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Compassion Fatigue - Essay Example

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Compassion is coupled with the need to assist people to minimize the suffering resulting from the misfortune. It is a complex of feelings that create an imbalance of professional and human ethics among caregivers. The essay "Compassion Fatigue" explores it's professional and ethical perspective…
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Compassion Fatigue
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Download file to see previous pages Although compassionate caregiving stands out as an accepted social responsibility of the nurses, the practice defies professional ethics and requirements for health workers. This essay explores compassion fatigue form a professional and ethical perspective. Concepts and Symptoms Nurses and other caregivers often find themselves in a dilemma concerning the care they need to give to patients and their own welfare. Although health workers have a good understanding of the nature of human body its needs for rest and healthy lifestyles, they are bound by social and professional responsibilities (Joinson, 2007). Such responsibilities force them to neglect their personal needs. Although compassion fatigue is a major problem among health workers, most health professionals overlook the problem. According to Kottler (2005), the main reason why nurses overlook compassion fatigue is that they have become used to the problem making them compromise with the fatigue. An interview conducted by nurses working in California hospital established that most nurses used medication to make them stay awake for long hours. The survey also established that most nurses had irregular sleeping periods due to workload or a desire to offer compassion services for their patients. This indicates that health workers need to have a concrete background on compassion fatigue symptoms. Compassion fatigue symptoms are identical to those of posttraumatic stress. Unlike posttraumatic stress, compassion fatigue symptoms are based on trauma. This indicates that they have a direct impact on the patient’s life and that the impacts can be demonstrated readily by their performance and behavior (Kottler, 2005). The basic concepts of compassion fatigue are emotional, cognitive, spiritual somatic and behavior. These concepts translate into symptoms and warning signs that characterize the condition. Standard warning signs for the phenomena on are: Stress and decreased satisfaction Feelings of inadequacy and anger Low self-esteem and depression Feelings of hopelessness and uncertainty Disrupted sleep cycle and moods Physical discomforts such as a headache and backache Loss pleasure for work and other activities Drug and substance abuse Compassion fatigue stands out as a major threat the nursing profession and the quality of health services in the country. This is because health conditions resulting from compassion fatigue not only affect the health of the caregivers also the public health. Compassion, fatigue stands out as a major threat to nursing and therefore, it should not be overlooked. In most cases, the condition begins as a caregiver burnout before developing into a full-scale compassion fatigue. It is believed that the current social and economic stress among the people has worsened the problem. According to Charles file an author of a compassion fatigue articles, our health systems fail to meet the absolute cost of caring for patients. His analysis considers the problem as a misplaced cost where a nurse or a caregiver is forced to bear the burdens of caregiving. The researcher argues that this happens due to the inconspicuous nature of such costs. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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