Focussing on family support is incredibly important, but at Leo’s, we know that those who care for families during pregnancy, birth, the neonatal journey and beyond can be affected by what happens too.
Compassion fatigue … burnout … job-related stress. Whatever the term used to describe it, many nurses, doctors and midwives, will have experienced the feeling themselves or witnessed it in their colleagues, and more than likely, both.
The loss of a baby or babies on shift, comforting a woman whose heart is breaking as her baby is wheeled off to be transferred to another neonatal unit miles away from home, or supporting a family who have seen a tremendous amount of heartache is not easy for any staff member.
Burnout, is a word that many people use to describe what they feel when they can no longer work effectively. It is a reaction to external forces, such as overwork, difficult working conditions, or conflicts within, and results in a breakdown in the ability to stay focused and on task.
Both, nurses and doctors on intensive care units are particularly vulnerable to emotional exhaustion and burnout due to critical incidents in the workplace; such as, babies dying on shift, supporting families during bad news,
Midwives who witness traumatic births, or baby loss as part of their role are vulnerable to emotional exhaustion and burnout.
Compassion is a vital part of their role, and compassion satisfaction is a positive aspect of being in a caring profession.
Nurses, doctors and midwives historically are not the best at caring for themselves as they often give their all to the patients in their care. Long shifts, tiredness, lack of regular mealtimes, breaks and intake of fluids along with shift patterns all add up to put stress on the nurse both physically and emotionally.
It is incredibly important to us at Leo’s to care and look after nurses, doctors, midwives and student doctors and nurses.
Our service covers the North East of England, and medical professionals who find themselves affected by the situations which happen because of their job. We believe we need to care for the carer to help staff remain focussed and give the best possible care.
Our dedicated counselling service allows, midwives, doctors and nurses a safe place to offload when they feel they have been affected by the situations which happen because of their job and offers coping strategies.
You can refer yourself in to speak to our fully qualified counsellor Karen, here.