Chapter 3: Working with your vulnerabilities
Other support strategies
“ We have a very tight team. It helps us get through the difficult times. I see it when we surround the patient and family at the time of death. I see it when we have our informal and spontaneous debriefings”. – ICU Nurse
Professional responsibility requires that you develop personally effective strategies to manage the effects of vicarious trauma. Find out what supports your facility offers (e.g., EAPs, extended insurance coverage). Some hospitals have instituted a Code Lavender Program designed to support staff in times of extreme stress.
Periodic debriefings with colleagues. (Some ICUs are moving toward instituting more formal debriefings for staff, facilitated by a third party with ICU expertise).
Mentoring / clinical supervision.
Implementing a routine to unwind after work.
Engaging in wellness initiatives both at and outside work.
Creating a balance that allows you to feel professionally and personally fulfilled.
Seeking personal counseling or psychotherapy.