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Therefore, compassion fatigue is characterized by extraneous stress resulting from poor working condition of the caregiver. Most psychologists from the United States clarify that new recruits in nursing often find themselves in similar situations even before they are fully absorbed in the profession (Ekedahl & Wengström, 2008).
Regardless of whatever signs a patient may exhibit, symptom of compassion fatigue translates into stress after, which other negative signs accompanied by physical changes become visible (Bush, 2009). While most of the symptoms associated with the above condition can be controlled, there is no magic that compassion fatigue can be dealt with completely. Some of the most usual signs of compassion fatigue include the following:
Exhaustion - Most caregivers may feel exhausted at the beginning of the day even before they commence working on their duties thus entertaining a lot of laxities even after having spent a week of relaxation, they would still feel physical weary (Bush, 2009).
Increased consumption of alcohol - It has been pointed out that the working day long full of stress, some nurses do resort to engaging into alcohol consumption to unwound stress that they have encountered after a hard day engagements with the patients. However, increases resilience on alcohol will not generate anything constructive instead leads to irritability and loss of money (Bush, 2009).
Inability to make a personal decision - It has also been identified that caregivers who are undergoing compassion fatigue situation often feel a sense of incompetency to make a personal decision. Some nurses who are extremely stressed would get to an extent of doubting their clinical competencies. Others would go to the extent of consulting on a simple issue that could have otherwise been solved without engaging another party (Bush, 2009).
Depersonalization - People who are associated with compassion fatigue-disorder tend to distance
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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.
Ironically, the more an individual is vulnerable to the pains of others, the more he/she is exposed to getting affected by the same. Down the ages, care givers in different care facilitating environments, whether it is looking after a patient or a loved one, have been affected by the trauma faced by care recipients.
Compassion fatigue is a problem in the nursing profession. It encompasses job stress and burnout, which are lessor forms of compassion fatigue. Job stress is stress that is experienced for a short period of time, and burnout is job stress which occurs over an extended period of time.
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.
The condition is characterised by the reduction in a person’s level of compassion, gradually, over time. The disorder commonly affects traumatised people and people who handle victims suffering from trauma (Beaton & Murphy, 1995). The
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
In an argument by Walton& Alvarez (2010) practitioners tend to connect with patients at a personal basis to increase their ability to understand their requirements. The authors further point out that, this connection
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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