Resilience Center at St. Jude helps staff who help kids

Health

They work to ensure staff are supported emotionally after significant event with patient

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Medical workers on the front lines of the pandemic are suffering from burnout. Research has found it’s an issue even in normal times.

At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, staff treats kids with rare childhood cancers from all across the country including many families from Washington and Oregon. Watching those families go through the treatment process can be hard.

Janet Sellers, the Resilience Center’s program manager, said they work to ensure staff are supported emotionally after a significant event with a patient.

Janet Sellers, St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s Resilience Center’s program manager. (KOIN)

“What’s important is the hospital realizes that this work can be difficult, that working with families and patients with traumatic illness can impact us as people,” Sellers said. “In those cases they come because they’re sad. Losing a patient is hard no matter how intelligent the physician is. If they wrote the protocol they wrote the book on this type of cancer. To know that someone is so involved in their work, it impacts them.”

At the Hope Garden on the St. Jude campus in Memphis, children walk the path daily. But Sellers said it’s a great place for staff to come and take a breather. There are also respite rooms staff can use to center themselves along with other tools and resources to help doctors and nurses take care.

Sellers said it a program more medical faciities could use.

“It is unique,” she said. “I love to tell people what my titel is and that it is a Resilience Center because they go, ‘Wow! Your hospital has that?’ Because there aren’t many institutions that have this type of programming.”

St. Jude relies on donor dollars for these programs and to make sure families don’t pay a dime for treatment, lodging, transportation.

There is an upcoming walk/run in Portland for St. Jude on September 26.
You can register or donate online.

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