Health care professionals multitask and have many goals in the health care industry, and most importantly it is our main duty to assist our patients with the best care. In order to accomplish this goal it is apparent for the health care professionals to practice a well-balanced healthy life style to effectively give care to the patient. In general, promoting inadequate healthy measures in a physical and mental way will cause health inconsistencies just not in the care for the patient, but in their work performance and in the life of health professionals.
When health care professionals neglect their self-care and solely provide only care for the patient will eventually result in experiencing compassion fatigue disorder. Compassion fatigue is caused by empathy. It is a natural consequence from stress resulting from caring for and helping traumatized or suffering people (Bush, 2009). In this paper, I will examine the perception and define compassion fatigue in these important areas: the warning signs and the causes, the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the caregiver, and finally I will state the coping strategies and resources to help the health care professional.
It is crucial that all health professionals including registered nurses, Physicians, and care givers understand and perceive the important concepts of compassion fatigue and becoming aware with the symptoms, warning signs, and take the essential steps to combat compassion fatigue in the early stages. The signs in experiencing the early stages of compassion fatigue are being cynical towards others and the world, and being sarcastic. The lack of having hope and faith, and expressing rude and cruel comments in and outside of workplace is a sign of coming out of your compassion zone.
Furthermore, other symptoms that occur gradually over time may include physical and emotional exhaustion, lack of motivation, depression, apathy, and impaired judgment, and lack of motivation can exist before initially starting your day (Gilmore 2012). I interact with colleagues at work who are always tired and complain they never have time to sleep or exercise, and their outlook in life is so negative and depressing. I have learned associating yourself with people who have cynical views can burn and drain you in a mental and emotional aspect can lead to depression.
Also, lack of motivation can hinder health care providers from reaching and surpassing success at work and with others. Compulsive disorders such as binge drinking, lack of exercise, exceeding in eating, using street drugs and overly spending are also warning signs of compassion fatigue (Espeland, 2006). These signs can lead to constant complaints and becoming impatient with certain situations in jobs and with peers. In the past years, I had to discontinue friendships, because I noticed people that I so called friends were draining me emotionally, and I begin to feel apathetic it was affecting me as a whole.
In addition, some causes of compassion fatigue can be a prestigious promotion at work and working overtime can put a heavy a load on a person. Compassion fatigue is a serious disorder and health professionals need to recognize the early signs to prevent it from progressing into long-term addictions or something difficult to treat or solve. Since health professions are at high risk it is important to indicate what our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are. Each caregiver “must learn to recognize his or her own coping mechanisms and to find a balance of mental and physical health.
”(Bush, 2009) It is important to do some soul searching and find out what elements are essentially needed for our mind and body to generate the balance that we need, in order to properly function and provide compassion care to our patients. To exercise moderately, balance what we eat, and properly hydrate ourselves is the first step in attaining physical strength. Health care professionals should refuel in an emotional aspect to prevent emotional exhaustion or burn out. Some methods are to do what you enjoy and treat yourself.
Some examples are reading a good book, going on a trip, and vent to someone you trust. This will refresh our minds and give us the ability to proper attend to others. Nevertheless, our spiritual health is the fundamental of expressing our inner self and helps us to give the exceptional care that we need to others. Some spiritual practices to utilize are the action of prayer, reading scriptures of the bible, and meditation. The participation in these rituals will enrich our spirituality and eliminate any negative energy that might be floating around us.
Giving thanks to life and our daily blessings to God will maintain our spiritual strengths. Primarily, all health professionals should make it priority to take care of their physical, emotional, and spiritual health first. In my current position in working, going to school fulltime, and maintaining a house hold there has been in several moments where I have come across the sings of compassion fatigue. In a daily basis, I have encounter challenges in giving care to patients at my job then come home and give the equal love to my three young children and my husband; the level of stress does tend to fluctuate.
However, as being a care giver it is my duty to give care and also “be kind to yourself” (Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, 2012, p. 6) Now, that I have been researching this subject I came across some effective strategies and resources. I found that The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Program has put a positive outlook and an exception resource to utilize for health professionals, family and friends. It provides informative facts of the compassion fatigue disorder and how to prevent and treat it.
Another assessable and useful resource is I recently came familiar with is Caregiver. com. This website is designed to address the significant areas to help caregivers to grasp a better perception of their job duties, with a list of articles and magazines. Last but not least, there is praying services at hospitals available for anyone who needs them, and counseling is offered for health professionals. Having faith and love in God with prayer gives me the guidance I need to get through.
In conclusion, I examined the perception and define compassion fatigue in these important areas: the warning signs and the causes, the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the caregiver, and I stated the coping strategies and resources to help the health care professional. Our duty as care givers in the health industry can create intensity and friction with our heavy workloads and hectic lives. And without the elements of love, care, and balance in our health, compassion fatigue will always be present, and it is apparent to attend and treat it before it becomes unmanageable. References Bush, N. J. (2009).
Compassion Fatigue: Are you at Risk? Retrieved November 16, 2012, from http://ehis. ebscohost. com. library. gcu. edu:2048/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? sid=fd9ce7ff- f27b-4555-81a8-5d8a129d75b4%40sessionmgr114&vid=2&hid=109 Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project (2012). Recognizing Compassion Fatigue. Retrieved November 16, 2012, from http://www. compassionfatigue. org/pages/symptoms. html Espeland, K. E. (2006). Overcoming Burnout: How to Revitalize YourCareer. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing Gilmore, C. (2012). Compassion Fatigue what it is and How to avoid it. Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand, 18(5)