When you can’t cope, call C.O.P.E.
I’ve been a nurse for 36 years and an emergency room nurse for 22 years. I’ve had my fair share of trauma, stress and disappointment. Most days I felt as if I did a good job, saved some lives and made a difference.
Then there were the days that stayed with me, even after my shift was long over— the loss of a child, a particularly horrific trauma or even the passing of a co-worker. Sometimes I have asked myself, why? I’ve even questioned my ability to continue in a profession that I love.
When I think back to some of these incidents, I have thought about what could have helped me cope. A listening ear, someone to talk to who could comprehend the emotional turmoil I was going through, even a shoulder to cry on or some time off the unit.
As health care providers, we have all faced these moments in our careers. AAMC, along with other hospitals across the nation, recognizes the need for supportive care for our staff. Statistics show that caring for our caregivers will result in their being able to give better care to our patients and families.
AAMC has a new program available to all employees who are struggling through critical incidents – C.O.P.E., which stands for Compassion, Outreach, Peer, Encouragement. The C.O.P.E. program is confidential and provides trained volunteers to help staff through these situations. Find out more in our video
Call the operator or HOC/CPAC to reach a C.O.P.E. volunteer when you assess the need for additional support following a critical incident in your area.
Email COPE@aahs.org if you have questions or need to talk to someone. You don’t have to go it alone. -Deb Keane, RN
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