how to prevent compassion fatigue in nursing
Setting boundaries, acknowledging when you can’t solve every problem for every patient, and letting go of that burden will naturally allow you to infuse compassion and empathy into other interactions–most importantly into interactions with yourself. Try to avoid people who are excessively needy and drain your energy. This can fill your tank. There are plenty of books and articles written on the importance of self-care in the nursing profession. Overcome these problems so you will not sink deeper into clinical depression. You stopped feeling as deeply for your patients as you once have. The surest way I’ve found to prevent compassion fatigue is to make sure that you are equally as compassionate with yourself as you are with your patients. After all — you can take much better care of others if you’re at your best. How can you assist in the healing of others, if you yourself are lacking? If you don’t, your body and mind just might decide to go on vacation without planning. You are probably still giving excellent physical care and meeting all of your patients’ physical health needs, but you’ve lost the connection. Copyright © 2020 Maryville University. Meditation, exercise and nutritious foods help keep your mind and body in a healthy state, which can help you withstand a barrage of external factors that may lead to compassion fatigue. In some nursing jobs, you know they happen. While this seems hard to do, once you start giving yourself 30 minutes out of the 720+ minutes on your shift, you’ll understand just how vital this break is. Conversely, just as we use over-head lifts and turning sheets to prevent back strain, we can use tools to prevent the mental and emotional strain that can come from repeated over-use of the heart, mind and spirit. Helpful strategies could include: changing the work assignment or shift; recommending time off or reducing overtime hours; encouraging attendance at a conference; or becoming involved in a project of interest. Just give us a call or check out our helpful FAQs. What you are experiencing may be a form of compassion fatigue. The effects of fatigue in compassion on an individual can vary, but they all have a similar theme. You need skills for dealing with them.”. Through this way, your attention will … Choose a work schedule that allows you to balance your work and personal life. Working long nursing shifts without a break is not sustainable, especially if you have significant responsibilities at home as well. “You need a break from the work and sometimes from the situation. As a nurse, you deserve it, and you know it. Make it work for you and there will be less propensity for you to be burned out from the job. Aim: The aim of this article is to clarify the concept of compassion fatigue to develop methods for prevention and mitigation of compassion fatigue in the nursing profession. The key to preventing compassion fatigue among nurses is to understand it, to recognize how it manifests, and to implement practices that can mimimize it from escalating. Consider compassion fatigue more like a drop in enthusiasm due to exhaustion. Or hardened. Now do it. Your after-work life should be a safe haven from emotional stressors whenever possible, and certainly a break from work stress. As a nurse, you know as well as I do that taking a break sometimes seems nearly impossible. But let me offer the following recommendation as well, which I consider to be the number one way to take care of both yourself and your patients–without falling into compassion fatigue, and while maintaining the highest level of care–the care that naturally resides within your heart and mind. Compassion and empathy go hand in hand. Bryan Christopher Warne graduated from an accelerated nursing program in 2012. This doesn’t need to be an actual vacation, which can be stressful in and of itself, but should be a break from caregiving. View all blog posts under Articles | View all blog posts under Nurse Practitioner Programs. Nonjudgmental friends and licensed therapists offer a listening ear when you need it the most. In these instances, nurses and healthcare professionals may find themselves taking the stress into their personal lives and generally not taking care of their own needs. Nurses and healthcare professionals work incredibly hard. Merriam-Webster states that compassion fatigue is "the physical and mental exhaustion and emotional withdrawal experienced by those who care for sick or traumatized people over an extended period of time." I would never advocate for withholding compassion and empathy from any person, yet there is a deep inner knowing that can come about, when you listen, realize, and finally say to yourself…, “Maybe, at this moment I can’t do anything more for this person.
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