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Overcoming Secondary Stress in Medical and Nursing Practice A Guide to Professional Resilience and Personal Well-Being

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-03-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The mental and physical health of caregivers impacts more than just that individual worker. It affects the health of their patients, it impacts their families, it shapes communities, it influences politics, and it plays into international relations.

Medical and nursing professionals working in today's health care settings must be prepared to offer support in dangerous times despite staffing shortages, financial pressures, and complex legal requirements. The nature of this work puts these professionals in harm's way not only physically, but at greater risk for secondary stress, trauma, burnout and other emotional impacts exacerbating the need for self-care.

There is no better time to revisit the problem of secondary stress among caregivers than on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. Times of challenge and change test health care professionals' self-care insights, strategy, and reserves. New learnings and ways of maneuvering through difficult professional practice situations and life in general can become permanent elements in our self-care cache. This book will enrich the reader's insights and strategies with respect to secondary stress leading to enhanced resilience of mind, body and spirit. This second edition draws on content in the first edition and information from classic literature and research findings about the phenomenon of secondary stress experienced by nurses, physicians and physician assistants. This book highlights the importance of interprofessional communication and support in ameliorating the stressors of clinical work, an effort enhanced by interdisciplinary co-authorship. Educators and front line clinicians have come
to the realization that the recognition and self-management of secondary stress and burnout will contribute to a high functioning, caring health care delivery system in the future that prevents attrition and major health problems for those in clinical careers. Overcoming Secondary Stress in Medical and Nursing Practice is an indispensable resource for medical and nursing professionals, students, and the counselors and therapists who work with them.

Author Biography

Robert J. Wicks, PsyD, is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University Maryland. He has published more than 50 books and has lectured on the importance of resilience, self-care, and maintaining a healthy perspective all around the world as well as at the Mayo Clinic, Yale School of Nursing, Harvard's Children's Hospital and Harvard Divinity School, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the U.S. Air Force Academy, on Capitol Hill to Members of Congress and their Chiefs of Staff.

Gloria Ferraro Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCPP, is Dean Emerita, Professor Emerita and founding Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University (1999 to 2016).

Table of Contents


Introduction. Reaching Out... Without Being Pulled Down: Remaining Passionate in the Fields of Medicine and Nursing--A Guide to Personal and Professional Well-Being
Chapter 1. Tacking On Dangerous Psychological Waters: Appreciating the Factors Involved in Chronic and Acute Secondary Stress
Chapter 2. Wicked Problems in Health Care: Identifying, Reframing, Sufficing, and Forgiving Oneself
Chapter 3. "Riding the Dragon": Enhancing Self-Knowledge and Self-Talk in the Health Care Professional
Chapter 4. Drawing from the Well of Wisdom: Three Core Spiritual Approaches to Maintaining Perspective and Strengthening the Inner Life of the Physician, Nurse, and Allied Health Professional
Chapter 5. The Simple Care of a Hopeful Heart: Developing a Personally Designed Self-Care Protocol
Epilogue: Passionate Journeys: Returning to the Wonders of Medical and Nursing Pratice

About the Authors

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