Compassion Satisfaction, Fatigue and Burnout... You decide...

Nurses and Health Professionals are on the front line of humanity.

The intensity and expectations of the ever changing role, the lack of resources, budget cuts, and poor skill mixes places increased pressures and workloads which all fall on the individual practitioner. Additional commodities and the rising “Diabesity” epidemic, add up to the complexities of care giving. Health professionals are on the front line every day, by the bedside of their patients, and almost always on their patients worst day. Emotions such as: Grief, pain, anguish and frustration are also managed by the practitioner, which can make for much greater challenges than the average person faces.

Compassion satisfaction vs compassion fatigue and burnout.

According to Nurse and Midwife Support: “Burnout” is unwanted work-related stress that may have an accumulative effect over time, and is much more than having a bad day.

Because we develop or are born with special talents; A desire to help other people, to make a difference in the world and the ability to relieve ones suffering. Perhaps inspired by those who cared for our loved ones, or even ourselves, who taught us, or showed us the way. They had a certain “thing” a comradery or a smile.

Empathy can be tested.

The pressures to uphold certain standards, coming from both ourselves and from our governing bodies can be felt to perform day in, day out. In addition to the late nights, long hours, short changes and reduced time spent with family. Even the most passionate of professional’s ability to be empathetic and sympathetic can be tested. Our ability to provide compassionate care, and emotionally provide for our patients is challenged and can be seen as compassion fatigue.

We are satisfied because…

Compassion satisfaction can be experienced in relieving someone’s suffering, to fight for a life, to strive to provide excellent standards of care, each and every time. Because we are powerful, we influence the health outcomes and experiences of our patients. We get a weird kick out of helping others… Being of service to others, saving a life, and walk out in our scrubs saying “just another day”.

By Amy Benn

 

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