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I resonated with this week’s readings for several reasons. First, as I am currently interacting with hospice nurses in and out of my in-laws’ home as they help him in the process of his transitioning, I see the nurses and their varying levels of concern with the COVID-19 virus. I often wonder how I can better support them as they go out on the frontlines every day into different people’s homes, not knowing who or what they will encounter. Bringing this topic to the fore of our thoughts is important and was an important reinforcement for me as I’ve already been pondering these things.
Also particularly insightful for me this week was the reading on, “Vicarious Trauma in Clinicians: Fostering Resilience and Preventing Burnout.” It was especially interesting for me as I reflected on its applicability and transferability into my particular realm of chaplaincy in the corporate world.
I thought it interesting that OSHA (Occupational Hazard and Safety Administration) considers vicarious trauma to be a psychological hazard for mental health clinicians, and I wondered about the implications of mental health in the corporate world as well. The article stated:
Studies have shown that integrating work safety and wellness programs is more effective in reducing chronic conditions.<sup>7</sup> Wellness and self-care practices reduce individual risk-related factors while work safety reduces work-related risk factors. Examples of wellness programs are smoking cessation, weight control, healthy nutrition, physical activity, flu vaccination, meditation, and mindfulness.
In my mind, this lends additional credence to the necessity of chaplains like my self working within the business community to bring about holistic interventions to reduce stress and bur out.