Compassion Fatigue

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Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, and Vicarious Traumatization in Caregivers Marissa G. Letz
Grand Canyon University
Professor Laughlin
February 7, 2012

Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, and Vicarious Traumatization in Caregivers A profession in the medical field can be extremely rewarding but sometimes it can be hard on a care takers body, mind, and spirit. Medical professionals can become burned out which can lead to compassion fatigue or even vicarious traumatization. Compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and becoming burned out can be harmful to a caregiver’s physical, psychological, spiritual, and cognitive health (McSteen, 2010). Not only is compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and being burnt out harmful to the caregiver but it also decreases the health professionals ability to care to their patients. Compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and being burnt out are extremely harmful and must be addressed and recognized, so caregivers can give adequate care to themselves as well as their patients. Burnt Out Caregivers

Caregivers can sometimes become burnt out. A caregiver who is burnt out will have physical, psychological, cognitive, and relational disturbances. Some symptoms or signs of being burnt out could include anger, frustration, fatigue, negative body language, cynicism, and withdrawal (McSteen, 2010). Being burnt out can hinder a caregivers duties, as well as be harmful to the caregivers themselves. Compassion Fatigue in Caregivers

Caregivers can become burnt out, which can then lead to compassion fatigue. A caregiver that has compassion fatigue will have physical distress, psychological distress, cognitive shifts, and relational disturbances. Some symptoms or signs of a compassion fatigued caregiver could include sadness, grief, nightmares, avoidance, addiction, increased psychological arousal, changes in beliefs, changes in expectations, detachment, and decreased intimacy (McSteen, 2010). Having compassion fatigue can...
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