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Taking Care of Yourself

July 17, 2018 | Tara Huffman

Compassion Fatigue

Also called “vicarious traumatization” or secondary traumatization (Figley,1995). The emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. It differs from burn-out, but can co-exist. Compassion Fatigue can occur due to exposure on one case or can be due to a “cumulative” level of trauma.


Tips for Managing Compassion Fatigue

Do:

Find someone to talk to. Understand that the pain you feel is normal. Exercise and eat properly. Get enough sleep. Take some time off. Develop interests outside of medicine. Identify what’s important to you.


Don’t:

Blame others. Look for a new job, buy a new car, get a divorce or have an affair. Fall into the habit of complaining with your colleagues. Hire a lawyer. Work harder and longer. Self-medicate. Neglect your own needs and interests.


***This information is taken from the Institute of Stress

www.stress.org/military/for-practitionersleaders/compassion-fatigue/

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