Our Psychosocial Support Advisor Megan Cruise recently trained 70 nurses from across Vietnam on how to practice self-care amidst the stress of caring for children with cancer. Accompanied by a Senior Social Work Practitioner from CLIC Sargent, Megan and her colleague visited Hue Central Hospital (HCH) in Hue, Vietnam for a two-day paediatric oncology conference, during which Megan delivered the self-care training. At the end of the session, she distributed “breathe stones” to the attendees: these glossy stones with the word “breathe” engraved into them reminded the staff of the importance of caring for themselves when feeling overwhelmed by their busy jobs. The leftover stones from the session were given to the parents and children at HCH, as seen in the pictures, as reminders to take a moment out of their stressful days to just "breathe.”
While HCH does already employ a few social workers to assist patients and their families, the emotional needs of the healthcare staff caring for these patients are often overlooked. In countries like Vietnam, hospitals are often understaffed, creating stressful work environments for doctors and nurses. This stress grows in paediatric cancer wards: the low survival rate of childhood cancer in these countries means that the staff must care for both patients and their emotionally distraught relatives. World Child Cancer works to provide psychosocial support and counselling services to healthcare professionals and families alike to help them cope with the realities of childhood cancer. This helps hospital staff provide compassionate, quality care, and helps parents remain hopeful that their child will survive.
You can help us provide training sessions to even more doctors and nurses by donating today. All UK donations made before the 21st January will be doubled by the UK government, meaning your gift will support twice as many healthcare professionals around the world as they care for children with cancer.