190565 Assessing the Needs of the Caregiver Post Katrina to Reduce Work-related Stress and Trauma

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 3:00 PM

Aisha Najeebah El-Amin, BSN, MN , Retired, New Orleáns, LA
BACKGROUND: Nearly, three years after Hurricane Katrina, the health system remains severely strained. Caregivers, who tend to be selfless and compassionate, continue to rise to this great challenge. Often at tremendous sacrifice, these overworked caregivers function daily to meet the needs of their client population. However one must question at what risk to health and well-being if the work related stress and trauma are not mitigated and prevented.

OBJECTIVES: The goal of this investigator was to determine each subject's self-assessment of symptoms of burnout, fatigue and reduced efficiency; self-care practices to mitigate and prevent these symptoms, and

self-report of existing preventive options in the workplace to reduce work-related stress and trauma.

METHODS: The writings of Carla Johnson and Charles R. Figley on compassion fatigue were used to develop a series of questions to use in the interview with each subject. Data was collected from nurses in community health, in primary care practice, in nursing education and nursing administration. All subjects volunteered to be interviewed.

RESULTS: The data identified the self risk assessment of each interviewee, their reported self-care strategies, and their perception of available assistance from employers to tackle work-related stress.

CONCLUSIONS: An enormous emotional and physical toll continues to impact caregivers three years post Hurricane Katrina. Even when some caregivers demonstrate adequate skills in risk assessment and self-care management, there is great need for employers to have in place services for these caregivers at great risk to work-related stress and trauma.

Learning Objectives:
Identify at least six indicators reported from the self risk assessment for work-related stress and trauma. Discuss two reported potential methods of self-care practices used by caregivers. Recall at least one institution-based strategy to mitigate and prevent work-related stress and trauma.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was employed for 40 years as a RN. I have a Masters in Nursing degree. For over twenty years of my professional career, I worked in community health nursing in various areas of practice which included nursing education. I have presented at APHA and I have been a member of the program committee.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.