Compassion Fatigue Essay

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Coming Back From the Abyss: Recovering From Compassion Fatigue
The authors of Lying Down in the Ever-Falling Snow objective is to expand the understanding of compassion fatigue by studying what it is like to experience the condition. They discuss the results of their phenomenological study of health professionals from a variety of aspects, with the intent to display a description of a comprehensive range of compassion fatigue experiences. The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary as to how the healthcare professional can begin, and continue, to recover from compassion fatigue. The key factors identified by Austin, Brintnell, Goble, Kagan, Kreitzer, Larsen, and Leier, (2013), for the recovery of compassion fatigue, is discussed and augmented by additional studies that have been reviewed and summarized. In conclusion, why this topic is important to health care and the potential research possibilities will be considered.
Key Factors to Recovering from Compassion Fatigue
Professional Relationships
Enhancing professional and social support, so that health care professionals can speak openly about their feelings, is vital to the prevention and recovery of this phenomenon. As stated by Austin et al., (2013), Professional relationships can make recovery from compassion fatigue easier (p. 145). Relationships with caring colleagues, administrators, and/or professional communities are essential to combating and recovering from compassion fatigue. Scheduling time together with colleagues is one strategic way of ensuring healthcare professionals are being supported as well as supporting others.
To expand on this point, Thompson (2013) discusses the benefits of Schwartz Center Rounds, which is a forum for clinical and n...

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...tive institutional management are easily identified. Austin’s et al., study also highlights the need for educators, managers and caregivers to be aware of the possible consequences of dealing with trauma and to take positive steps to minimize the negative effects. It would also be beneficial to the healthcare setting to focus attention on the return of afflicted staff to their original place of work following the debilitating effects of compassion fatigue and what strategies can be uses to promote success. “The first step to creating, sustaining, and retaining the practice of health professionals, however, is to remove the social expectation that such practice can occur without the most basic of resources” (p.165). When reviewing the key factors identified in this research study they appear very basic and rudimentary, but then the hardest things in life usually are.
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