The Comfort Garden: Tales from the Trauma Unit

Book Review: Compassion Fatigue and Burnout in Nursing: Enhancing Professional Quality of Life. Vidette Todaro-Franceschi, 2013, Springer Publishing Co., LLC. Reviewed by Laurie Barkin RN, MS., author of The Comfort Garden: Tales from the Trauma Unit Vidette Todaro-Franceschi’s book, Compassion Fatigue and Burnout in Nursing, is heartfelt and academic, thorough, thoughtful, personal, and refreshingly non-formulaic. […]

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Since publishing The Comfort Garden in 2011, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to groups of nurses and other healthcare professionals about compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and self-care. Looking out upon my audience, I notice much head nodding and sometimes dramatic aha! moments when I describe the signs and symptoms of the first two topics. […]

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Last week, bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. In West, Texas, a fertilizer factory exploded. Elsewhere in the country it was trauma as usual: car crashes, gunshot wounds, stab wounds, rape, burns, and on-the-job accidents. In my work as a psychiatric liaison nurse on the trauma unit at San Francisco General […]

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In my world, the wheels of progress turn slowly but steadily. You can now download The Comfort Garden from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, and soon we hope from iTunes. The other piece of good news is that I will be joining the new nursing website, RNsights, as one of the “ask the experts” […]

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The term “vicarious traumatization” describes the emotional, psychological, and spiritual changes that take place within an empathic person as a result of regular exposure to other peoples’ traumas. It is also known as “secondary stress.” Vicarious trauma is a component of  “compassion fatigue.” Vicarious trauma affects nurses, therapists, social workers, teachers, police officers, firefighters, journalists, […]

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During the five years that I worked as a psychiatric liaison nurse on the surgical/trauma unit at San Francisco General Hospital with people who had survived motor vehicle and other major accidents, fires and injuries, I listened to hundreds of trauma stories. In the course of conducting thorough psychiatric evaluations, I asked my patients about […]

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