Compassion fatigue affects health care workers as pandemic continues

Compassion Fatigue

Health ProfessionalS are the ones affected the most.

Our doctors, nurses, and other medical workers have been fighting to save people infected by COVID-19 for over a year. Many health professionals are emotionally shutting down due to the ongoing loss from the pandemic.

Compassion fatigue is the emotional and physical exhaustion that happens from caring for people day, after day.

In an interview with KCRA 3, Golden Valley Health Centers Director of Behavioral Health, Jorge Fernandez said, “We’re tired of COVID, we’re tired of everything that’s going on in the world, so we get to the point where we become cynical, somewhat, and say, ‘I give up.'”

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“So we get to the point where we become cynical, somewhat, and say, ‘I give up.'”

What is Compassion or Empathy Fatigue?

Compassion or empathy fatigue is more than just burnout — it’s the brain’s way of protecting itself from overwork, stress, and trauma.

“But as we keep on seeing all this trauma, all these events that are very damaging to our mind, we kind of slow down our compassion and we build immunity,” he said.

Compassion fatigue may also impact workers outside of the health care profession and may mimic anxiety or depression.

The best way to help with compassion fatigue is “self-care, good eating habits, good healthy sleeping habits. So, self-care, it’s the way to do it. We can help others and we can help ourselves and we can be healthy,” Fernandez told KCRA 3.

Compassion Fatigue Self Care Resources

To help determine one’s level of compassion fatigue and satisfaction here is a questionnaire.

Questionnaire Link

https://nwdrugtaskforce.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Compassion-Fatigue-Handout-6.pdf

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