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Needs analysis and development of a staff well-being program in a pediatric oncology, hematology, and palliative care services group

Authors Slater PJ, Edwards RM

Received 30 April 2018

Accepted for publication 19 July 2018

Published 15 November 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 55—65


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Russell Taichman

Penelope J Slater,1 Rachel M Edwards2

1Oncology Services Group, Queensland Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia; 2Nursing Learning and Workforce Development, Queensland Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Purpose: Around 170 multidisciplinary staff of the Oncology Services Group at Queensland Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, care for children with oncology, hematology, and palliative care needs from throughout Queensland and northern New South Wales. A series of challenges impacted staff resilience and retention, and strategies were needed to improve staff well-being and enable them to flourish despite the inherent work stressors.
Methods: A needs analysis was conducted using themes from Discovery Interviews with 51 staff, surveys related to “The Work Stressors Scale – Pediatric Oncology” and “The Work Rewards Scale – Pediatric Oncology” completed by 59 staff, and an organizational staff survey responded to by 51 staff.
Results: The needs analysis informed the development of a customized Oncology Staff Well-being Program with a range of strategies aligned to a PERMA framework for flourishing (positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment). Positive emotion areas included education on topics such as well-being, resilience, responding to escalating behaviors, grief and loss, and self-care. Staff attended the available mindfulness sessions, debriefing and counselors on site, developed self-care plans, and followed a well-being Facebook Group. Engagement was supported through exploring character strengths, improving communication, supporting innovation, and addressing frustrations and safety concerns. Relationships within the team were addressed through team building and social events. Meaning of the work was emphasized through sharing family updates and end of treatment celebrations. Accomplishments of staff were acknowledged in newsletters and meetings.
Conclusion: The needs analysis drove a multifaceted approach to staff well-being with the development of strategies which aligned to a framework that would empower staff to flourish at work. Implementation and evaluation are ongoing and will be reported in a subsequent paper.

Keywords: staff well-being, resilience, burnout, vicarious trauma, self-care

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