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First Do No Self HarmUnderstanding and Promoting Physician Stress Resilience$
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Charles Figley, Peter Huggard, and Charlotte Rees

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383263

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383263.001.0001

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Maintaining a Balance

Maintaining a Balance

Doctors Caring for People who are Dying and their Families

6 Maintaining a Balance
First Do No Self Harm

Huggard Peter

Macleod Rod

Oxford University Press

The care of people who are dying is both a rewarding and challenging aspect of clinical practice. To understand how best to undertake this essential part of medicine it is important to understand the technical aspects of care, as well as the psychosocial and spiritual dimensions. Listening to what people who are dying are concerned about, frightened of, and hope for is essential. This chapter explores these issues and investigates the nature of care, reviews some professional and personal anxieties that doctors may have, and looks at how teamwork is an essential component of end-of-life care. By recognizing and reflecting on the elements that make us the sort of doctors we are, we can begin to understand how best to help people at this most challenging of times in their lives. We have a responsibility to ensure that clinicians of the future have adequate and effective education in order that our care for people who are dying is the best it can possibly be.

Keywords:   end of life care, role of the physician, empathy, nature of hope, patient family relations, professional anxiety, personal anxiety, professional teamwork, medication concerns, spirituality

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