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…
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 Concerning behavioral symptoms, the individual may be withdrawn, have poor sleep, a change in appetite, isolated, and hyper-vigilance, have nightmares, moody, and irritable.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 ...
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“Combating Compassion Fatigue Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/nursing/58124-combating-compassion-fatigue.
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
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
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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