June is National Safety Month – and this week’s focus is Emergency Preparedness.
Did you know that a survey of 3,000 employees in a variety of fields conducted by the American Heart Association found that over 50% of workers were not trained in first aid and CPR? However, 90% said that they would be willing to learn if their employer offered training. Nurses can play an important role in educating businesses and organizations on the importance of CPR training for its employees. Read the full article on the National Safety Council’s website.
Another aspect of Emergency Preparedness week involves ensuring you are prepared for natural disasters. In Michigan, the summer months can bring severe weather - such as tornados, floods, excessive heat and lightning storms. View The National Safety Council’s article on ensuring your workplace is prepared for a tornado. Nurses are known for being informed, organized and prepared in emergency situations – so natural disasters should be no different. Having a disaster plan is an important step in ensuring your family and workplace are safe. Set aside time this week to check out this article from Ready.gov on creating an emergency plan.
An equally important, but often overlooked, aspect of Emergency Preparedness is self-care during and after a traumatic event or emergency. There is no doubt that as nursing students and future nurses, we will be exposed to high-stress and emotional situations throughout our careers. It is important to have a plan to cope with these events to mitigate burnout, compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.
Tips for coping with traumatic events:
1. Killian KD. “Helping till it hurts? A multimethod study of compassion fatigue, burnout, and self-care in clinicians working with trauma survivors.” Traumatology. 2008;14(2):32–44.
2. Melvin, CS. "Historical Review in Understanding Burnout, Professional Compassion Fatigue, and Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder From a Hospice and Palliative Nursing Perspective." Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing 17, no. 1 (February 2015): 66-72. doi:10.1097/njh.0000000000000126.
3. Hinderer, Katherine A., Kathryn T. Vonrueden, Erika Friedmann, Karen A. Mcquillan, Rebecca Gilmore, Betsy Kramer, and Mary Murray. "Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Compassion Satisfaction, and Secondary Traumatic Stress in Trauma Nurses." Journal of Trauma Nursing 21, no. 4 (July/August 2014): 160-69. doi:10.1097/jtn.0000000000000055.
4. Showalter S. Compassion fatigue: what is it? Why does it matter? Recognizing the symptoms, acknowledging the impact, developing the tools to prevent compassion fatigue, and strengthen the professional already suffering from the effects. Am J Hosp Palliat Med. 2010; 27(4): 239–242.
5. Swetz K, Harrington S, Matsuyama R, Shanafelt T, Lyckholm L. Strategies for avoiding burnout in hospice and palliative medicine: peer advice for physicians on achieving longevity and fulfillment. J Palliat Med. 2009; 12(9): 773–777. doi:0.1089/jpm.2009.0050.
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