Nurse Recommends Self-Care To Be A Priority in Oncology Nursing

Stephanie Jackson, DNP, MSN, RN, AOCNS, BMTCN, Oncology Nursing News co-editor in chief, comments on the importance of self-care for oncology nurses.

When nurses become burnt out, it’s a recipe for disaster, explained Stephanie Jackson DNP, MSN, RN, AOCNS, BMTCN.

“One of the biggest things that I tell the staff is self care [is important]. Whether you work in the inpatient setting where you’re doing three 12[-hour shifts], [or the] outpatient [setting] doing five 8[-hour] or four 10[-hour shifts], the biggest thing on those days off? Self care. Because It’s very hard to keep giving, giving, giving. Across the nation, we’re seeing short staffing, people leaving the profession because they have just seen so much in these past 17 months that they’re done,” she said.

Jackson, unit director at UCLA Health, spoke with Oncology Nursing News® about her experience as a unit director and how she encourages her staff to make self-care a priority in order to prevent burnout.

Jackson suggests “remembering that ‘why.’ Why you came into this, [and] what a privilege it is to be a part of these patients’ and their families’ journeys. But also recognizing when you’ve had enough, you’ve hit that wall, [and asking] is it time for vacation? What can I do for self care? Even if I can’t travel like I’m used to doing.

“But what is the most meaningful to them? Whether it’s family time, walks on the beach, exercising, things that bring them joy, so you don’t lose that, because when they walk back [through] the doors of that hospital or clinic, they have to have all hands on deck.”