We Need Help Too! – Caring for the Caregiver

Throughout today’s discussions a quiet theme churned in my head…caregivers need care too. Although it is often said, I do not believe we truly pay attention to those few words or give thought to how we can accomplish it. Too often medical professionals are skipping lunches, expanding their forever growing bladder capabilities, and ignoring the ache in their back and feet…and this is only the tip of the iceberg. When a patient experience undue harm, the caregiver feels it too. It is as if the bullet of medical error that went through the patient made it’s way to the tender heart and mind of the caregiver, creating a second victim within the scenario. Unfortunately, current practice is to give the caregiver a pat on the back and say “better luck next time,” as if this is a game. As healthcare workers we are responsible for standing up and making it clear that we need care too. Managing the precarious balance of life and death is not a game; it is a sinking ship that we are so desperately trying to get to port. And as such it is important that we account for the stress, trauma, and fear that healthcare workers endure in order to provide them with the multifaceted support they may require in their time of need. We Need Help Too!