Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training: Caring for Cancer Treatment Providers


Livestrong has partnered with VitalHearts: The Resiliency Training Initiative to provide Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training for cancer treatment providers in four USA hospitals. The training serves not cancer sufferers directly but the professionals who care for cancer sufferers. Delivering such care takes a huge emotional toll on those who provide treatment. The treatment of cancer sufferers multiplied case after case has the likely effect of traumatizing cancer care-providers and this, in turn, diminishes care effectiveness, creates compassion fatigue, and increases staff turnover. The Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training, revitalizes, often saves careers of care-providers experiencing secondary traumatic stress.

VitalHearts instructed and certified a number of staff at the four hospitals to be future trainers of the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training. Each cancer treatment program then led the training under VitalHearts’ guidance. This means even as VitalHearts’ grant concludes, the hospitals will continue to offer the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training to their professional staff as part of a continuing staff resiliency program. Over 288,000 treatment sessions will be led next year by providers who participated in this training.

VitalHearts has offered the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training to health care and human service providers since 2008 and 95% of training participants report a significant decrease in their secondary traumatic stress reactions.

The Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training honors professionals who dedicate their lives to serving cancer sufferers and survivors. Livestrong is thus in a unique position to serve cancer treatment providers in this way.

The Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training has crucial value for those affected by cancer. By creating more resilient treatment providers, it enables hospitals to better support staff, retain their expertise, and maintain treatment excellence which leads to better health outcomes.