Oxygen for Caregivers

Guarding Against Burnout, Building Resilience, Sustaining Compassion

Nurses, physicians, paramedics, and other allied health professionals usually have very little training on how to face the occupational hazards of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout. Ironically, these health care workers are in poorer health than those in other professions and they are burning out at alarming rates (click here for the statistics).

Oxygen for Caregivers is a toolkit for team leaders and instructors to start the conversation and begin to reduce the risk of burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. This empowering program is easy to teach right out of the box. It comes with everything you need to inspire, inform, and lead your audience to make healthier self-care choices.

Participants gain an entire dashboard of instruments to manage the hazards of vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue, and chart their course, including:

  • Lifestyle strategies and tactics that are known antidotes to burnout.
  • Crucial distinctions between compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout, so these hazards can be recognized.
  • Early warning signs for the onset of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout.
  • Competencies: A broader perspective on how others successfully cope with stress.
  • Three proven principles that build resilience, with a map of the territory and a compass to find the way.
  • A self-evaluation process that leads to a customized wellness plan.

“Highly useful for discussions by health professionals aimed at a pervasive problem: how to cope successfully with our own feelings while we serve as steady beacons and sources of comfort for others? Kudos to “Adventures in Caring” for making these concerns visible so that we can discuss this more fully, and become even more effective caregivers and more satisfied people.”  

Richard J. Steckel, M.D.


“Under the auspices of International Medical Corps, I was a physician responder to the ‘University Hospital’ in Port-au-Prince following the 2010 earthquake, so I found the search and rescue footage from Haiti shown in Oxygen for Caregivers particularly moving. I work with the military, first responders around world, the wilderness medicine community, and emergency physicians and residents at Stanford Hospital. This is a wonderful resource to share with my emergency medicine faculty and residents, and to incorporate into the education we provide to other trainees in high-stress medical occupations. Please keep up the good work. It is fascinating and much needed.”

Paul S. Auerbach, MD, MS, FACEP, FAWM
Redlich Family Professor of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine


“These resources are beautifully created and remind us of the importance of self-care. The videos and workbooks provide wonderful tools for all healthcare professionals as they continue their commitment in the sacred work of caring for people with serious illness/traumatic injuries and their families.”

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, FPCN
End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC)
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)


Oxygen for Caregivers was a runaway success when it premiered recently at our Care4You compassion fatigue conference. I am still receiving rave reviews from nurses, social workers, and first responders. Oxygen for Caregivers is a highly useful, much needed resource.”

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., CCC. Author: The Compassion Fatigue Workbook
Compassion Fatigue Solutions Inc.


“This remarkable program, Oxygen for Caregivers, provides wonderful, unrehearsed and non-prescriptive insights from our colleagues who have successfully coped with stress for decades. I highly recommend it.”

David Chernof, MD, FACP,
David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine


“Simply listening to the wisdom this video speaks is a gift. It comes at a time when we all will need it more than ever.  It offers a comfort that we are not alone in feelings of burnout as well as providing a confident approach to addressing the healing necessary for the provider to give the most inspired parts of themselves to their patients”.

Julie Allen, MD, OB-Gyn Medical Resident, UC Davis


Oxygen For Caregivers is an exceptional program… it gives a systematic method of self reflection so that we can recognize burnout in ourselves and our colleagues and take important steps to heal. It gives pragmatic tips on how we can pay attention to early signs of burnout and address them constructively. This program helps us take better care of ourselves and better care of each other, so that we can provide better care for our patients.”

Jason Prystowsky, MD, MPH, FACEP
Emergency physician, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
Medical Director, Santa Barbara City Fire Department
Medical Director, Doctors Without Walls–Santa Barbara Street Medicine


Oxygen for Caregivers will spark important conversations about the wellbeing of those on the frontlines of healthcare. These conversations and resulting efforts to attend to self-care needs can certainly improve the quality and safety of care, as well as, enhance the patient experience.”

Christina Thielst, FACHE, Vice President
TOWER, a patient experience consulting group


“Oxygen for Caregivers is a true gift for all of those who work in a helping field.  It is a simple and thoughtfully crafted message that illuminates the profound need for self-care and self-compassion as the core principles for assisting others.”

Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, President
San Diego Domestic Violence Council

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This video series will not only enlighten physicians and nurses, but has a place as a cornerstone of education and training for the entire hospital.

P.J. Woods/University of New Mexico College of Nursing

“It kept me riveted for the entire program. The variety and sincerity of those interviewed, and the broad range of issues and experiences, from hospice to firefighters, from doctors and nurses to search & rescue workers, drew me in immediately. Best of all, the not overly complicated nor overly simplistic presentation of Connection Concepts was useful and clear. I think it’s a terrific video”.  

Ann Bennett, Director and Founder
Family Opportunity Center, Santa Barbara

Simon Fox: Stress & burnout.

The Full Series includes:

Disc 1: DVD

  • Feature Presentation (35 min.)
  • 5 bonus video clips (2-15 min. each)
    – 3 video clips for the audience (2-5 min. each)
    – 2 video clips for the instructor (3 & 15 min.)

Disc 2: CD

  • 76-page Workbook (with permission to copy for each participant)
  • 76-page Leader Guide (a train-the-trainer program)
  • 40 PowerPoint slides
  • Formats for three one-hour sessions and all criteria to qualify for 3 hrs. of continuing education

Explore the full Series

The consequences of making good self-care choices are far reaching

  • Satisfaction: There is a link between job satisfaction and patient satisfaction. Bitter, burned out staff are not a source of comfort to patients. Every one percent improvement in job satisfaction translates into approximately two percent increase in patient satisfaction.
  • Performance: Staff who look after themselves are able to bring their A game to work every day. The quality of their work is high consistently.
  • Retention: It costs less to keep your people than to find replacements. It costs 2-3 times annual salary to replace someone – and that’s not counting the years of education that are longer of value.
  • High Standards: When you lose good people, you lose the example they set too. In this vacuum it is easier for standards to slip to second rate.
  • Teamwork: There is a ripple effect. A healthy, mutually supportive team reinforces a culture of competence, compassion, and wellness. Burned out people don’t.
  • Safety: Those who understand themselves are able to understand others too. They can read how others are feeling and treat them the way that they would like to be treated. As a result, misunderstandings and mistakes are reduced and patient safety improves. High stress causes tunnel vision. Burned out people miss things.
  • Time off: Improved wellness means fewer sick days, workers compensation cases, and addiction-related problems.

From emergency responders, to nurses, doctors and Hospice caregivers,
this program helps to sustain compassion and prevent burnout.
(Click tabs and pictures below for more info)

Improve communication with patients, residents, and their family caregivers. Inspire the staff who deliver the care. Create a better quality of life for those nearing the end of life.Powerful tools that build strong teams and retain top people, in hospice, palliative, skilled nursing, assisted living, and home care settings.v (More) 
Get the tools you need to reduce the risk of burnout and compassion fatigue, improve patient satisfaction and patient safety, reduce risks, and retain your best people. Resources for multidisciplinary team building, staff development, and continuing education – to ensure that patients, visitors, and staff experience compassion within the care environment (More)
Inspire your students with real-life examples of compassion applied to the care of self and others. Establish high standards in the soft skills that influence the patient’s experience. Facilitate lively discussions and create safe environments to explore delicate topics such as compassion fatigue. Award-winning instructional tools for schools of medicine, nursing, and allied health. (More)
Give your team the resources to protect emotional health and make debriefing more useful and productive. Help first responders make better decisions under pressure, remain resilient, and recover from traumatic incidents more quickly. Save time and resources with less sick leave and lower turnover. Tools to support EMS teams, disaster response workers, and volunteers. (More)
Show your team how to put compassion into action, renew their energies, and approach emotionally sensitive situations with confidence. Inspire, comfort, and uplift reliably – without burning out.Resources for chaplains, pastors, spiritual directors, Stephen’s ministers, and caregiving ministries. (More)

“This program helps us take better care of ourselves and better care of each other, so that we can provide better care for our patients”

– Jason Prystowsky MD, MPH, FACEP Emergency Physician / Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital