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Self-care for health professionals 

Self-care for health professionals
Self-care for health professionals

Max Watson

, Rachel Campbell

, Nandini Vallath

, Stephen Ward

, and Jo Wells

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date: 22 August 2019

This chapter covers theory of palliative care issues associated with caring for people who are dying and the particular stresses involved. Sources of stress are multiple, may be accumulative, and are linked to all areas of an individual’s life. Working with dying people may be stressful, particularly if staff experience personal bereavement and loss. Such work can put staff in touch with personal anxiety about loss and death. Palliative care staff also find it very stressful to deal with patients who experience intractable pain, those who have young children, and those patients who are afraid to die. Symptoms that leave nurses feeling helpless, useless, and impotent are the most stressful to deal with, as is dealing with distressed relatives. The chapter looks at strategies for supporting a workforce involved in the ongoing delivery of palliative care to avoid burnout and compassion fatigue.

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