Unloading - how do you as a nurse debrief - page 2

We recently had a nasty accident locally in the community - our full time chaplain at our organisation is also the chaplain for one of our emergency services - he went to this accident - he tends to... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    Originally posted by Sandra m. Took

    Fergus it sounds that you are really disapointed about losing your chaplain - i think you have mentioned it in a number of posts - He/she must have been effective to make such an impact

    I have only used his services once in the last four years when he held a meeting after the death of a baby. I should mention he held a Master's degree in counselling and wasn't there to preach to us.
  2. by   petiteflower
    Happy Nurse's week everyone!!!!!

    There is help out there, beings friends at work, chaplains. There is also an organization called CISM (critical incident stress management) I am a member here in Kansas. It was originally geared for pre-hospital, but more and more we are going in to hospitals. It is very structured, and confidentiality is a must before things proceed. Sometimes we have involved ER staff and prehospital staff in the process. It helps to put the pieces together and talk about "what happened" and "what was my role". It is not a place for accusations or discipline. As a matter of fact, administrators and bosses are not allowed in unless they are directly involved with the incident. I have been involved in the receiving end of these debriefings as well, and they have proved very helpful. I don't know how many states this is active in, but I know some of the Kansas people went to the OK city bombing and they used it in 911. I know that all of us don't have incidents to that extreme, but we have used it for several things, for example--a 23 year old code that came in and was well known in the community, and was unsuccessful, a code on a 13 year old trauma pt that was unsuccessful.

    Sorry to ramble, it's not the only answer, but it is a help.

    keep the faith
  3. by   mattsmom81
    We have a psychologist on staff at the hospital (he contracts with our rehab unit ) and he has done more to help us nurses cope than any chaplain I know. He offers popular CEU sessions for us regularly on stress management techniques and conflict resolution.

    Come to think of it, I trust him too while I would not our paid hospital chaplain....who is a gossippy type, good with patients but not real trustworthy per nurses, and gets involved with family vs nursing staff issues...and without fail he finds problems with the nurse...gets old after awhile.
  4. by   Stargazer
    Do any of you have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) at your hospitals? I have always worked at places that had EAP programs which provided critical incident stress debriefing. You probably wouldn't use them for every single bad day you had, but for big-ticket events that adversely affect several-to-all staff members, they're great for providing group debriefing. Also good for individual counseling (most employers provide up to 4 EAP counseling sessions per employee for free).

    If you're finding that you need a CISD session frequently in your unit, it may be indicative of a larger problem that needs addressing (e.g., inadequate staffing, not enough ancillary support, etc.)

    There are also individual organizations that provide CISD depending on the situation. The American Red Cross provides counseling in natural disasters such as hurricanes; and an organization called The National Air Disaster Alliance Foundation provides counseling for air-related disasters, to name just two.

    And you know you can always vent here on allnurses! Hang in there folks.
  5. by   Huganurse
    We have EAP where I work though I have not had to use it myself. In the past if a disaster or particularly troubling event occured we usually got a visit from the chaplain. Once even had a visit from an outside source who came in just to talk to us. It was a good thing and made us feel like we were cared for by our employer.
    The absolutly best thing I ever did that helped me cope with the demand of my nursing career and the terrible losses we experience was, Ok, get ready, Stock Car Racing. I know, I know!! But, it was great! Getting out on that speedway with 40 other drivers to bump, grind, and bang was very thereputic to me. Out of control spins left me LMAO and passing cars on the stretch sent me into singing at the top of my lungs (literally)! It really took something that would require my full and undivided attention to take my mind off of my work! Nothing like burnouts to keep me from burnout! LOL.
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
    Originally posted by dawngloves
    I call my mom, I hug my babies.
    Ditto. But don't forget the dog! The dog does wonders for my mental health!

  7. by   kids
    Originally posted by OBNURSEHEATHER
    ... But don't forget the dog! The dog does wonders for my mental health! ...
    My dog always knows when things are not OK with me, sometimes she knows before I do.

  8. by   RNforLongTime
    We have a Critical Incident Stress Management Team that is available 24 hours a day seven days a week for anything and any reason. Anybody can access it. I think that the last time it was put into use was last year when a unit secretary unexpectedly died one morning while getting ready for work.

    I talk to my hubby, although he still has no idea what I deal with on a daily basis after 4 years together. I come here and vent. Sometimes...I just chill.
  9. by   micro
    chilling is good, rather here on the threads or otherwise.........
  10. by   hapeewendy
    when the stress and emotional overload gets too much , I slip back into the happier times in my life.....I listen to music that I love, read a good book, look through pictures that can instantly bring a smile to my face (like the one where im about 3 years old running around naked - as I often did - which got me the nickname of the streaker - the joy of that picture isnt in what I'm doing its that you can just see my mom off to the side, laughing her butt off) now thats a happy image!
    I call a friend, sometimes one from work , who will understand me and what I'm going through
    I see my boyfriend, who can tell as he says just by looking in my eyes that I've had a rough one and he hugs all the blues away....
    and my cat, who is more like a dog than a cat in the sense of her loyalty and following me around 24/7 , pets are amazing creatures....
    I dont have children of the human kind but that darn cat is amazing at bringing a smile to my face!
    love going out to the movies, comedy, romance, drama, suspense whatever just get me the popcorn and im sooooooooooooo there
    lots of ways to decompress...... we just need to understand when we need it
    happy nurses week to all of you , you make me proud to do what I do!