Day in and day out you care for others. You care for the young and the old. You care for their families. You care for those who scream and cry and those who are quiet. Those who come in for every ache and pain and those who are very sick. But who takes care of you? Doctors, nurses, and other staff members who witness patient trauma can experience traumatic stress symptoms themselves. Sometimes your own emotional reactions to the trauma you witness might affect you more than you expected. The following tips can help you monitor your own emotional reactions and find the best ways to practice healthy self-care coping techniques:

  • Awareness: pay attention to your own emotional reactions and distress when confronting others’ traumatic experiences, and know what types of experiences may trigger your reactions
  • Support: Connect with others by talking about your emotional reactions with trusted colleagues or others who will listen
  • Balance: Maintain a balance between your professional and personal lives, with a focus on self-care (e.g., relaxation, exercise, stress management, etc.) to prevent, and lessen the effects of, workplace stress.

What self-care tips do you have for other healthcare providers?