Background: Burnout, moral distress, compassion fatigue, and posttraumatic stress disorder are concerns for health-care staff. Due to the high mental, physical, and emotional demands of the pediatric hematology/oncology profession, workplace supports should be in place to address the needs of the staff. A nurse-led support program is one strategy to enhance staff well-being. Methods: The Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplant Advancing Resiliency
Team (HART) is a nurse-led peer-to-peer on-site support program for multidisciplinary staff caring for hematology/oncology patients. HART coaches, working 8-hour shifts, covering both day and night shift hours, are present 3 days a week on the unit. HART offers a confidential space for one on one or group interactions, educational sessions, assistance with work related, patient-care based, or personal concerns, and various forms of integrative therapies. Results: There have been over 1,100 coach consults and 98 HART shifts worked. The most commonly reported changes since HART began include staff feeling more supported by leadership and staff making time for breaks during the work shift. A 25.6% increase in staff reporting to be extremely satisfied with unit support was found. Discussion: Cultivating a culture of staff support is important. Due to COVID-19, physical HART coach presence was put on hold for 4 weeks and virtual interventions were trialed. Since its return, coach consult numbers have been steadily rising. Having a support program led by coaches with direct experience understanding the emotional toll of caring for the pediatric hematology/oncology patient population was found to be well utilized, feasible through donor funding, and measurable via staff report.
Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine