Compassion fatigue (Proceedings)
Apr 01, 2009
CVC IN WASHINGTON, D.C. PROCEEDINGS
However, compassion fatigue is more than just everyday stress and can be more than burnout. It is a state of complete mental and physical exhaustion that can seem overwhelming. The emotional aspect of compassion fatigue can be complicated by physical issues such as depression or hormonal imbalances.
This state of compassion fatigue can be overcome. Being aware that it is present is an extremely important first step. We can't rely on others to get us out of our "funk," we have to take responsibility for our own healing and well-being.Preventing compassion fatigue
Veterinarians by nature are compassionate people. We give of ourselves, and people have expectations of us that they may not have of other medical professionals. Consequently, we are not always recognized for what we do give. Much like hospice workers, we are expected to go on to the next patient or client and be as supportive and caring as we were the last several hundred times.
Keeping a balanced life and balanced perspective can help prevent the overwhelming experience of complete compassion fatigue. Maintaining this balance can be a daily challenge.
Simple ways to fight compassion fatigue
JUST SAY NO
Treating compassion fatigue
You can take steps to change the way you feel and the outlook you have on your life. It starts from within, and taking care of yourself is the best and only first step. Each individual will have different needs and different responses to things. Possible self-care activities that can help break the cycle of compassion fatigue include: