APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Resiliency Training

HawaiiTripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) is the only federal tertiary care hospital in the Pacific Basin. It serves local active-duty and retired military personnel, along with their families and veteran beneficiaries. In response to the dangers of compassion fatigue and burnout, TAMC developed resiliency training for all staff members. Ultimately, the program has shown that what’s good for the staff turns out to be even better for patients.

Compassion, satisfaction and resiliency in the face of a challenging patient base is easier said than done. But TAMC has made remarkable strides with
its mandatory resiliency training. Whether two hours in the hospital, four- hour half days, eight-hour full days, or five-day advanced employee retreats, these trainings are required annually for every staff member who comes into contact with patients. Some trainings take place on the hospital premises; others are held on the beach.

Every training session features both didactic and experiential components. Along with informational sessions on compassion fatigue and burnout, trainers may offer an introduction to yoga, tai-chi, present-centered improvisational comedy or breathing exercises to engage employees. Throughout a given session, staff members reflect on their lives and careers to promote work-life balance and personal development. Facilitated group discussions and written exercises emphasize the importance of self-care and personal health.

Since the program’s inception, employees have shown significantly lower rates of burnout and secondary trauma and broadened their knowledge of key resiliency concepts. Additionally, customer satisfaction, communication and morale have improved, as employees are better equipped to handle the stressors they face every day.

"The most gratifying aspect of this award is the validation by outside experts who visit your workplace and conclude that routine practices are conducive to a psychologically positive environment. There is an enormous satisfaction in being told you are doing a lot of things right!"

Beth Taylerson
Human Resource Director
The Herald, Rock Hill, SC