Caring for our palliative carers

Most guidelines for the management of the terminally ill focus on the medical management of the patients. Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care also recognises the need to support the health professionals providing palliative care.

Up to 25% of health professionals caring for the dying have symptoms of burnout or mental illness. This can compromise their care of patients.

The symptoms of burnout include fatigue, irritability, loss of interest and reduced self-esteem. Burnout can lead to depression.

Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care provides several principles for preventing burnout. Training is important, because many staff experiencing burnout feel that they do not have the skills they need.

There should be good communication between the different health professionals delivering palliative care. Over 30% of staff suffering burnout say inadequate communication skills were a contributing factor.

Having a mentor or a