Self-Care and Staff Support
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Self-Care Supporting Staff Working in Palliative Care

What we know

Caring for people who are dying can cause stress and lead to burnout. Recognising that caring for older people generally includes caring for people who may die is an important first step in managing this stress. Developing self awareness and setting up self care strategies can protect against burnout. It can be helpful to debrief with work colleagues.  

What can I do?

Prepare a self-care plan (83kb pdf) to help you identify activities and practices to support and sustain your wellbeing as a professional. 

Nurse & Midwife Support is available for all nurses and midwives, nursing and midwifery students, employers, educators and concerned family and friends. 

DRS4DRS promotes the health and wellbeing of doctors and medical students across Australia.

 

What can I learn?

CareSearch has information about Self-care including Burnout and Compassion Fatigue, Self-care Concepts, and Contributing Factors. There are more Factsheets available at the bottom of the page in 'Find out more' section.

Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care (subscription required)

Caring for oneself

 

What can my organisation do?

Enable opportunities for self-care planning under staff wellbeing initiatives.

Nurse & Midwife Support is available for all nurses and midwives, nursing and midwifery students, employers, educators and concerned family and friends.
Promote access to counselling services.

Consider clinical supervision as a formalised support for staff. The Palliative Care Bridge has information: clinical supervision - caring for the care provider.

Create structured opportunities for staff to use reflective practice (108kb pdf).

Consider creating either formal or informal teams of allied health professionals assisting patients in their palliative care for debrief and inter-professional support - particularly for rural and remote practitioners eg. GP, Nurse, Dietitian.

Monitoring for signs of burnout may be useful for palliative care team leaders, useful tools could include the Maslach Burnout Inventory (have to pay for the tool).

Remember that staff providing at home support may be working in isolation and it is important to provide them with an opportunity to meet and de-brief.

Support of the workforce is required within the Aged Care Standards

Page updated 24 April 2020