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Interpreter Care: From Personal to Organizational Strategies for Dealing with Job Stress. Danielle Sandage & Silvia Boerboom Children’s Hospital & Clinics of MN. Identified Interpreter Stress. Deaths Trauma Cases Lack of control or influence over job Boundary Maintenance

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interpreter care from personal to organizational strategies for dealing with job stress

Interpreter Care: From Personal to Organizational Strategies for Dealing with Job Stress

Danielle Sandage

&

Silvia Boerboom

Children’s Hospital & Clinics of MN

identified interpreter stress
Identified Interpreter Stress
  • Deaths
  • Trauma Cases
  • Lack of control or influence over job
  • Boundary Maintenance

(Based on Focus Group, N=25)

slide3

Mediating Cultural Horizons

Interpreter

Staff

Parent

interpreter stress research findings
Interpreter StressResearch Findings
  • Several interview and survey-based studies of job satisfaction, stress and burnout in the interpreting field have been reported

(Branam, 1991; Heller et al, 1986; Neville, 1992; Watson, 1987)

Most report findings of high burnout rates among interpreters

interpreter stress research findings cont
Interpreter StressResearch Findings (cont.)

Frustration with the lack of professional support available after graduation

 Inadequate training for realities of the working world

interpreter stress research findings cont6
Interpreter StressResearch Findings (cont.)

Factors cited as causing stress:

  • Working conditions
  • Unattainably high performance expectations
  • Conflicting view among consumers’ understanding of the interpreter’s role
  • Emotional reactions and duress with no outlet for dealing with them
  • Involvement in private and sensitive situations
  • Limited ability to help consumers other than through interpreter role
  • Real and perceived skill inadequacies*
vicarious trauma
Vicarious Trauma
  • Construct meant to note the negative impact of trauma treatment on therapists (McCann and Pearlman, 1990)
  • The transformation that occurs within the therapist (or other trauma workers) as a result of empathic engagement with client’s trauma experiences and their sequelae (Pearlman & Maclan, 1995)
vicarious trauma8
Vicarious Trauma

Disruption in five fundamental need areas:

  • Safety
  • Trust/dependency
  • Esteem
  • Control
  • Intimacy

McCann & Pearlman (1990)

vicarious trauma9
Vicarious Trauma
  • Flashbacks
  • Dreams or intrusive thoughts
  • Mood dysphoria
  • Psychological numbing
  • Denial and Distancing

McCann & Pearlman (1990)

slide10
“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk though water without getting wet”

Rachel Remen in Kitchen Table Wisdon: Stories that Heal (1996)

scope of stress in the american workplace
Scope of Stress in the American Workplace
  • ¼ of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives (Northwestern National Life, 1992)
  • ¾ of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago (Princeton Survey Research Associates, 1997)
  • Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life stressor – more than financial or marital problems. (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., 1992)
job stress and health what the research tells us
Job Stress and Health:What the Research Tells Us
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Psychological Disorders
  • Workplace Injury (50% greater for workers who report work stress)
  • Impaired Immune Functioning
coping with stress
Coping with Stress
  • Cognitive Focused

(Humor, reframing, self-talk)

  • Problem-Focused

(Action plan, speaking with boss)

  • Emotion-Focused

(Mindfulness, Spirituality, Prayer, Deep breathing)

  • Relationship Focused

(Social Support)

coping with stress self care strategies
Coping with Stress:Self-Care Strategies
  • Cultivating a sense of humor
  • Healthy intimate and family relationships
  • Connection with colleagues for peer consultation/vent feelings
  • Hobbies or leisure activities
  • Physical self-care (i.e., healthy diet, exercise)
  • Meditation, prayer, self-reflection
  • Create your own self-care list
coping with stress self care strategies in the workplace
Coping with Stress:Self-Care Strategies in the Workplace
  • Avoid professional isolation
  • Debrief difficult cases
  • Development support systems
  • Seek training to improve job skills/capacity
  • Deep Breathing exercises in moments of stress
coping with stress setting and maintaining boundaries
Coping with Stress:Setting and Maintaining Boundaries
  • Don’t take on more than you can do
  • Work only assigned hours
  • Limit personal information about yourself to consumer
  • Declining gifts and correspondence
  • Leave work at work!!
slide21
REMEMBER:

“To keep the lamp burning we have to keep putting oil on it.”

By Mother Theresa

organization interventions
Organization Interventions
  • Debriefing meetings
  • Staff training
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Allow for breaks when possible between difficult sessions
  • Ability to cancel session
  • Nursing/SW brief interpreter on case beforehand
  • Continual reminders of interpreter role within system (i.e., orange alerts)

Themes: Empowerment & Control

when stress becomes problematic
When Stress becomes problematic
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Referrals to Therapists
contact information
Contact Information

Danielle Sandage, MSW, LGSW

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of MN

Social Work Department

Email: [email protected]

Wk: 612-813-5805

Silvia Boerboom

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of MN

Interpreter Services Department

Email: [email protected]

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