To gauge the level of burnout in the multidisciplinary cancer care team, ACCC recently surveyed its membership using the clinically validated Mini Z survey developed by the American Medical Association. While only a small number of respondents (14.9%) report dissatisfaction with their current job, burnout and stress levels are significant.
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The sixth annual ACCC Institute held in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 2018, convened more than 30 experts in cancer care, wellness, and resiliency to share insights on what is fueling burnout among members of the cancer care team and what needs to happen on both on both a micro and macro level to support and improve team well-being. The day-long forum discussion focused on ACCC President Tom Gallo’s 2018-2019 presidential theme: Reflect, Renew, Reignite: Creating a Resilient Oncology Team in Your Community.
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Training in community-based psychological first aid is a promising intervention that promotes adaptive functioning by instilling individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to support oneself and others when stressful events occur. The Avera Cancer Institute, Sioux Falls, S.D., has conducted Community-Based Psychological First Aid for Oncology Professionals for its workforce since August 2017.
A privilege of serving as ACCC President is selecting a theme for your term in office and then having the opportunity to bring together thought leaders and key stakeholders for an in-depth conversation to explore the issue and develop strategies to address it. On June 27, 2018, the sixth annual ACCC Institute for the Future of Oncology forum was held in Washington, D.C., for a conversation focused on my ACCC President’s theme “Reflect, Renew, Reignite: Creating a Resilient Oncology Team in Your Community.” During the half-day meeting, experts and leaders from within and outside of oncology participated in activities to spark creative thinking and dialogue, breaking into small groups to discuss two critical areas with great potential to impact resiliency and well-being: 1) organizational structure and culture and 2) practice efficiency and administrative burden.
While it’s difficult to convey the dynamic energy of the day’s discussion here, I can share some key takeaways:
The Institute meeting is just the initial step in the Association’s year-long effort to develop tools and resources to support wellness and resiliency for every member of the multidisciplinary cancer team. Over the next few months, we will:
To enrich our offerings, we are asking ACCC members to share their experiences working toward improving the resiliency and well-being of cancer program staff. What sort of programs have you tried? Were these focused on the individual, program, or hospital- or health-system level? What worked? What were your challenges? How did you measure improvement? Please send a short description of your efforts—including any tools or resources you’d like to share with others—to email@example.com. And keep in touch. Improving the well-being of the cancer care team is important work that we must do together. Our colleagues and our patients deserve nothing less.
Tom Gallo, MS, MDA, ACCC President 2018-2019, is Executive Director of the Virginia Cancer Institute.
Burnout is on the rise as oncology becomes increasingly complex with new treatment options, growing financial toxicity, an aging patient population, and an increasingly burdensome healthcare system. It has received much media attention, with some calling it an epidemic.
Thomas A. Gallo, MS, MDA, ACCC President, selected his 2018–2019 president’s theme: Reflect, Renew, Reignite: Creating a Resilient Oncology Team in Your Community, in order to shed light on the pain points that frustrate physicians, nurses, social workers, administrators, pharmacists, and all of the other professionals who collaborate to provide the highest level of patient care.
The ACCC 35th National Oncology Conference, October 17 – 19, in Phoenix, AZ, featured stories and strategies for fostering resilience and a healthcare culture that mitigates burnout among all members of the cancer care team. Three featured speakers inspired while providing practical strategies to help increase engagement, transform your work culture, and embrace experimentation.
ACCC is committed to identifying shared strategies and solutions to help combat the burnout and frustration that many of its members experience. This Building a Resilient Oncology Team: Issues and Solutions infographic details key findings on clinician burnout and a bevy of solutions to help you mitigate stress and bring the joy back to your workplace.
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