Combating Compassion Fatigue

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Combating Compassion Fatigue Introduction Caregivers engage in a myriad of care-related activities and would thus be expected to show compassion everyday in their engagements with patients. In their sustenance and emotional balance in dealing with patients’ despair and their hopefulness at the same time, caregivers need some complex emotions known as compassion (Mathieu, 2012).


Adopting the definition by C. Figley, Sabo (2011) defines compassion fatigue as “natural consequent behaviors and emotions resulting from knowing about a traumatizing event experienced by a significant other – the stress resulting from helping, or wanting to help, a traumatized or suffering person.” The suffering and trauma experienced by the patient would trigger a response on varied levels in the caregiver thus varied empathy and engagement abilities with theorists arguing on individuals possessing high empathic response and empathy levels to the pain, traumatic experience and suffering of patients as being more vulnerable (Bush, 2009). From the inception of the term compassion fatigue, it has been widely associated with burnout, not only from the workplace negative environmental stressors but also from the physical and emotional needs of the patients which contribute to the caregivers’ anger, depression, tiredness and ineffectiveness. With a long term exposure to loss and trauma, caregivers would begin integrating their patients’ grief, fear and emotions which would increase their own emotional pain and stress. ...
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