HLT 302 Assignment Combating Compassion Fatigue
HLT 302 Assignment Combating Compassion Fatigue
Using the Internet and/or the GCU eLibrary, research the topic of compassion fatigue, caregiver burnout, and related issues. Evaluate your sources to make sure they are academically sound and useful to your study. Compile concepts and resources to share with people who are facing burnout as they care for patients.
Write a training guide to assist people in combating compassion fatigue. Determine whether your audience is a group of professional health care workers or individuals caring for loved ones needing ongoing medical care. Present your training guide as a pamphlet, a PowerPoint presentation with lecture notes, or some other visual aid with notes.
- Present the nature of the problem and its causes.
- Explain the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the caregiver.
- Finally, give examples of coping strategies and resources for help and hope for the caregiver.
While APA format is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected and in-text citations and references should be presented using APA documentation guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion of the assignment.
Compassion fatigue can be a serious occupational hazard for those in any kind of helping profession, with a majority of those in the field reporting experiencing at least some degree of it in their lives. This is no surprise, as it is typically those with the
most empathy who are the most at risk.
Compassion fatigue is characterized by physical and emotional exhaustion and a profound decrease in the ability to empathize. It is a form of secondary traumatic stress, as the stress occurs as a result of helping or wanting to help those who are in need. It is often referred to as “the cost of caring” for others who are in physical or emotional pain. If left untreated, compassion fatigue not only can affect mental and physical health, but it can also have serious legal and ethical implications when providing therapeutic services to people.
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While it is not uncommon to hear compassion fatigue referred to as burnout, the conditions are not the same. Compassion fatigue is more treatable than burnout, but it can be less predictable and may come on suddenly or without much warning, whereas burnout usually develops over time.
Because it can arise so abruptly, it can be important for therapists and others in the helping professions to protect themselves from this condition. Here are 11 ways to prevent compassion fatigue from happening to you:
1. GET EDUCATED
If you know you are at risk for compassion fatigue, taking the time to learn the signs and symptoms can be a helpful means of prevention.
The most common signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue include:
- Chronic exhaustion (emotional, physical, or both)
- Reduced feelings of sympathy or empathy
- Dreading working for or taking care of another and feeling guilty as a result
- Feelings of irritability, anger, or anxiety
- Hypersensitivity or complete insensitivity to emotional material
- Feelings of inequity toward the therapeutic relationship
- Trouble sleeping
- Weight loss
- Impaired decision-making
- Problems in personal relationships
- Poor work-life balance
- Diminished sense of career fulfillment
Knowing the signs and symptoms and continuing to check in with yourself can help you better prevent and manage compassion fatigue if it arises. Many people find that ranking their level of compassion fatigue on a scale of 1-10 is an effective strategy. For example, a rank of 6 might mean you are declining social invitations due to feeling drained and a 7 might be difficulty sleeping due to excessive worry about someone else’s well-being.
Cultivating a high level of self-awareness and understanding of how your 6 differs from your 7 can help you gage where you are so you can implement necessary strategies to avoid the red zone that would likely be a 9 or 10.
It is not only the work itself that poses a risk, but the person’s life conditions as well. For example, someone who is not only taking care of people at work, but also caring for a child or adult family member at home may be even more susceptible to compassion fatigue. If you are currently experiencing increased life stressors at home as well as in the workplace, prevention strategies against compassion fatigue may be important.
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