International Speaker, Author, Trainer & Mentor, Successfull Mindset Ltd
Statement of the Problem: Compassion fatigue; puts educational workers & students at risk. Everyday educationalist struggle to function in educational environments that present multitudes of practical, cultural, emotional & often heart wrenching challenges.
•Compassion Fatigue (CF) the profound emotional & physical erosion takes place when educators cannot refuel & regenerate.
•Educational professionals open their hearts & minds to students; this empathy makes them vulnerable to be profoundly affected & possibly damaged.
•Burnout physical & emotional exhaustion; experienced when there is low job satisfaction, feeling powerless & overwhelmed.
•Signs of CF & Burnout
•overtaxed by work, showing similar symptoms to traumatized individuals; difficulty concentrating, intrusive imagery, feeling discouraged, hopelessness, exhaustion, irritability, high attrition (personnel leaving) & negative, dispirited, cynical workers remaining in the field, boundary violations which affect the workplace & create a toxic environment.
•Factors in CF & Burnout?
•The individual: Life circumstances, coping style, personality type. Life stressors ie; taking care of both young children and aging parents, in addition to managing a heavy & complex workload. Educators are not immune to pain in their own lives; they can be vulnerable to life changes such as divorce & addictions.
•The Situation: Educators often do work, others don’t want to hear about; spend time caring for people who are not valued or understood in society, culturally suppressed, abused, incarcerated or chronically ill. The working environment is often stressful & fraught. The work is very stressful, students who are experiencing chronic crises, difficulty controlling their emotions, working hours/load affected by others.
•What can be done? Working in a healthy organization. Access to supportive, flexible management, reduction of trauma exposure, ongoing staff education. Timely, good quality supervision; reducing hours working directly with traumatized individuals. Personal strategies: strong social support, home & work; increased self- awareness, regular self care.. Making life changes, prioritize personal health/wellness Develop stress resiliency skills