain and director of pastoral care at Grant and at Doctors and Dublin Methodist hospitals, told the Dispatch. "That level of empathy is deepened by, 'Gosh, that could have been me. That could have been a member of my family,' " he said. And those scenarios can lead to clinicians neglecting their own personal and emotional well-being.

Research has indicated more compassionate clinicians are particularly susceptible to burnout, leading providers to incorporate strategies such as resilience training, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the article

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