NEWS // February 23, 2021

The Elizabeth Hospice Prioritizes Self-Care for Healthcare Heroes

Janet Clancy, Communications Officer, The Elizabeth Hospice                 

For more than 40 years, The Elizabeth Hospice, a nonprofit healthcare leader, has been providing medical, emotional, and spiritual support to children and adults facing the challenges associated with a life-limiting illness. These vital, end-of-life services are delivered by compassionate caregivers skilled in offering high-quality care in intense and demanding situations. They are dedicated to creating an environment of comfort and kindness for their patients.

There has been no interruption in services during the pandemic even as policies and protocols were adapted to conform to the COVID-19 health guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and local public health agencies. Care teams continue to unselfishly focus their energies and attention on seriously ill children and adults, utilizing technology to attend to their patients and clients when in-person visits are not possible.

The pandemic has created an increased level of stress and anxiety for healthcare workers throughout the world. Concerned that the added stress and anxiety would cause The Elizabeth Hospice’s caregivers to be more susceptible to compassion fatigue, a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion, a multimedia interactive course for our nurses, home health aides, medical social workers and spiritual counselors was identified and implemented.

This evidence-based workshop from Adventures in Caregiving, focuses on the challenges of burnout, compassion fatigue, moral distress, and trauma. The immersive experience taught the healthcare providers about the root cause of stress and the core elements of resilience. They learned healthy techniques that other caregivers use to cope with stress and burnout which were used to create a plan to enrich their own health and well-being.

“Our care teams have been playing a larger role in their patients’ lives because family members often cannot visit with their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lisa Fisher, RN, BSN, PHN, Director of Education for The Elizabeth Hospice. “We want our caregivers to know we understand the challenges they are facing, care about their emotional and physical health, and that self-care tools and resources are available to them.”