A self-care retreat for pediatric hematology oncology nurses

J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. Jan-Feb 2013;30(1):18-23. doi: 10.1177/1043454212461951. Epub 2012 Nov 1.


Pediatric hematology oncology nurses face a variety of stressors while working in this specialty field. Through hematology oncology staff group discussions, nurses identified a myriad physical and emotional stressors they experienced, and expressed concern regarding possible burnout. They described facing stressors related to experiencing loss, grief, moral and ethical dilemmas, and administering complex treatment regimens. To address these concerns, a hematology oncology nursing supportive care committee envisioned and implemented 3 off-site self-care retreats. The committee's primary purpose was to create a therapeutic and supportive environment for all participants, while allowing time for relaxation, reflection, and serenity. The primary goals for the retreats were to heal nurses from their reported past trauma and stress and to provide them effective coping strategies for the ongoing stressors they will inevitably face. In a collaborative effort, the committee members developed an agenda including presentations, group discussions, and relaxation activities. Written evaluations were completed by each participant to assess the benefit of the retreat. Overall feedback was extremely positive, with the majority of the participants finding great value in this experience.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Burnout, Professional / therapy*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Oncology Nursing*
  • Self Care*
  • Workforce