The research program conducted by Sherry S. Chesak, Ph.D., M.S., R.N., is focused on promoting resilience among health care professionals and family caregivers. Concern for the increasing trend in stress and burnout experienced by both professional health care providers and family caregivers — and its potential negative impact on the quality of care that they provide to patients — has led Dr. Chesak to investigate interventions that are effective in decreasing stress and enhancing provider resilience.
Dr. Chesak primarily focuses on the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions and Stress Management and Resiliency Training (SMART). She is also interested in identifying best practices for preparing nurses for clinical practice and supporting them in their transition from school to practice.
- Mindfulness-based interventions that promote resilience and decrease stress in professional and family caregivers
- SMART training for professional and family caregivers
- Clinical nursing education design, with a focus on dedicated education unit clinical design
- Best practices for supporting the transition of new nurses into practice
Significance to patient care
It is well-documented that health care providers such as physicians and nurses are at high risk of experiencing stress and burnout. Providers coping with these conditions may be less able to provide optimal care to their patients. Moreover, family members, friends and other supportive individuals take on major responsibilities in the care of their loved ones who are facing acute and chronic illnesses. They are often thrust into their roles unexpectedly and are responsible for supporting the patient not just physically but also psychologically, spiritually and emotionally. The weight of these responsibilities can lead to many negative physical and emotional symptoms.
Dr. Chesak aims to identify best practices for supporting both professional and family caregivers, fostering their resilience and positively impacting the care they provide to patients.