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Self-Care and Grief for Professionals. As Medical Interpreters you are: Expected to blend in and be only a voice Expected to interpret, but not feel emotions.

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Presentation on theme: "Self-Care and Grief for Professionals. As Medical Interpreters you are: Expected to blend in and be only a voice Expected to interpret, but not feel emotions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Self-Care and Grief for Professionals

2 As Medical Interpreters you are: Expected to blend in and be only a voice Expected to interpret, but not feel emotions as you witness the most challenging times in families lives Expected to walk out of heartbreaking interventions, and walk into the next room and carry on THESE ARE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS!

3 Today we will talk about grief and self-care… Because you need to feel your emotions in order to continue to do your jobs well! You can operate within your code of ethics and still process your experiences. “Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves." - Pema Chodron

4 You’re jobs are hard… What are some of your most challenging moments? How are you encouraged to handle your stress at work? How are you encouraged to bury your stress at work?

5 Coping: According to Wikipedia… coping is expending conscious effort to solve personal and interpersonal problems, and seeking to master, minimize or tolerate stress or conflict.stressconflict

6 What are the day to day issues? What do you do when you need to step out of your role? Patient safety issues Language/comprehension issues Cultural issues Advocacy Shared life experiences What do you do when you feel “too much” for a family? How do you turn off/manage your feelings?

7 What are the day to day issues? What do you do with the physically ugly side of things? You have no training or preparation for this like other staff do…How is that!? Funerals: You guys don’t go…right? How do you get closure? The long hours…what do you do after a long period of time with one family? What do you do for families you have worked with for months and years? Is there room in your career for being and feeling and staying within your boundaries?

8 Six possible ways the loss of a patient could affect you as professionals Loss of relationship with the patient/client Loss related to identification with pain experienced by the families Loss of assumptions about one's worldview Unresolved previous personal losses Loss related to facing personal mortality Loss related to professional expectations D Papadatou, Omega 41, 2000

9 So…How can I teach you all to cope in two hours? Do it yourself tips: Deep breathing Guided imagery Distraction Exercising Laughing Talking Create a ritual: light a candle, say a prayer, sit for a few moments and process

10 So…How can I teach you to cope in two hours? Employee Assistance Programs…They ROCK! Vacation Friends…you can vent and be HIPPAA compliant Write, journal, make something…do something with your grief! What do you do?

11 Grief Responses in Professionals: “Professional grief usually takes the form of hidden grief — grief that is internalized and not openly expressed. There is no natural outlet for it, and the demands of work overshadow it. This lack of expression may result in cumulative grief, or what sometimes is referred to as bereavement overload. This can further lead to a legacy of vulnerability, burnout, or post-traumatic stress reaction.” Understanding Professional Grief By Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH

12 Grief Responses in Professionals: Professional Grievers: Are distant mourners Have hidden symptoms Transform their grief into other emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, blame, helplessness, guilt Can develop chronic grief…a grief that never comes to a satisfactory conclusion Understanding Professional Grief By Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH

13 Grief Responses in Professionals: As C. Murray Parkes, one of the foremost experts in bereavement has noted: “With proper training and support, we shall find that repeated grief, far from undermining our humanity and care, enable us to cope more confidently and more sensitively with each succeeding loss.”

14 Programs at Children’s for Families: Film Group for siblings Grief Support Groups for parents and siblings Fall Forum In the Presence of the Light Sibling Day Camp Scrapbooking Precious Prints Grief Packets Annual Memorial Service

15 Programs at Children’s for Staff: Bereavement Council Invites to the annual memorial Good Noon In the future…We hope to offer financial and emotional support for grief support on each unit

16 References Parkes, CM. “Orienteering the caregiver’s grief.” Journal of Palliative Care, 1986; 1:5-7 Understanding Professional Grief By Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH

17 Now let’s actively do something with our grief! Grief Flags…

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