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 16C1 - Caring for the Caregiver: reducing the Stress of Vicarious Trauma
presented by Nancy Lynch MDiv MBA BCC, Dena L. Mitchell BSN RN CPON and Shari Racut MA ATR-BC LPCC
90 minutes (1.5 CE Hours)

$0/member $0/nonmember
Item Number: WebR161027
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Price: $0.00
This presentation focuses on vicarious trauma - the trauma we ourselves often experience when we bear witness to the trauma of others. Using videotaped interviews of physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, and other clinical team members, vicarious trauma is defined as a type of compassion fatigue that results from continued exposure to the trauma, death, and grief of others. A method of peer-to-peer psychological first aid is presented to help mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma, along with strategies for creating a self-care plan. This interdisciplinary program was originally presented to University Hospitals personnel as part of an ongoing series of staff self-care forums sponsored by the Spiritual Care department.



Learning Objectives

As a result of this educational opportunity, participants will be able to:
1. Define vicarious trauma, as well as factors that can lead to it.
2. Use the ABCs of psychological first aid (Ask, Be There, Care) to mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma.
3. Learn strategies and tools to create an effective self-care plan.


Nancy Lynch MDiv MBA BCC is director of Spiritual Care for women's and children's services at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. Her pediatric clinical assignments include critical care, ED/trauma, palliative care, hematology/oncology, and child and adolescent psychiatry. She also covers high-risk labor and delivery. Her adult clinical experience includes trauma, oncology, transplant, and outpatient breast cancer support. Lynch recently initiated a pilot program at UH to integrate pet therapy with spiritual therapy, and she is actively involved with the Northeast Ohio Regional Pediatric Ethics Consortium (NORPEC). She is experienced in critical incident stress debriefing, conflict management and training, and spiritual direction. An APC- member and BCCI- board certified chaplain, she is ordained through the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and serves as a parish associate at Church of the Covenant (PCUSA).

Dena L. Mitchell BSN RN CPON is assistant nurse manager, Angie Fowler Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Institute, Outpatient Center; Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. Her 22 years of pediatric nursing experience includes care of newborns through young adults in the areas of post-surgical/trauma, pediatric intensive care, ambulatory sedation for testing and procedures, and ambulatory hematology/oncology. Her administrative and leadership roles have focused on increasing the quality, safety, efficiency and standardization of care for the pediatric, adolescent and young adult patient within the ambulatory and inpatient continuum. Mitchell regularly presents continuing education to nursing and ancillary staff on care at the end of life of the pediatric patient, with a concentrated focus on care of the professional caregiver in relation to pediatric death. She has presented on the validation and coping strategies of professional caregiver grief at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and at the National Alliance for Grieving Children's annual conference.

Shari Racut MA ATR-BC LPCC is a board certified and registered art therapist, and licensed professional clinical counselor in the state of Ohio. She earned a bachelor of science degree in medical technology from The Ohio State University and a master of arts in art therapy and counseling from Ursuline College. Racut worked as a certified medical technologist in hospital settings for over a decade before changing careers, and has been practicing art therapy and counseling since the late '90s. Her experience includes individual, family and group therapy and counseling with children through older adults in a variety of settings. Her specialization is in the areas of trauma and medical art therapy. She has presented locally and nationally on topics including art therapy, group therapy, trauma, vicarious trauma and self-care. Racut is currently the manager of the Family and Child Life Services team at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, OH.

How It Works

To participate, all that is needed is a computer with Internet access and speakers, as the presentation audio and visuals are "webcast." Our webinars are priced per computer terminal, not per participant. That means you can invite as many colleagues to join you as can fit in your conference room or cluster around your computer. As a participant, you will be able to interact with the presenters, who will ask questions of the audience and answer questions posed by participants.

System Requirements
- As a best practice, we highly recommend an Ethernet connected computer for best connectivity and listening experience. You may experience some buffering of audio on lower bandwidth wireless connections.
- Internet Browsers: Internet Explorer 7 or higher (Windows), Firefox 4 or higher, Google Chrome 2 or higher, Safari 4 or higher.
- Stable Internet Connection, DSL or above: 100kbps for video transmission, 300kbps for screen sharing and remote control, 500kbps to ensure fluidity of all services.
- Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X v10.4 or higher, Linux, Solaris.
- Adobe Flash Player 10.3 or newer:
- Computer Speakers

If you have any further questions or concerns, or if you do not have computer speakers, please contact APC at for assistance.