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Compassion Fatigue Tutor University Date Compassion Fatigue Introduction Compassion fatigue in the healthcare context happens when healthcare caregivers or the professionals begin to feel the pain and suffering for the patients they care for. This occurs in the sense that they begin to lose their inherent nature of self to the people whom they help, offering more help and compassion than they themselves get back in order for them to feel that their work is appreciated or validated…
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Download file to see previous pages... The compromise may be in the form of disruption in the performance of duties or personal relationships, or at times may lead to the change of personality of a person. Compassion fatigue exhibits itself in a number of ways through evident signs and symptoms. The most visible sign that a person is suffering from compassion fatigue is the fact that the person is tense and preoccupied with the individual in need of care and his/her disease. Signs that a person is suffering from compassion fatigue may include avoiding or the numbing of the feelings of the caregiver or avoiding certain thoughts or situations of the patient. The caregiver may suffer lapses of memories and may also show a consistent character of being tired despite sleeping for adequate number of hours or, conversely, suffer from insomnia. The caregiver may also start to absent him/herself from work, and other signs may include emotional depletion due to too much caring for the sick and loss of interest in activities that were enjoyed previously. The caregiver also loses self-esteem, is susceptible to anger, depression and irritability and may find it difficult to find happiness or hope. There is also evident decreased productivity at both the workplace and home. A caregiver should try to avoid the complications that may make him/her suffer from the effects of compassion fatigue. There are many ways of avoiding compassion fatigue, and these are majorly the individual becoming more withdrawn due to the problem or the caregiver choosing to leave the job altogether. The physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the caregiver should be met in order that the person does not suffer from the effects of compassion fatigue. Understanding one’s needs as a caregiver helps one to accept what is happening and may assist in avoiding compassion fatigue. Therefore, being in control of physical needs as a caregiver is important for better healthcare and wellbeing. The caregiver should look after his own health through better nutrition, regular exercise and enough sleep to keep compassion fatigue at bay. Taking care of his/her emotional needs like avoiding instances or events that may lead one to depression should be considered. This can be achieved through referring to previous instances in which the caregiver has endured and coped emotionally. Accepting how one feels and express the feelings, for example, one may reflect on her/his sadness and happiness while at the same time maintaining a sense of humor. Spiritual needs like one’s faith are important for the caregiver and through their consideration, one is able to avoid falling into the trap of compassion fatigue (Ekedahl and Wengstro?m, 2008). This can be relieved by understanding that death is inevitable and occurs at some point in the lifetime of a person. Spiritual needs can be provided by the family, faith or the nature, and the caregiver must be in a position to comprehend the possibility of losing the patient they are taking care of. Strategies for Coping with Compassion Fatigue Taking care of oneself as a caregiver increases his/her ability to provide for the person in need of the palliative care. This is because one will be able to handle the increased physical and emotional pressures that the work of care ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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