What You Can Do about Compassion Fatigue
Because the costs of compassion fatigue are so high, prevention is a priority for individual caregivers and for those who lead groups of caregivers. As an individual caregiver you need to:
- Assess yourself using the Pro-QOL (Version 5).
- Be alert for symptoms of compassion fatigue.
- Recognize elements of your personal history that could trigger a response.
- Identify and alter behavior that creates personal imbalance.
- Practice The 7C‘s of Self-Care, described in this downloadable overview and presented in detail in Jane Hamilton’s book, The Caregiver’s Guide to Self-Care: Help for Your Caregiving Journey.
If you lead or manage groups of professional caregivers, be aware of your own individual needs and vulnerability. Act on the recommendations listed above. To avert and alleviate the effects of compassion fatigue among staff you supervise:
- Educate all members of your organization about compassion fatigue.
- Assess staff risk for development of compassion fatigue.
- Teach staff about recognizing and managing professional boundaries.
- Encourage individuals to build resilience and practice healthy self-care.
- Develop a supportive work culture that helps mitigate stress.
- Offer debriefing sessions to process traumatic events.Arrange temporary time-off or more permanent job-changes for those who need relief.
- Refer to professional mental health support when needed.
Contact us to see how an investment in caregiver support will yield positive returns in the health and productivity of your employees and organization.