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Combating Compassion Fatigue - Essay Example

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Combating Compassion Fatigue The Warning Signs for Five Major Concepts of Compassion Fatigue Compassion fatigue and burnout overlap and an individual can suffer from both conditions. They have similar symptoms and both affect relationships and health of the individuals affected…
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Combating Compassion Fatigue
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Download file to see previous pages Cognitive symptoms entail apathy, disorientation, preoccupation with trauma, minimization, rigidity, and lowered concentration. Emotional symptoms include anxiety, anger, fear, sadness, depleted, blunted, enhanced affect, shock, depression, helplessness, numbness, guilt, and powerlessness (Portnoy, 2011). The individual may experience troubling dreams similar to those of the patient. The individual may also experience sudden and involuntary recall of a frightening situation while working with the family or the patient. Concerning behavioral symptoms, the individual may be withdrawn, have poor sleep, a change in appetite, isolated, and hyper-vigilance, have nightmares, moody, and irritable. Spiritual symptoms include pervasive hopelessness, questioning of one’s religious beliefs, skepticism, loss of faith, loss of purpose, and questioning of the meaning of life. Somatic symptoms entail rapid heartbeat, pains and aches, impaired immune system, difficulty staying or falling asleep, headaches, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, and sweating (Portnoy, 2011). The Nature of the Problems and Their Causes Portnoy (2011) states that compassion fatigue is caused by empathy. Compassion fatigue is a form of burnout that appears unexpectedly and with little or no warning. The condition is generally persistent than burnout. It is the natural outcome of stress; it results from helping and caring for the suffering or traumatized individuals. It entails a preoccupation with the individual or with the individual’s trauma and it does not need to be at the stressful occasion. The condition can result from just being exposed to an individual’s painful narrative. It is further described as the “convergence of primary stress, secondary traumatic stress, and cumulative stress in the lives of helping professionals and other care providers” (Portnoy, 2011, p48). On the other hand, burnout is described as a type of mental distress that is manifested in normal individuals who have never suffered from prior psychopathology. The individuals experience decreased performance at work because of the negative behaviors and attitudes. The main dimensions of burnout include emotional exhaustion, feeling of cynicism and depersonalization, lack of personal accomplishment, and sense of ineffectiveness. Emotional exhaustion is the basic individual stress indicator of burnout and it refers to the feeling of being depleted and overextended of one’s physical and emotional resources. The exhaustion causes the individual to distance himself cognitively and emotionally from work and it is a means devised by the individual to cope with the work overload (Coyle and Ferrell, 2010). Depersonalization (detachment from job) and feeling of cynicism is the burnout interpersonal context dimension and it refers to the excessively detached response and negative callous to various features of the job. Lack of personal accomplishment and sense of ineffectiveness is the self-evaluation burnout dimension and it indicates the lack of productivity and achievement at work and feeling of being incompetent. Lack of personal accomplishment emerges from the lack of resources to complete the work; for instance, the lack of necessary tools, lack of crucial information or even insufficient time (Coyle and Ferrell, 2010). The Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Needs Of the Caregiver When caring for patients in palliative care, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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