The Edge of Compassion: Staying Well While Working in Oncology

What is the sweet spot between caring too much and not caring at all?

Many who choose to work in the field of oncology pharmacy have described it as both deeply rewarding and, at times, emotionally challenging: Repeated exposure to pain, suffering and patient loss can strain our feelings of empathy for others. We may find ourselves becoming hardened and desensitized – or conversely, we may feel overwhelmed by feelings of grief and helplessness. This erosion can be further magnified by limited resources, overwork and “red tape.” However, healthcare professionals who work in oncology can learn how to remain present and compassionate towards those who turn to them for support and resources. This “sweet spot” has been described by some experts as “exquisite empathy”: caring just the right amount. Inspired by Françoise Mathieu’s TEDx Talk, this keynote explores the tools required to develop exquisite empathy and the ability to rapidly return to a healthy baseline while working in challenging work settings such as oncology.

You will learn...

  • Why it's time to stop using the term "compassion fatigue"
  • Nine key factors that increase risk of empathic strain, moral distress, & secondary traumatic stress
  • How to cultivate Exquisite Empathy
  • 10,000 Buddhist Monks: Dual awareness and remaining calm and fully engaged during a stressful event
  • Strategies for daily Resetting
Francoise Mathiue