Self-Care for Oncology Professionals During COVID-19

As the coronavirus remains a threat and seems to be increasing its impact in many areas of the country, it is vital for health care workers to maintain their energies with programs of self-care as they do their best to help save lives. This applies as much to oncology professionals, whose clients can be especially vulnerable.

Cancer Care's Sarah Kelly, LCSW, wrote an article for Oncology Nurse Advisor on " Navigating COVID-19: Self-Care Strategies for Oncology Professionals ," in which she entreats professionals to understand that the negative feelings that accumulate from their constant efforts are valid and real: 

Clinicians are experiencing distress that causes increased feelings of fear, anxiety, frustration, sadness, grief, and a sense of powerlessness. Although these reactions are a normal response to trauma, without appropriate intervention they can lead to depression, compassion fatigue, burnout, and longer-term emotional distress. 

She provides advice on how to acknowledge these feelings, take time to relax and repair oneself as well as maintain connections and support networks to stay grounded. The uncertainty of how long these difficult times will last only adds to the stress. Now, more than ever, it is central to the task of a health care worker to attend to their own needs, in order to have the reservoirs of energy and passion required to continue helping others.

From the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Cancer Care has taken a key role in supplying support for those in the oncology field, as well as those with a cancer diagnosis and their caregivers. These services include workshops on the coronavirus, podcasts on best care, co-payment financial assistance and fact sheets on an array of topics, including " For Health Care Professionals: Coping With Stress and Anxiety."

All of these resources are provided free of charge, thanks to the generosity of our donors. For more on our coronavirus initiatives, please look at our landing page dedicated entirely to the pandemic, and for more information about Cancer Care, please visit cancercare.org.
Michele McCourt
Senior Director
Cancer Care Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
275 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10001
P | 646.616.3905 - F | 212.601.9761

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