For Spiritual Caregiving

An Ideal Resource For:

  • Hospital chaplains, armed forces chaplains, police and fire department chaplains, spiritual or pastoral care directors, Stephens’ ministers, lay ministers, faith-based health care providers, volunteer & nonprofit caregiver programs, caregiving ministries.
  • Social workers and mental health professionals in public health departments, disaster relief /emergency management agencies, hospital systems, and nonprofit centers, especially child welfare, foster care, domestic violence and rape crisis centers, homeless shelters, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.
  • Anyone who comes face-to-face with human suffering on a regular basis. This sometimes includes the secretaries and other support staff who make it possible for caregivers to do their work.

Excerpts from “Oxygen for Caregivers”

“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

The Statistics:

  • Stress scores of palliative care workers are higher than patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer. (Vachon, 1987)
  • 45 percent of pastors say they have experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry. (New York Times 2010)
  • 57 percent of social workers have been threatened and 16 percent physically assaulted (Bell, Kulkarni & Dalton, 2003).
  • Most studies show that at least 40 percent and as many as 85 percent of helping professionals have compassion fatigue and/or high rates of traumatic symptoms. (Tatano, 2011)

These are alarming numbers, all of which indicate that working in health care has become dangerous and costly – physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. And who does it hit hardest? Most studies come to the same conclusion: compassion fatigue affects the most caring and dedicated.

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An opportunity to see what a profound difference human caring makes in the lives of others! Real life situations show how to engage with others in a way that cares for their spirit, their emotions, their humanness.

– Peggy Matteson, Ph.D., RN, FCN, Chair, Department of NursingSalve Regina University, Newport, RI.