reduce stress levels

This year, the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation will support another project with 500,000 euros, which supports the resilience of the employees at the Traunstein Clinic in stressful situations. The focus of this project is on the so-called ad hoc emergency teams, which are exposed to a high level of psychological stress when treating serious accidents and in crises with life-threatening illnesses.

The project builds on the results of last year's joint initiative, which was primarily designed for nurses. Among other things, the measures in the intensive care units, where there have been psychotherapeutic specialists since last year who provide targeted support in difficult situations, were particularly successful. These measures will continue. And that's where the follow-up project "Reduce stress levels - strengthen team resilience" comes in. Employees should be protected against possible mental overload. The stress level on the wards will be measured regularly in the future. Pilots are trained in each team, who act as contact persons for the employees. Managers are also given intensive training in positively encouraging employees. Intensive simulation training is being introduced for the emergency teams that are particularly under pressure, with which emergencies are regularly practiced on site using the latest simulators. An important part of the project is the general awareness of maintaining and promoting psychological and emotional well-being in the teams.

"Our employees in medicine and nursing bear a great deal of responsibility and are confronted with serious events such as death, grief and other strokes of fate every day. It is important to us to strengthen them accordingly in an increasingly complex clinical and social environment and to equip them not only technically but also emotionally. Giving the people in the system strong support is an essential task to which we at the Traunstein Clinic can now dedicate ourselves even more with the support of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation," explains Dr. Uwe Gretscher, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Clinics in Southeast Bavaria.

Psychosocial support in the intensive care units

Relief for psychosocial issues in the sensitive area of intensive care was already started last year. Since then, two psychologically trained specialists have been on duty to support patients and their relatives in serious, exceptional situations. This eases the situation considerably for everyone involved and thus also helps the intensive care staff. It is thanks to the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation that this offer can be continued, because it is not part of standard care that can be refinanced by health insurance companies. A number of clinics headed by the DIVI (German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine) have been working together for several years to include these services in standard care. The Klinikum Traunstein is also participating with this project. For example, two events are planned for the public at the Traunstein Clinic for the fall of this year on the topics of emotional needs and fear.

Preventively protect against overload situations

However, there is not only extraordinary stress in the intensive care units, but in every area of the health care system, as the annual Psych Report of the DAK also confirms. Data from the past year shows that days absent due to mental illness are at record levels, particularly in the healthcare sector. "Consequently, it is important to do something here," says Steffen Köhler, Head of Human Resources in the clinics in Southeast Bavaria. Together with an experienced institute, his team has developed a concept with which the promotion of mental and emotional health can be better anchored in the company's mission statement. "Above all, there must be a corresponding sensitization and you have to find out and track which areas are particularly at risk," says Köhler. “It is also very important here that managers receive intensive training. Three intensive themed workshops are planned. Managers should learn to promote the resilience potential of their employees, to use methods of crisis communication to react positively to stressful events, and to show employees ways to deal with structural problems in vulnerable environments. In addition, a team of health guides is being trained in the workforce, who will recognize stress and conflicts in the individual departments at an early stage and take preventive action," adds Elisabeth Ulmer, CEO of the Southeast Bavaria Clinics.

Low-threshold simulation training

In addition to the intensive care units, the emergency teams are also particularly at risk. The so-called ad hoc teams take care of that in the event of serious accidents and crises with life-threatening illnesses (heart attack, stroke, etc.), you need fast and usually life-changing care, e.g. B. in the shock room of the emergency room, in the operating room, in pediatrics or in the delivery room. These teams each work together spontaneously to stabilize the patient, i. H. they are constantly being regrouped and consist of the currently on-duty employees from various disciplines and professional groups (doctors, nursing staff, laboratory technicians and technical assistants). This requires a high degree of self-confidence and trust in others from each team member and the ability to work together effectively immediately (ad hoc) even in a team that is not well coordinated. The extreme circumstances encourage misunderstandings and conflicts that can have serious consequences. If this happens, there is self-reproach, traumatization and a permanent fear of these stressful and conflicting situations.

As part of the project, regular intensive training sessions are now offered to better prepare employees for the stressful situations and spontaneous cooperation in serious emergency operations. Modern simulation equipment is procured for the cross-professional and interdisciplinary training. An "In Situ Simulation Training Plan" is created. This is a training technique that teams use to train during regular working hours and in the real work environment with the given equipment and resources. The crew resource management principles, which originally come from aviation, are applied in the joint training units for medical and nursing staff. These specifically strengthen the communication and cooperation skills of the individual team members in stressful and confusing situations and thus increase the attention span in a targeted manner.

“In the very practically oriented simulation scenarios, even rare emergencies can be practiced in a protected atmosphere. Since the training takes place directly in the clinic, it can be carried out spontaneously and easily at any time. This has the advantage that no appointments have to be booked in simulation centers and no time and resources are lost through travel to and from the event. This makes it possible to hold training sessions more often. This in turn increases safety and means that employees feel significantly less stress in such situations. medical Kathrin Schwerdtfeger, Senior Physician for Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine at the Traunstein Clinic.

Commitment of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation at the Traunstein Clinic

The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation has been involved with the Traunstein Clinic for several years. In the year before last, the mobile ECMO emergency team was reinforced with two additional mobile heart-lung machines and its own emergency vehicle. At the peak of the pandemic in 2020, she donated her own rapid Covid 19 laboratory for the Traunstein Clinic. In previous years, funding had focused on digitization projects.

“The employees of our clinics are of enormous importance for our region. That is why I am particularly pleased that there is another new project to support you. A sincere thank you to the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation and its generous sponsorship," said District Administrator Siegfried Walch.

Robert Mayr, one of the founders of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation, has a special connection to the region: “The region and the Traunstein Clinic are particularly close to my heart because I was born there. From my point of view, the joint projects of our foundation with the Traunstein Clinic have brought good results, which ultimately benefit all citizens of the region. Helping people in healthcare to be able to fulfill their important task in such a way that they stay healthy themselves is a goal that I am happy to support. Especially since the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation sees the promotion of medicine as one of its priorities,” says Robert Mayr.


Foundation portrait
The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation is an independent, non-profit foundation. It was founded in 1986 by Eva Mayr-Stihl and Robert Mayr. The foundation's work focuses on science and research, medicine, art and culture.
Board of Directors: Robert Mayr (Chairman), Michael von Winning

Contact Clinics Southeast Bavaria: Corinna Noack-Aetopulos Fundraising and third-party funding management on behalf of the CEO of the KLINIKEN SÜOSTTBAYERN AG Phone: +49 (0)861 705-1534 Email:


Press release photographs
In the intensive care unit of the Traunstein Clinic
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Donation handover with simulation doll in the intensive care unit of the Traunstein Clinic from left Steffen Köhler, Head of Human Resources and Education, Elisabeth Ulmer, Member of the Board and Dr. Uwe Gretscher Chairman of the Board of Directors of the clinics in Southeast Bavaria with District Administrator Siegfried Walch and Robert Mayr from the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation as well as Senior Physician for Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine Dr. medical Kathrin Schwerdtfeger and Gisela Otrzonsek Psychological Service from the Traunstein Clinic.
(c) Helena Seitner, Kliniken Südostbayern