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Occupational Stress in Palliative Care




Caring for patients and families during the palliative stages of disease can be both stressful and rewarding. Dealing with the total experience of suffering of patients and families and assisting them to come to terms with impending death present the caregiver with many challenges and stresses. This chapter explores the search for meaning in palliative caregivers, the 'wounded healer', sources of suffering in clinical work and coping strategies.


Contents include

  • Introduction
  • The search for meaning in palliative care
  • Suffering and healing in palliative care
  • The wounded caregiver and vulnerability to burnout
  • The healing experience
  • Sources of suffering in the work environment
    • Constant exposure to death and dying
    • Identification with a suffering individual
    • Feelings of inadequacy or helplessness
    • Feelings of lack of control and failure
    • Multiple loss and grief
    • Team issues
  • Coping
    • Teamwork
    • Personal
  • Conclusion
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Author / Editor Biographies

Palliative Care. Nurse, clinical sociologist, and psychotherapist. Associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.
Mary is a nurse, clinical sociologist, and psychotherapist in private practice. She is associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada) and clinical consultant at Wellspring, a community-based support program for persons with cancer. Mary has published more than 120 professional articles and chapters and has lectured in numerous countries. She is the recipient of many awards, and was named as the Distinguished Scientist of 2001 by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (USA) for her lifetime contributi...

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