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Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue is a recent concept that refers to the emotional and physical exhaustion that can affect helping professionals and caregivers over time. It has been associated with a gradual desensitization to patient stories, a decrease in quality care for patients and clients (sometimes described as “poor bedside manners”), an increase in clinical errors, higher rates of depression and anxiety disorders among helpers, and rising rates of stress leave and degradation in workplace climate. Helping professionals have also found that their empathy and ability to connect with their loved ones and friends is impacted by compassion fatigue. In turn, this can lead to increased rates of stress in the household, divorce, and social isolation. The most insidious aspect of compassion fatigue is that it attacks ...

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