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Help for compassion fatigue

Nurses risk their physical and emotional health every day when they go to work. But while healthcare organizations have a variety of measures in place to protect nurses’ physical health (think infection control measures and personal protective devices), few organizations have taken steps to preserve nurses’ mental health.

Yet a variety of studies have shown that the very act of nursing places nurses at risk for burnout and compassion fatigue. As nurses care for their patients, they too feel stress – and that stress can damage both their emotional and physical well-being.

The Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) program of Ohio State University Medical Center is aimed at taking care of those who take care of others for a living. The program will offer healthcare providers everything from tips on how to reduce stress to one-on-one counseling and crisis management. Trauma specific staff training will be given to healthcare providers in the ER and ICU. Researchers will conduct studies to assess which programs are most effective, and will then make recommendations to other hospitals around the country.

Have you ever felt stressed at work? What do you think of STAR?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
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