Stress and Burnout

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Burnout: A Challenge to the Human Services
Roxanne Arballo
BSHS 461 – University of Phoenix

Burnout: A Challenge to the Human Services
Those who work in the Human Services field and nonprofit areas are highly vulnerable to burn out. 2010 provides larger numbers of clientele, forced human service personnel overtime work hours, on-call after hours, and other schedule and work imbalances. World population numbers are escalating as the budget for the health services is on a continual decline. Causes of burnout for the human services professional may be individual, cultural, organizational, supervisory, or from lack of social support. According to Johnson and Stone (1987), burnout “refers to a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion resulting from involvement with people in emotionally demanding situations”. Three major factors of burnout (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996) are emotional exhaustion, a feeling of low personal accomplishment with clients, and a sense of depersonalization (a dehumanizing, uncaring attitude toward clients). According to Maslach & Leiter, burnout is the degree of "dislocation between what people are and what they have to do." Effects of burnout might appear in the form of exhaustion, detatchment, and feelings of ineffectiveness. These results might be from the "gradual process of loss during which the mismatch between the needs of the person and the demands of the job grows ever greater." Maslach and Leiter (1997) have summarized these causes into “the categories of work overload, a lack of control, insufficient rewards (from money to joy), a breakdown in community, the absence of fairness (trust, openness, and respect), and conflicting values.” Previously labeled causes of burnout included types of organization, supervision, social support, and culture. More recently, Maslach and Leiter (1997) summarized these causes into the categories of work overload, lack...
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