How do we unload? Questions from treating victims of torture in Romania

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a regular series from centres involved in the Peer Support project (more fully described in our earlier blog here). See other previous posts in this series herehereherehere and here.

Peer support tag

“Our mission is to help, and when we feel that someone is trying to help us, this creates a good feeling and gives us wings for go on our mission”

In everyday life, working with victims of torture generates stressful moments. Why? Because we are always confronted with persons whose needs are many and varied, and our ability to cover their needs are often very limited. Our mission is to help, but we cannot always do so. This spirit of bitterness depletes us little by little. We remain marked by a sad story of life, a crippled body and a suffering soul.

How do we unload our soul? How do we free ourselves from what we have gained and what ails us?

All these questions arose in my mind many years ago. Ever since, I always tried to find new answers, new solutions. I started my work for victims of torture 13 years ago as director of MRCT Craiova Romania. Eight-hundred twenty-nine patients are registered at our centre. Every year we regularly assist 140 people with approximately 660 medical consultations and 2,400 physiotherapy sessions. The services are provided by the organization staff consisting of 11 persons. For information on who we are and what we do you can to our website: www.icarmed.ro.

One of the major problems I faced during all these years was to retain staff considering that the financial resources for salaries were always poor. In these circumstances, I think it is important for employees to have a job that comes with love, and to be part of a team in which everyone is united with the other for better and for the worse. This is a difficult goal to achieve, but great things are an accumulation of little things, and I think that every step is important.

One step was to devise a questionnaire in order to try to know more about the mood of the team — hardships in facing problems that grind desires and aspirations. For me this questionnaire was and is useful. I chose this way of communication because often, when we stand all together, with all eyes glued to us when we speak, we find it difficult to express what we think, what we are upset about and what we want. The questionnaire is outlined on the bottom of this blogpost, and might be interesting for debate to improve it or maybe as a tool for partners in Peer Support Project.

Another important step is our participation to the Peer Support project, which is driven by a valuable team of project managers and trainers from whom we acquire knowledge. We learned best practices and applied them in our daily work to improve the well-being of the organisation.

We learned when to use the clinical intervision method, which helps us find better solutions to resolving the difficult cases. Since February, we have had monthly clinical intervision sessions.

After the Barcelona training, we realized that is very important to have a defined strategy for stress management in our organisation.

Another positive aspect of the Peer Support project is that we feel good to see how the three leading organisations (IRCT, Antares, bzfo) made their experience and expertise available in support of the six newly participating organisations to acquire similar skills. It simply feels so good when you see that someone wants to do something for you!

By Simona Smarandache, Director of MRCT Craiova Romania

 

QUESTIONNAIRE

  1. NAME   ……………………………………………………
  2. DATE OF EMPLOYMENT………………………………………………………
  3. DATE OF COMPLETION…………………………………………………..
  4. FUNCTION…………………………………………………………………
  5. WORK PROGRAMME ……………………………………………………….
  6. Do you know your responsibilities according to your job description? Institutional Code of Conduct? Organizational Code of Conduct?
  7. Describe the activity which you perform in the centre:
  8. What problems do you have regarding your activity, who/ what generates them, what solution do you think there are for resolving them?
  9. What dissatisfactions do you have?
  10. What are your expectations?
  11.  Do you want to continue your activity within the centre? If YES, for how long? For a short/ medium long period of time? What are your aspirations?
  12.  How do you see your activity in the future?
  13. What does MRCT Craiova represents for you?
  14.  Do you have disagreements with your colleagues? But complaints about them?
  15. Do you have disagreements with your superiors? But complaints about them?
  16. Do you have disagreements with the director of the centre? But complaints about him/her?
  17. Are you satisfied with the working conditions, with the working environment in the centre? What are your suggestions and wishes in this respect?
  18. Do you have family problems? Are these problems related to your work place?
  19. Do you have any health problems? What are them? Are these problems caused by your work?
  20. Are you satisfied with your salary? Do you feel it is according to your efforts?

 

 

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