Health Care Workers

Topics: Health care, Health care provider, Patient Pages: 5 (1483 words) Published: April 2, 2013
Combating Compassion Fatigue
Sweety Jose
HLT-310V Spirituality in Health Care
Grand Canyon University
March 10, 2013

Combating Compassion Fatigue
Compassion is a complex feeling that allows health care workers to hold and maintain themselves in emotional balance while balancing between patient's suffering and own hopefulness. Compassion needs an internal assurance and obsession of personal beliefs. Compassion is the spirit of nursing care, it is the most essential value of nursing care. Joinson(1992) described the term compassion fatigue first time. Compassion fatigue or burnout usually seen in the health care workers such as nurses and psychotherapist. compassion fatigue is due to the physical and emotional stress of the negative environment from workplace and also from the patient's physical and emotional needs. Health care workers experience physically exhausted with somatic complains such as headache, depression, irritability, and anger. Compassion fatigue rises progressively when the health care workers ignore the symptoms of stress and do not focus on their personal emotional needs.

"Compassion fatigue was first acknowledged in the 1950 mostly among the health care workers who provides care to trauma or in crisis patients (Coe, nd). As per Coe compassion fatigue gradually decreases the a person’s capability to offer compassion. One of the crucial components of health care worker is providing care with compassion. Health care workers undergo an emotional crisis is known as compassion fatigue. Most of the times compassion fatigue arises due to the circumstances came across by health care workers and the pain they experience for the clients they take care for. Compassion is one of the essential characteristics executed into patient care by health care workers. Compassion is a emotion of deep kindness and sorrow for another who is suffering by bad luck, go with a strong wish to lessen the agony. Health care workers and nurses offer self-sacrificing service, tireless enthusiasm, and compassionate care, and habitually ignore their own needs, which causes them to experience an emotional crisis known as compassion fatigue. Identify the warning signs for at least five concepts of compassion fatigue.

The five major concepts of compassion fatigue are cognitive, behavioral, emotional, somatic, and spiritual. With cognitive compassion fatigue health care workers suffer from decreased in self esteem and self-worth. It becomes difficult to think and focus on the daily tasks consequently it affects health care workers a ability to carry out their duties. Co-workers will noticed a decrease in work performance. Health care worker experience lack of motivation, lack of enthusiasm, absenteeism, and low self-confidence. Most of the time person suffering from compassion fatigue becomes very anxious with the illness or trauma of the patient she or he taking care of. Emotionally person experience irritability, anger all the time. Health care worker suffering from compassion fatigue appears physically exhausted with somatic complains such as headache, body ache and depression. In severe cases withdrawal, isolation and lack of involvement occur. Compassion fatigue rises gradually when the heath care workers go through severe stress over time and neglect the stress symptoms and ignore their personal emotional needs. The nature of the problem and its causes

Compassion fatigue signs are mostly exhibits of persistent stress resulting from care giving profession. The general signs that person is suffering from the compassion fatigue are despair, a decline in experience of enjoyment, constant stress and worry, and persistent negative feelings. These conditions have harmful effects on the affected persons; both personally and professionally. This have an effect on their efficiency in work and affect social relations with other people; especially their family.

Possible reasons of this condition include a...

References: Bush, N. (2009). Compassion fatigue: are you at risk?. Oncology Nursing Forum, 36(1), 24-28. doi:
Coe, (nd). Program to combat 'compassion fatigue '. (2010). Hospice Management Advisor, 15(9), 102-103.
Lombardo B, (2011) Compassion Fatigue: A Nurse 's Primer - American Nurses Association retrieved from › ... › Vol 16 - 2011 › No1 Jan 2011
Stebnicki, A. (2008). Empathic fatigue: Healing the mind, body, and spirit of professional counselors. New York: Springer
Welsh, J. (1999). Care for the caregiver: Strategies for avoiding “compassion fatigue.” Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 3(4), 183–184.
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