Compassion fatigue in aged care | the low down | DP Training

29 May 2018 4:58 PMJen Fitzgerald
Compassion fatigue in aged care | the low down | DP Training

Looking after yourself is no.1 in aged care. You’ve heard of burnout but compassion fatigue is more specific to nursing and you may be close to it or feeling it right now.

Looking after yourself is no.1 in aged care. You’ve heard of burnout but compassion fatigue is more specific to nursing and you may be close to it or feeling it right now.

What is compassion fatigue?

See this video >> https://youtu.be/kse7UE82UFU 

The video is from an emergency/trauma nurses perspective but it is relevant to aged care nurses too.

Compassion fatigue is defined as “a preoccupation with absorbing trauma and emotional stresses of others” *

Signs can be:

  • Feeling burdened by the suffering of others
  • Blaming others for their suffering
  • Isolating yourself
  • Loss of pleasure in life
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Bottling up your emotions
  • Feelings of hopelessness or powerlessness
  • Frequent complaining about your work or your life
  • Overeating
  • Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
  • Beginning to receive a lot of complaints about your work or attitude *

 

That’s a lot of signs! You can experience any of these, on any given day, in aged care, but if they become chronic and affect your working and/or personal life then you should seek professional help.

Tips to avoid compassion fatigue:

  • Plan your days off to include something you love not just the housework!
  • Plan a mini holiday
  • Catch up with a friend or family who makes you feel good
  • Start a journal – put a dot in the middle of each page and aim to write to the dot. Just let it pour out- whatever ‘it” maybe.
  • Get the gratitude app – it alerts you daily to enter one line for that day. You can look back at it and see the great things in your life. Refer to it when you are feeling down.

 

* http://transitionalsupport.com.au/transitional-phase/compassion-fatigue-trauma