Secondary Trauma among Behavioral Health Professionals

Secondary trauma of behavioral health professionals, compassion fatigue, and provider burnout are various terms used to describe effects on caregiv-ers who are fatigued or burn out when taking care of patients. Originally described in intensive care nurses, it has been broadened to include a wide variety of caregivers.

The effects of treating the traumatized have been given numerous meanings and names throughout the years and through many traumatic events. Among the other terms used to capture secondary reactions to trauma are burnout, traumatic counter transference, compassion fatigue, secondary victimization, secondary traumatic stress disorder, and vicarious traumatization. The U.S. Army is now using the term provider fatigue. Although each of these concepts was originally developed in a specific context and with individual nuances, the terms have also ...

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