The Importance of Self Care for Oncology Nurse Navigators: Resilience and Empowerment

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Establishing a self-care contract for nurturance outside of work can help navigators offset the effects of workplace stressors.
Establishing a self-care contract for nurturance outside of work can help navigators offset the effects of workplace stressors.
The following article features coverage from the 2018 Oncology Nurse Advisor Navigation Summit. Click here to read more news highlights and expert perspective from the Summit on Oncology Nurse Advisor. 

Oncology Nurse Navigators (ONNs) frequently demonstrate excellence in empowerment through their education and advocacy for those in their care. These nursing strategies build necessary resilience to assist patients and families to transcend the cancer trajectory. However, nurses are not as diligent in addressing their own resilience and empowerment.  This norm must be challenged to ensure ONNs sustain a healthy orientation to their life at home and their professional career.  

Undertaking an inventory of barriers to resilience and empowerment will aide in the personal recognition of significant, ongoing roles and responsibilities and the subsequent need to balance these competing demands. Making a self-care contract for nurturance outside of work and a work setting contract that addresses occupational health will enhance the likelihood that needed change will take place both at home and professionally.

The time to introduce new opportunities for support is now. The transformation of the cancer landscape will continue to evolve portending future change-related stress. Major occupational opportunities to reduce the emotional sequelae that reduces resilience and empowerment focus on education and the introduction of novel supports. Education increases personal awareness of coping challenges and teaches antidotes to offset these difficulties. The introduction of work setting novel supports validates the recognition of the emotional hazards of caring for, and caring about, patients with cancer and their families. As a subset of oncology nurses, ONNs can lead our specialty in formalizing processes and structures that foster wellness and professional longevity.

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