Combating Compassion Fatigue – Medical Ethics Example

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"Combating Compassion Fatigue" is a well-written example of a paper on medical ethics. According to McLain (2008), compassion fatigue entails a feeling that characterizes deep emotion, sympathy, and sorrow by a caregiver towards the suffering undergone by their patients. The above feeling is always accompanied by greater desire and the need to ease off pain from patients and free them from the experience of a similar circumstance in the near future. An illustration by different authors has shown that nurses and clinical personnel’ s lose compassion at the expense of taking care of other patients.

Moreover, other scholars argue that there is no need for caregivers to take up excess feelings and sorrow towards their patient's sufferings. However, medical ethics points out that there is a need to be companionate about the pain undergone by clients and seek alternatives to alleviate them from such situations. Compassion fatigue is mostly felt by dedicated nursing practitioners meaning that every caregiver who is passionate about the patient must develop a definite amount of a worrying degree or concern. The inability of caregivers to cuddle the concept of vulnerability and exempt the support of others always makes them more exposed to burnout and compassion fatigue.

On numerous occasions, it is always very difficult for medical practitioners to accept limitations due to fear of being compared to weak personalities clarify (McLain, 2008). Therefore, they entrust themselves as rescuers and would often thrive to solve existing problems. Besides, the majority of caregivers who suffer from compassionate fatigue or burnout are those who work tirelessly. Therefore, what suffers is their health out of their relationship to patients, their personalities, and feeling for clients. Signs of a compassionate fatigue Germer (2009) argues that Compassionate fatigue is an illness that is developed mainly as a result of healthcare occupation.

Therefore, every practitioner who is concerned about a patient will develop such a condition. It is advised that caregivers should exercise their duties appropriately without compromise their health. Besides, the management within healthcare practice should identify initial signs of burnout and compassion fatigue and take adequate measures to avoid future prevalence.   The most common signs of burnout and compassion fatigue include amongst the following Hypochondrias Hypochondrias is characterized by anxiety and increased chances of being more vigilant about sick persons.

A continued occurrence of hypochondriac increases the chances for the disorder.   In essence, a palliative nurse who takes care of a cancerous patient and is totally aware of the patient’ s status may find himself psychologically affected towards the response in line of duties. The above create avenues to chances such as listeria (Germer, 2009). Overindulgence in alcohol consumption There is positive evidence of caregivers and other healthcare practitioners engaging in excessive consumption of alcohol and sedative related drugs after winding up their daily chores.

Some nurses have even been forced to engage in the consumption of illicit drugs just to ease off memories from what they have encountered while on active duties.   Overindulgence in alcohol and other related drugs by healthcare givers is a clear indication of fatigue within the health fraternity. However, there are a lot of indignities associated with too much consumption of sedative drugs among those who are supposed to check on the well-being of others (Germer, 2009). Increased chances of anger and irritation Anger and irritation form amongst the critical signs of burnout and compassion fatigue.

Despite the fact, they are treated as a single element; they are distinct with anger mostly expressed as a result of irritation. Scholars argue that healthcare givers who are undergoing the status of compassion fatigue are often high-tempered and have got increased chances to express anger towards their workmates, members of the public, or even patients. Such kind of persons often finds their adrenaline agitated out of minor mistakes that can otherwise be easily solved (Germer, 2009). Inability to create personal solutions It has been pointed out that nursing practitioners who are experiencing extreme states of compassion fatigue are more likely to seek guidance from their colleagues on how to handle their daily chores even at simple duties.

In most cases, healthcare practitioners suffering from compassion fatigue often feel incompetent within themselves to make certain critical decisions. For instance, a senior would be found seeking a consultative approach even from his juniors just even at instances where they should be able to fast and swift decisions by themselves (Germer, 2009). Hatred Persons suffering from compassion fatigue experience a high rate of susceptibility to hate others within a specified environment including closest allies and family members.

Such status may escalate to an extent where one would feel there is no need for a colleague even during critical moments such as taking one chance on duty while on sick-off. Other than the symptoms illustrated above, there are other several symptoms including helplessness, Depersonalization, and disturbing images amongst others that prove an indication of compassion fatigue (Germer, 2009). Special need for compassion fatigue patients According to McLain (2008), the most critical assumption should be to understand that those in the helping profession must take their time and create room for early recognition of fatigue.

Besides, they should concentrate on an improved self-care either within or outside the workplace. In addition, it is critical for such personalities to relay much focus on individual needs with intrusive guidance aimed to detect what is best at a particular moment. Physically, a helper suffering compassion fatigue may not practice effectively after engaging in much empathy and compassion. Despite the fact that they may exercise different symptoms ranging from chronic lateness to depression, such persons should be given adequate time for rest so as to restore to normalcy. Some researchers also argue that compassion fatigue affects the emotional livelihood of helpers thus creating more room for objective conditions such as hypertension, headache, or hopelessness.

In such a case, the society should be engaged to take up a supportive task focusing on behavioral management and positive care practices targeting to restore normalcy among the affected persons. Eventually, helpers associated with fatigue conditions require spiritual guidance through active discussions and a consultative approach to reinforce thinking towards society.

Besides, the foundation should be built that targets the disparity fatigue condition by listening and spiritually encouraging the affected persons within the little available time (McLain, 2008). Strategies and resources for coping up with compassion fatigue Several debates amongst the researchers have existed concerning compassion fatigue.   The above has been mainly meant to identify whether preventive should be considered as an appropriate measure to combat its prevalence amongst the practitioners (Shepard, 2013). The majority are still skeptical about the possibility of preventing compassion fatigue among the practitioners.

Therefore, strategies such as treatment, mitigation, and transformation have been developed to control the prevalence. Some of the strategies include the following: Avoid blame game It is advisable for the administration, staff, or workmates not to engage in unnecessary arguments and blame games concerning issues of compassion fatigue. Moreover, the affected persons should never be engaged in a legal battle with workplace management because such engagements will only lead to extreme exhaustion hence worsens the situation. Therefore, patients experiencing fatigue conditions should take their time until they ease up from such conditions and seek alternative opportunities (Shepard, 2013). Exercise It is critical for helpers suffering from compassion fatigue to practice simple physical exercise so as to improve their health productivity.

Regardless of the available time, healthcare givers should take some bit of their time and exercise to improve their physical and mental benefits (Shepard, 2013). Exhibit sense of humor Opportunities such as nursing practices often require people to be fully engaged most of the time with very minimal chances to crack jokes or play around. Therefore, it is advisable that such persons should be exposed to humorous environments especially if they seem stressed because it will restore normalcy (Shepard, 2013). Avoid quick-fix Conditions such as compassion fatigue often increase the vulnerability to self-medication, alcoholism, and substance abuse.

It is advisable that one should not be engaged in such activities since they will only complicate the situation (Shepard, 2013). Conclusion Compassion fatigue has been identified as part of the most common predominant disorder among healthcare practitioners. To palliative nurses, such a condition is the most common phenomenon that affects not only at workplace environment, but its effect can also be carried outside environments.

The paper has also given various signs of compassion fatigue with some having leading to shocking evidence such as overindulgence in alcohol. However, positive measures have been identified to combat the prevalence of such a condition.


Germer, C. (2009). Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions. New York: Guilford Publications.

McLain, K . (2008). The Impact of Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, and Compassion Satisfaction on Foster ProQuest. State University of New York at Buffalo. Counseling, School and Educational Psychology.

Shepard, B. C. (2013). Between harm reduction, loss, and wellness: on the occupational hazards of work. Harm reduction journal, 10(1), 1-17

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