Combating Compassion Fatigue
Caring for others can be a rewarding job, but this can lead to stress in all areas of health care. Compassion fatigue refers to an emotional state with negative psychological and physical consequences that emanate from acute or prolonged care giving of people stricken by intense trauma, suffering, or misfortune. (Bush, N. 2009). Compassion fatigue is a gradual decrease in compassion over time. In compassion fatigue a person giving a great amount of energy and compassion to others which in turn cause physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion. This can have personal and professional effect on a person’s life. Warning Signs for Major Concepts of Compassion Fatigue
Symptoms of compassion fatigue can occur on a continuum from acute to chronic and affect seven domains: cognitive, emotional, behavioral, personal relations, somatic, work performance and spiritual (Figley, 2002). Warning signs of compassion fatigue varies from person to person. Some of these are abusing drug, alcohol or food, anger, blaming, chronic lateness, depression, diminished sense of personal accomplishment, exhaustion (physical or emotional), frequent headaches, gastrointestinal complaints, high self-esteem, hopelessness, hypertension, inability to maintain balance of empathy and objectivity, increased irritability, less ability to feel joy, low self-esteem, sleep disturbances, an work holism (Overcoming Compassion Fatigue - Apr 2000). Untreated compassion fatigue can lead to “a negative effect on personal and professional psychological, physical, social, and work-related health (Bush, N 2009). Nature of the Problems and their Causes
The article “Compassion Fatigue: Are You at Risk” Nancy Jo Bush explains how compassion fatigue changes E.P’s normal life to a hopeless and senseless one. . Figley (1999) described this phenomenon as the cost of caring. Compassion fatigue can affect any person, but mostly it affects people those who are in care giving profession...
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