Home Health & Hospice

Q: What strategies can I share with my staff members to help alleviate stress while trying to manage unique or challenging patient situations?

Homecare Insider, September 16, 2013

Q: Working with homecare patients can be complex and stressful at times. Not only must our staff members strive to provide quality care, but they must also be aware and understanding of different personalities, customs, and needs with each patient. What strategies can I share with my staff members to help alleviate stress while trying to manage unique or challenging patient situations?

A: Care situations are complex, and home health professionals are confronted daily with a myriad of personalities, behaviors, customs, needs, disabilities, moods, and attitudes. It is important for any caregiver to knows that he or she cannot function effectively unless he or she also takes care of him- or herself. The following are some tried and true approaches to decrease or alleviate stress:

  • Take time to regroup and center yourself. Know that you are strong inside and you can quiet your racing mind with physical activities.
  • Try to pinpoint what is making you anxious. If it is the demands on your time, then what can you do to organize time better or get others to help? If it is supplies, then what do you have to do to get proper supplies?
  • Know that the client is not angry with you but with the situation over which he or she has no control.
  • Go for a walk. Better yet, take your client for a walk. Just seeing other settings can help sometimes.
  • Breathe deeply and just let go of stress.
  • Avoid fast food and go for vegetables and fruits that will provide good nutrients. Drink lots of water.