When you watch a disaster film or read a tragic novel, feelings of fear or anxiety might come over you as you empathize with the characters going through the experience. It is a natural human response to empathize with others and to feel distressed when observing or learning about trauma. When a person is exposed to individuals in distress on an ongoing basis, however, he or she might develop a condition known as compassion fatigue.
Many types of professionals are at risk of suffering compassion fatigue, including police officers, emergency workers, and health care workers. Human services professionals run the risk of developing compassion fatigue because the nature of human services work involves interactions, interviews, and collaboration with interviewees who have experienced trauma, abuse, crises, and other hardships.
In this Discussion, you will consider symptoms of compassion fatigue to which you might be susceptible. Then, you will create a plan for self-care to mitigate your risk of developing compassion fatigue in your work as a human services professional.
To prepare for this Discussion:
With these thoughts in mind:
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