Skip Navigation
 
 
 
 
 
Print This Page
Share this page: More
 

Nurses Use Innovative Performance Approach to Enhance Resiliency

Summary:
• In light of patients’ needs and the complexity of cancer care, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center leaders are helping nurses learn to be more resilient.
• Nurses are participating in a program employing improvisation and theatrical techniques to enhance communication and relieve stress.
• Nursing leadership will assess self-reported levels of “resiliency” over a twelve-month period.  Baseline measures indicated a relatively high level of resiliency among oncology nurses.

There are numerous ways to describe nurses. Nurses are compassionate, dedicated, smart and meticulous caregivers. They need to be strong yet nurturing, empathetic yet professional. For nurses in the field of oncology, taking care of cancer patients requires special reserves of all those qualities. Then, how do these exceptional caregivers take care of themselves? How do they learn to be resilient, given the demands of their patients’ needs and the complexity of cancer care? How do they consistently serve as the best of the best?

It was this challenge that the nursing leadership of the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center tackled with an innovative program called “The Performance of Resiliency,” in collaboration with Performance of a Lifetime (POAL), who had successfully piloted their approach with other Johns Hopkins nursing departments, including Emergency Medicine. In large and small groups, the POAL coaches guided the nurses through a variety of experiences that combined improvisation, drama and coaching to enhance communication, relieve stress and manage conflict. The results themselves were dramatic, with staff reporting real changes in the quality of their relationships with co-workers, and improvement in their abilities to handle difficult patient-family situations and manage stressors from home.

“Our goal is to help oncology nurses be more resilient and offer creative strategies for coping with the daily stresses inherent in their jobs,” says Sharon Krumm, Ph.D., R.N., Director of Nursing at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.  “It’s a rewarding profession, and initiatives like this provide one more outlet for nurses to realize the full impact of their important role in cancer care.”

Approximately 75% of the nurses who participated answered questionnaires on the impact of the program.  Nearly all (96%) reported that the program was useful for both their personal and professional lives.

A short documentary film following the nurses’ progress through the “Performance of Resiliency” program was presented at the 2010 national Oncology Nursing Society Congress. In October 2010, Johns Hopkins oncology nurses were featured in a presentation at the international Performing the World conference in New York City.

 

Read Our Blogs
Cancer Matters: timely topics
Our Cancer: for caregivers

 

Chemo School & Virtual Tour

Take our video class to learn about your first steps in receiving chemotherapy Chemo School
Prepare for your first visit with this "walking" tour of our clinical facilities.  Watch the video.
 

Publications

Promise and Progress
The magazine of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.

On Target
A publication by the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

 

The Kimmel Wire

The Kimmel Wire

Latest News from the Kimmel Cancer Center
Subscribe Now

Traveling for care?

blue suitcase

Whether crossing the country or the globe, we make it easy to access world-class care at Johns Hopkins.

Maryland 410-955-5222
U.S. 410-955-5222
International +1-410-614-6424

NCI CCC

 
 
 
 
 

© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy and Disclaimer