Helping others is what health care is all about. When you have a calling or a passion to care for others and to help them, you should truly be a care giver. But the very thing that draws us to be a care taker and helping others in their time of need can be what cause us to be exhausted, disappointed, and unable to cope at times and burned out. I am talking about compassion fatigue. We will talk about what CF is, what causes it and, hopefully, how to prevent it.
Warning signs for compassion fatigue
Compassion fatigue or burn-out, trauma or empathetic strain is an occupational hazard for health care professionals. Compassion fatigue can also be called or defined as a physical, emotional or spiritual exhaustion that overcomes a caretaker and cause them not to be able to feel joy, happiness or other emotions associated with health care (Counter Compassion Fatigue with Mindfulness). There are many signs and symptoms of CF and just a few include: Feeling tired before your work even begins, lack of enjoyment in your personal life, excessive drinking, overeating, excessive spending, blaming others not to mention your physical symptoms like back pain, stomach ache and having to use your sick days (Combating compassion fatigue).
These signs can include physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, emotional symptoms and even professional symptoms (A hospital-wide approach to combating compassion fatigue). Some physical symptoms could be: not feeling good, feeling tired or hyper, and not sleeping well. Psychological symptoms could be: bad dreams relating to work, being pessimistic and not enjoying things that you used to. Emotional problems could include: more irritability or being angry, feeling anxious, nervous or overwhelmed as well as feeling hopeless and vulnerable. Other professional symptoms might be:…...