Margaret Rubino, a patient care coordinator in the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, often feels stressed and emotionally drained after dealing with cancer patients day in and day out.
"Sometimes you want to cry, because the stories are so heartbreaking," said Rubino. "Much of our job is to be strong and to comfort others. We certainly have our own issues too and, combined with the high call volume at work, sometimes the pressure really gets to you."
Recognizing the need to provide some "me time" for staff to express what it feels like to do this work, Cynthia Perlis, director of the UCSF Art for Recovery
program, brought an idea to Gerrie Shields, administrative director of the Cancer Center. "I wanted to do something for many of the frontline people -- the receptionists, administrative assistants and medical staff -- who are confronted with intense situations and dealing with loss on a daily basis," said Perlis.
(Note that in November 2007 the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center was renamed the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.)
Read more at Nancy Chan, UCSF News Services