The term compassion fatigue (secondary traumatic stress disorder was first) was first coined by Joinson in 1992 in describing a condition that affected nurses who got worn down by their daily handling of emergencies in hospital according to Barnes (1997). The condition is…
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The condition can affect an individual at a personal level and professionally as noted by Figley (1995). The effects of the condition include reduced productivity, reduced ability to focus, self doubt and feelings of incompetence. Other signs of the disorder include isolation, substance abuse and bottled up emotions.
Caregivers need to realise that just one story that overwhelms their ability to sensualise an event can lead to compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is mainly caused when caregivers witness marks of trauma in other people’s lives to an extent that they get overwhelmed (Van & Rothenberg, 2009). Some of the common causes of the disorder include working with suicidal ideation, hearing stories of child abuse, dealing with people suffering from terminal illnesses, providing care to people who have suffered the loss of a loved one , and providing care to rape survivors, just to mention a few.
For caregivers to provide high quality services without succumbing to compassion fatigue, they should take care of their physical, spiritual and emotional needs. They should be in good physical health so as to be able to overcome the physical pressures that are exerted on them in the course of work. Emotionally, nurses get affected as they handle different cases, some of which are traumatic. The nurses need to find a way of easing the emotional stresses that they experience taking measures to ensure that these do not build up gradually or progressively. Yet again, nurses need to get in touch with their spiritual selves so as to have an assurance of being under the protection of a superior being.
In as much as compassion fatigue can cause a lot of suffering and pain, caregivers can overcome its effects by learning its symptoms and taking appropriate actions to avoid or overcome the disorder in case it takes root
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“Compassion Fatigue Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/nursing/1591698-compassion-fatigue.
They affect the workplace in terms of absenteeism, apathy, low morale, and decreased motivation. However, it is important to note that individuals suffering from compassion fatigue usually love their jobs. Compassion fatigue and burnout symptoms are divided into five major categories and they include cognitive, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, and somatic.
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 on the nature of human body its needs for rest and healthy lifestyles, they are bound by social and professional responsibilities (Joinson, 2007).
This is usually accompanied by emotional pain where the caregiver becomes less empathetic (Figley, 2002). Some physical signs include muscle tension, digestive problems, headaches and chest pain. Emotional symptoms of compassion fatigue include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, oversensitivity, depression, anger, restlessness and poor concentration (Thomas & Wilson, 85).
Compassion serves as a caregiver’s core value with its essence giving nursing its expected soulfulness and healing resources. In the course of executing their duties, the emotional shifts and giving experienced by care-giving professionals could drain them focusing on their care for others and sacrifice taking care for themselves leading to compassion fatigue would.
e a long history of witnessing different tragedies because of the nature of their work that is specifically to receive and care for patients some with mild illnesses while others with serious illnesses. They even see people die in front of them. These traumas make their work
Due to such situations, a nursing profession has become quite challenging activity thus requires complexity and specialization in handling emergency situations. The negative aspect of compassion fatigue nursing entails consistent absenteeism, persistent conflict and
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It is such emotional, physical, and spiritual depletion that Eric Gentry, a traumatologist, term as compassion fatigue (Showalter).
Professionals in the intensive care units are prone to compassion fatigue. For
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