Once you recognize your reactions to stress, use good self-care and coping strategies to prevent or overcome the effects of it. It’s also important to come to terms with your thoughts and feelings about children who are seriously ill or dying. Try to develop comfort in working with these patients and move toward, rather than away from them. Also know that you are part of a health care team, and you alone are not responsible for meeting all the patient’s and family’s needs.
Here are more strategies from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization to help you cope with stress in your role as a pediatric health care worker.
- Set professional boundaries.
- Know why you chose a career caring for children. Don’t view death as a failure.
- Reflect on the rewards of the work and moments where you made the greatest difference.
- Speak with administrators for appropriate resources, staffing and workloads.
- Take time off or work part time.
- Identify the true sources of stress in your life.
- Join professional organizations to connect with peers.
- Explore professional and personal goals.
- Keep a journal and express feeling about caring for patients.
- Create patient memory books.
- Accept support from your colleagues.
- Seek professional counseling.
- Define your role.
- Avoid distancing yourself from patients and families.