1. Taylor, Amy BSN, RN

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MY letter is in response to the article, "Relationship of Adverse Events and Support to RN Burnout."1 I am currently the manager of 2 inpatient pediatric units and am frequently faced with the challenge of helping staff overcome emotional stress after adverse patient events. I am not sure that staff experience burnout after these events, but they experience emotional fatigue and personal disappointment. They feel they were personally the cause of the adverse event, no matter the situation. I often tell my nurses that health care is a team sport and includes a team of people working together to provide the best possible care.


It is critical that leaders to help nurses cope with the stress and difficulties involved in dealing with adverse events. I think that all organizations should implement debriefings and group huddles immediately after every event. This would let the people involved know that they are supported and no one person is to blame. Another idea is to implement a mandatory paid reflection day. More often than not, nurses involved in these events have to come back to work another 12-hour shift the next day. I believe all organizations also should offer free Employee Assistance programs to their staff for events such as these. Leaders need to create a culture of safety, shared values, learning, and trust.2 As leaders, one of our top priorities should be keeping our nurses safe, happy, and healthy, which includes preventing emotional fatigue and distress.


-Amy Taylor, BSN, RN


Clinical Manager Acute Care Services


Children's Health Dallas


Dallas, Texas


[email protected]




1. Lewis EJ, Baernholdt MB, Yan G, Guterbock TG. Relationship of adverse events and support to RN burnout. J Nurs Care Qual. 2015;30(2):144-152. [Context Link]


2. Ulrich B, Kear T. Patient safety and patient safety culture: foundations of excellent health care delivery. Nephrol Nurs J. 2014;41(5):447-457. [Context Link]