Burnout and Compassion Fatigue

Originally published at: https://geektherapy.com/burnout-and-compassion-fatigue/

#235: It's not just helping professionals who feel overwhelmed. This week we look at media that can help us identify and talk about burnout and compassion fatigue.

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I’m listening to this episode while cooking and I even put down the knife to do this. I’m a High School teacher to whom many students come to vent and talk. Although my biggest class is 20 students, each student comes in knowing I see them and hear them. I have heard the spectrum of issues, while still having to teach and “be normal” the next half hour. It makes me exhausted at the end of the day and the week. This episode helped me realize I’m not alone; not even in the slightest. Thank you for helping me feel heard, but also about the importance of boundaries and respect of our own emotional lives. Thank you for the work you do. I have already sent this episode to several people I know.

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I felt this episode too, I’m a medical student, so I feel like I spend a chuck of my time listening to patients talk about illness and it’s effects in their lives. Another chunk of my time I spend tutoring peers and they come with their own frustrations on the medical school system and personal troubles that become obstacles to them being able to make it through med school. Another chunk of my time is spent shadowing other doctors some of which have 0 empathy and having to watch patients treated in an uncompassionate manner but not being able to say much because at the end of the day, that doctor is evaluating you and students who have spoken up in the past have ended up worse. Another chunck of the time is spent with family members who I love but theyve all identified me as “The psychiatrist in the family” and so they all come to me with their issues.

By the end of the day I love being there for people, I do want to do these things as a career, but I just wish I could time out of it at will whenever I feel it gets a bit too much to handle, without seeming unprofessional, unempathetic and uncaring.

Thanks for posting @Geekteacher! I don’t know if it was apparent in the episode but I think about this all the time and I wish employers took burnout more seriously. I know someone whose company had so many people quitting that it offered a retention bonus to all employees… A retention bonus! That money could have provided so many great resources and funded new tools to address the issues, instead, they though money at it in the worst way possible. There is so much more that can be done.

You are definitely not alone.