By Christine Miller, Beacon Hospice
The primary task of a caregiver, as a “helping professional,” is to meet the physical and emotional needs of the client or patient. By their very nature, people drawn to the healthcare profession are more likely to develop compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue occurs when this once rewarding profession causes deep physical and emotional exhaustion that attacks the very core of what brought caregivers into this field.
Individuals experiencing compassion fatigue have a difficult time maintaining a healthy balance of concern for their patients and objectivity.
Recognize the Signs
Beyond the demands of trying to meet the important needs of the patients, many extraneous factors can negatively affect a caregiver and lead to fatigue. Factors such as a stressful work environment, a heavy caseload and declining resources, negativity, low job satisfaction, and more can contribute to a caregiver’s risk of developing compassion fatigue.
There are many warning signs of compassion fatigue, including: