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Who’s Caring for the Caregivers? 

By Loyola University on Sun, 04/03/2022 - 19:15

Loyola College of Nursing and Health, Tulane University School of Medicine Host Compassion Fatigue Workshop

(New Orleans – March 31, 2022) Compassion fatigue has never been seen before to the degree that it has risen during the pandemic. Healthcare providers are at great risk for professional burnout as a result. 
On Thursday, Loyola College of Nursing and Health faculty and Tulane University School of Medicine faculty will host a workshop for students and industry professionals on how to prevent, recognize signs of, and treat compassion fatigue in themselves – so they may care for others, and avoid experiencing burnout - in trying times.

“Who’s Caring for the Caregiver? Compassion Fatigue and Burnout Among Healthcare Professionals Workshop” runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7 in the Debakey Room of the Murphy Building at Tulane University School of Medicine, 131 S. Robertson St. (This is a 2nd floor main classroom.) A free shuttle is available for the Loyola community. Participants will be served dinner. Participants must register in advance at http://tiny.cc/caregiverfatigue.

“Anyone who works in a field serving others is at higher risk of developing compassion fatigue that can lead to burnout, and their eventual departure from that profession,” said Michelle Collins, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health at Loyola. “One cannot give what they don’t have; when your proverbial tank is empty, we need to be able to recognize it and attend to self-care. When you’re on a plane, there’s a reason you’re directed to put the oxygen mask on yourself first - you can’t be a help to others if you black out.”

Collins, who launched Loyola’s new undergraduate nursing program in partnership with Ochsner Health last fall and is a practicing certified nurse-midwife, is striving to ensure that Loyola nursing and health students are prepared, professionally and personally, for what they will face as healthcare providers. The university operates on an ethos of cura personalis – or care for the whole person, mind, body and spirit – and that applies as much to caregivers as it does their patients.

Numerous recent studies show that healthcare workers are completely emotionally and physically depleted after working the pandemic for the past two years. As Loyola College of Nursing and Health prepares future counselors, nurses, and ministry staff to step into their professions, it is important to educate them on the stress inherent in those professions and how to best care for themselves.

This week’s Compassion Fatigue Workshop marks the College of Nursing and Health’s first interprofessional collaboration with Tulane Medical School. As neighbors and colleagues, both university’s students can benefit so much from working with each other, Collins said.

“The future of healthcare is in interprofessional teams.” Collins said. “And the teams will be multidisciplinary made up of therapists, pharmacists, nurses, physicians, spiritual advisors - whatever professional the patient requires for their care.”