Take-a-Break Intervention: Improving Oncology Nurse Wellness

Amy E. Rettig

Kristin Moore

Elizabeth Savona

Angelina Scala

self-care, work breaks, oncology nursing, burnout, wellness, stress
CJON 2021, 25(2), 210-214. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.210-214

Staff stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue related to increasing demands of oncology care have been further compounded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambulatory oncology nursing care, with a central focus on the collaborative partnership with patients and families, requires cultivation of the caring and healing environment. The relationships that the oncology nurse has with self, colleagues, and the community support safe, high-quality, and patient- and family-centered oncology care. To foster a caring environment, Take-a-Break, a well-being intervention for oncology clinic nurses, was designed, implemented, and promoted by an oncology clinic nurse and an ambulatory oncology mental health advanced practice RN.


  • Increasing demands in oncology care can affect oncology nurses’ stress and coping. 
  • Take-a-Break is relatively inexpensive and adaptable, supporting a caring and healing environment.
  • Including creative activities during a break can lift mood and promote oncology nurse self-care.
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