Editorial

Finding time to talk through the emotional toll of caring

Do too many nurses bury their feelings after a challenging experience at work?

Do too many nurses bury their feelings after a challenging experience at work?

Nurses in a Schwartz round
Schwartz rounds can give nurses time and space to process events. Picture: Southwest News Service

How do you cope with a difficult experience at work?

With long hours, ever increasing workloads and other workplace pressures, finding time to talk through the emotional toll of caring can too often be pushed down the list of priorities.

This month, we hear from clinical liaison nurse Charlene Jones on how she ‘buried her emotions’ following the death of a patient who had refused potentially life-saving cancer treatment.

She tells how Schwartz rounds – a forum for nurses to reflect on and share the emotional and psychological effects of their work – gave her the time and space needed to process the events.

It was, she says, a cathartic experience.

And on our regular theme of patient experience, we look at the practice of patients ringing an end of treatment bell.

Seen by many as a celebration of the end of a cancer journey, others feel the practice is sometimes inppropriate, given that not everyone makes it to the end of treatment.

We hear from both sides of the debate among professionals striving to strike a balance between celebration and sensitivity.

This month also marks my first print issue as editor of Cancer Nursing Practice while covering Jennifer Sprinks’ maternity leave.

Over the coming months I want to Cancer Nursing Practice to continue to be the definitive journal for cancer nurses.

And that’s where you come in.

Perhaps you want to share a new way of working, research or a new innovation.

Or maybe you want to have your say on an issue affecting your patients or your practice.

I want to hear from you. Pick up the phone, email me at kat.keogh@rcni.com or tweet me @katkeogh

Tell me what you want to see more of in Cancer Nursing Practice online and in print that will inform, engage and inspire you.

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