How Barnes-Jewish Hospital Trains Nurses to Cope
This vignette in Chapter 7 explores Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best hospitals in the United States and as its top-rated hospital for St. Louis, Missouri. The 1,258-bed not-for-profit hospital is part of the BJC HealthCare chain, which serves patients in the St. Louis metropolitan area. A big part of the Barnes-Jewish staff is its more than 2,500 full-time and 800 part-time registered nurses. A registered nurse comes to Barnes-Jewish (or any other) hospital after extensive training in human health and patient care. But one of the major challenges facing a nurse is not a matter of deploying technical skills; it is how to cope with the day-in, day-out experience of witnessing patients’ suffering and sometimes death. Especially during periods when several of their patients have poor outcomes, nurses can feel worn down by the stress. They can suffer “compassion fatigue,” experienced as sadness, despair, and reduced empathy. At worst, nurses’ health suffers, and they find themselves avoiding certain patients and perhaps failing to deliver quality care when they fail to notice or correctly interpret patient’s needs. A commitment to high-quality care and concern for its nurses’ well-being has led Barnes-Jewish to offer training in how to cope with stress and avoid or recover from compassion fatigue. Read the vignette at the end of Chapter 7 in your text and then answer the following questions.
- Identify the training method used at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Identify any other appropriate training methods that could have been used to address the needs of the nurses.
- State how the approach to training at Barnes-Jewish aligns with the organization’s needs.