*The term ‘caregivers’ also refers to nurses, doctors, and other health care providers (hospital and home-based).
*The following are the questions we want to answer at the end of the presentation. **Being able to answer this question will help us understand the larger perspective of the problem.
1 These are the key ideas that we would like to study and understand for this presentation. The definition and implication of the following ideas will be discussed.2 Thesis Statement: The objective of this presentation is to realize the need to combat compassion fatigue. 3 experienced: in here, we assume that compassion fatigue is real and in fact experienced by the caregivers. 4 healing environment: This term is in line with Chapman’s (2003) idea of “healing hospital”. Healing hospitals promote an environment in which people practice a culture of “radical loving care” (Chapman, 2003). Though the idea is basically centered on the caregivers’ attitude towards the patient (one-way), we can also add to it the importance of considering the situations of both parties. In here, we can say that healing hospitals can be more productive if their people are happy with what they are doing and are compassion fatigue-free.
*‘People work’- in contrast with ‘mechanical work’; In the latter, exhaustion could lead to alienation, not exactly burnout. Doing mechanical work does not necessarily involve emotions. Burnout is more about one’s negative and distressing condition caused by the work itself. A burnout person usually lost interest in working because of the routine and kinds of problems he or she encountered from other people everyday. Apathy is a related condition.In order to understand better what this phenomenon is, we have to know its relation to compassion fatigue in terms of looking at their differences and similarities.
*Aside from being attentive, detail-oriented, and responsible, nurses (and other related occupation) should be caring, understanding and sympathetic (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). Although this is the case, it is also important for them to have “emotional stability to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011). 1 In contrast with burnout, compassion fatigue is a specific condition that a person experienced when too much sympathy (by listening to others’ problems regularly) was given out by the caregiver to a person (to the patients or their relatives). Though emotionally a person is exhausted, in compassion fatigue, the caregiver still continue to sympathize with the patient (Stevens-Guille, 2006). Apathy is absent.2 a term introduced by Figley (1995) referring to the condition in which families of a rape victim sometimes experience similar symptoms to the victim (as cited in Stevens-Guille, 2006). Compassion fatigue usually happens to a person who has a kind of work which requires the person’s sympathy, understanding and empathy for others. Nurses and caregivers are vulnerable to this condition because of the nature of their work.
*As observed, most of the symptoms listed are also what the patients experience because of their sickness or ill-condition. Somehow, the stress and trauma caused by the patient’s too much thinking of his illness are passed on to the caregiver. The caregiver may be experiencing compassion fatigue if the combination of the symptoms listed above are present.
1 :Caregivers are not machines who can listen and comprehend everything that they hear from their patients. Like any human being, they are vulnerable to physical and emotional exhaustion especially when they are overly exposed to its causes. :Caregivers also have other things to do aside from their work such as attending to their families, friends and other personal needs. 2 :Most nurses, doctors and other health care providers are working on shifting schedules, and sometimes forced to work overtime. Health care providers usually carry on different tasks that requires physical energy (lifting and carrying the patients, checking patients individually, etc.) and mental skills (filing patients’ document, analyzing patients’ condition if necessary, etc). :Considering all of these, the hospital management should perhaps particularly think about ways on how to deal with these problems. 3 :The need to combat compassion-fatigue. Helping our caregivers solve the problem of compassion fatigue will eventually help the management to become more effective. Considering and knowing the needs of the people in the organization will make the management more competitive (being people-oriented).
Recognition of the problem is an important step to help the person recover from compassion fatigue. Once the problem and the solutions are known, the person can now take action in order to solve the problem. Though compassion fatigue is a personal condition, the help of others (his friends, bosses, and families) is very important.
Care for the Caregivers*COMBATINGCOMPASSION FATIGUE
PROBLEMS AND ISSUES* What is Compassion Fatigue? What are the symptoms? How can we manage the problem? What are the things we can do to solve the problem? Why do we need to care for the caregivers?**
CONCEPTS AND IDEAS 1 Burnout Compassion fatigue THESIS STATEMENT : 2Compassion fatigue as one of the main problems experienced by health care providers must be 3 solved and managed in order to create a healing environment that is more effective and people- 4 oriented.
BURNOUT "a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who do people work„* of some kind” (Maslach, 1982). “a depletion of energy and a feeling of being overwhelmed by others problems” (Freudenberger and Richelson, 1980). empathy and interest in work are depleted
COMPASSION FATIGUE is the overwhelming condition of emotional exhaustion due to too much* sympathetic behavior towards the patient or any person.1 is a form of “secondary traumatization”2 (Figley, 1995 as cited in Stevens-Guille, 2006).
SYMPTOMS* Physical: sleep disturbances, frequent headaches, muscle and neck aches, hypertension, exhaustion, workaholism Emotional: depression, anger, blaming (oneself), hopelessness, increased irritability, less ability to feel joy, frustrations about something you are unable to change, guilt, loneliness, feeling of detachment, increased impatience Mental/Psychological: anxiety, low self-esteem, paranoia, disorientation, suicidal thinking(Funk, 2003; Oregon.Gov.,2007;Stevens-Guille,
CARE FOR THE CAREGIVERS Caregivers are people too. 1 Consider the nature of their work. 2 Healing services in hospitals are not possible without the health care providers, the caregivers.3
COMBATING COMPASSION FATIGUE:GUIDE FOR THE CAREGIVERS 3 basic steps: recognize the fatigue, seek solution, action (Dwyer, 2006).Specific steps (Funk, 2003): Physical- exercise, nutrition, relaxation, breathing exercises, avoiding addiction Emotional- talking to a friend, engaging to support groups, Spiritual- meditation, praying, understanding the meaning of life through education, recreation
CONCLUSIONS Compassion fatigue is a form of emotional and physical exhaustion experienced by caregivers which is caused by their too much sympathy to their patients. Caregivers are vulnerable to this kind of fatigue because of the nature of their work. There are ways that a person can do to solve the problem. The 3 basic steps are recognition, seeking the solutions, and action. Combating compassion fatigue is one way which hospitals can do to become more effective in giving health care services to people.
WORKS CITEDBureau of Labor Statistics. (2011). Occupational Outlook Handbook Registered Nurses. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm#natureChapman, E. (2003). Radical Loving Care: Building the Healing Hospital in America. Tennessee: Baptist Healing Trust.Dwyer, K. (2006). Fighting Caregiver Fatigue. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from http://www.caregiver.com/magazine/2006/sept_oct/fighting_caregiver_fatigue.htmFreudenberger, H. and Richelson,G. (1980). Burn-Out. New York: Anchor, Doubleday,Funk ,J. (2003). Balancing The Burdens Of Caregiving:Avoiding Compassion Fatigue. Hospital Chaplains Ministry of America, Inc.Maslach ,C. (1982). Burnout—The Cost of Caring New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.Oregon.gov. (2007). Care of the caregiver. Retrieved April 20, 2011 from http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/spwpd/caregiving/care_caregiver.shtmlStevens-Guille, B. (2006). Compassion fatigue: Who cares for the caregivers? Retrieved April 20, 2011 from http://classic- web.archive.org/web/20060223112457/http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3929/is_2003 06/ai_n9260633