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Compassion Fatigue: Healing the Heart-Renewing the Soul by

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1 Compassion Fatigue: Healing the Heart-Renewing the Soul by
Donna M. White RN, PhD, CS, CADAC Fellow-Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, Boston, MA Public Health Nursing Webinar August 3, 2010 Every person working in Healthcare is subject to stress Copyright, D.White 2010

2 Acknowledgements New England Alliance for Public Health Workforce Development Boston University School of Public Health Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses (MAPHN) Copyright, D.White 2010

3 Overview The purpose of this workshop is to present the profile of a Health Care Professional suffering from Compassion Fatigue. The interactive seminar will identify common stressors that impact performance of professionals working in Health Care. The learner will be given methodologies to identify patterns of Compassion Fatigue and strategies to promote Wellness, Recovery and a renewed sense of identity as a caring professional. Copyright, D.White 2010

4 Learning Objectives Upon completion of this session you will be able to: Identify three symptoms of Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder (STSD) Describe how Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder (STSD) and the sequelae Compassion Fatigue, is a risk to Health Care Professionals (HCP) List two Occupational Supports for Health Care Professionals experiencing STSD. Copyright, D.White 2010

5 Lemuel Shattuck Hospital
Copyright, D.White 2010

6 St. Francis of Assisi—Patron Saint of Compassion
A dedication… St. Francis of Assisi—Patron Saint of Compassion He relinquished a life of wealth & chose a humble life to care for the sick, the disenfranchised, the poor, prisoners, and believed no one should ever die alone at the end of their earthly life. Copyright, D.White 2010

7 Ever wonder… Why you chose your profession?
Ever think about the rewards of it? Why you continue even when exhausted? Do you regret anything? Name it… How often do you think about what you do and the impact it has on who you are? How can you learn to “live softly”? Copyright, D.White 2010

8 Health Care Professional Prone to Compassion Fatigue
Heroic treaters Intensely caring and concerned for others High achievers Strong academics - top ½ of their class Dysfunctional home/early life Highly competent Excellent employee Driven to succeed Finds failure difficult Cerney, 1995 Copyright, D.White 2010

9 Positions available Long hours with required overtime
Must be available off-shifts,weekends, and holidays Must be tolerant of aberrant behavior Must be willing to handle daily crises Emotionally draining and physically difficult work Sadness and tragedy seen often High degree of paperwork and responsibility Low salary that will increase after 20+ years Copyright, D.White 2010

10 Occupational Signs of Stress
Biological: Bodily functions Physical symptoms Adverse physiological changes Copyright, D.White 2010

11 Occupational Signs of Stress
Psychological: Decreased tolerance of others Low frustration ability Loss of humor and joy Copyright, D.White 2010

12 Occupational Signs of Stress
Social: Withdrawal Isolation Loneliness Unable to complete tasks Poor utilization of social networks Negative patterns in supervision Copyright, D.White 2010

13 So what is happening?                Copyright, D.White 2010

14 Burnout…a patient cousin
Well intended aspirations evolve into behaviors that can lay the groundwork for burnout and possibly compassion stress and other negative patterns in the workplace Such as… Copyright, D.White 2010

15 Negative factors Decreased energy—”keeping up the speed”
Feelings of inadequacy, possibly failure Reduced recognition for good work High propensity towards feelings of guilt Feelings of helplessness/powerlessness Pressure to succeed-overachieve Vulnerability to criticism Copyright, D.White 2010

16 Negative factors…cont’d.
Inner-directed rage Under-assertiveness Feeling victimized Inflexibility*—in professions that do not reward flexibility Personality influences—perfectionism, rigidity and an enormous capacity for an extreme workload* Red Cape Syndrome— “super-martyr” Copyright, D.White 2010

17 Negative factors A strong work ethic, self-direction and idealism in the workplace can spiral negatively without supervision* Subsurface anger in HCPs equates to a sense of powerlessness Horizontal violence-misdirected anger and subtle sabotage towards others in their lives Highly critical and fault finding Dropplemann & Thomas, 1996 Copyright, D.White 2010

18 Burnout… “A state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations”. -Pines & Arnson, 1988 Copyright, D.White 2010

19 Stages of Burnout… The Honeymoon -- Thank you so much!
The Awakening -- expectations are different The Brownout -- self-confidence wanes Full Scale Burnout -- open criticism The Phoenix Phenomena -- you can get well Maslach, 1985, et al Copyright, D.White 2010

20 Burnout It is the clash between expectations and reality.
The essence of the problem is not the recognition of the feelings. It is the clash between expectations and reality. Can emerge gradually… Copyright, D.White 2010

21 A Conspiracy of Silence
The work of Healthcare in this century is physically exhausting and emotionally daunting…caring for the seriously ill, the dying, the wounded and the diseased. Effects on the provider are myriad Viewed as “just doing my job” Professional disciplines minimize their contribution… Finke, 2003 Copyright, D.White 2010

22 Figley’s Model of Compassion Stress and Fatigue
Emotional Contagion Empathic Ability Concern Response Disengagement Sense of Achievement Compassion Stress Copyright, D.White 2010

23 Blurring of roles Compassion stress has its roots in burnout.
A sense of achievement can be known as a “helper’s high”. The reward of the task completion is greater for the professional than the fulfillment of the need in the person being cared for. Empathic responses can fuel continued spiraling to fulfill the needs of others… leading to exhaustion. Copyright, D.White 2010

24 Cognitive Impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress
Diminished concentration Confusion Spaciness Loss of meaning Decreased self-esteem Preoccupation with trauma Trauma imagery Apathy Rigidity Disorientation Whirling thoughts Thoughts of self-harm or harm towards others Self-doubt Perfectionism Minimization Copyright, D.White 2010

25 Emotional Impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress
Powerlessness Anxiety Guilt Anger-rage Survivor guilt Shutdown Numbness Fear Helplessness Sadness Depression Hypersensitivity Emotional roller coaster Overwhelmed Depleted Copyright, D.White 2010

26 Spiritual Impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress
Questioning the meaning of life Lack of self-satisfaction Pervasive hopelessness Loss of purpose Ennui Anger at God Questioning of prior religious beliefs Copyright, D.White 2010

27 Interpersonal Impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress
Withdrawn Decreased interest in intimacy or sex Mistrust Impact on parenting (protectiveness, concern about aggression) Projection of anger or blame Intolerance Loneliness Isolation from friends Copyright, D.White 2010

28 Physical Impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress
Shock Sweating Rapid heartbeat Breathing difficulties Aches and pains Dizziness Impaired immune system Somatic reactions Copyright, D.White 2010

29 Behavioral Impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress
Clingy Impatient Irritable Withdrawn Moody Regression Sleep disturbances Appetite changes Nightmares Hypervigilance Elevated startle response Use of negative coping (smoking, alcohol or other substance misuse) Accident proneness Losing things Self-harm behaviors Copyright, D.White 2010

30 “Their moans would pierce the heart”
Crimean War… “Their moans would pierce the heart” -Irish Nurse 1864 Copyright, D.White 2010

31 PTSD Experiences What Constitutes a Sufficiently Traumatic Experience:
The person has experiences an event outside the range of usual human experience that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone: a serious threat to his or her life or physical integrity; serious threat or harm to their children, spouse or other close relatives, or friends; sudden destruction of his home or community: or seeing another person seriously injured or killed in an accident or by physical violence. (APA, 1994) Copyright, D.White 2010

32 Secondary Traumatic Stress
STS is the natural consequent behaviors and emotions resulting from knowing about a traumatizing event experienced by another human being. It is the stress resulting from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person. (Figley, 1993a) Copyright, D.White 2010

33 Vicarious Traumatization…
Vicarious traumatization refers to a transformation in the person’s inner experience resulting from empathic engagement with trauma material. Graphic accounts of abuse & pain Effects are cumulative & permanent McCann & Pearlman, 1998 Copyright, D.White 2010

34 Vicarious Traumatization…
Effects may be intrusive and painful Emotional residue may remain after direct exposure Contamination of personal life Disruption of schema or beliefs about the self and the world. Also called Transformational World View Copyright, D.White 2010

35 Posttraumatic Embitterment Disorder
A distinct state of mood Differs from depression, hopelessness, and anger… but can share common emotional features or exist in parallel with them In contrast to anger…has additional quality of self-blame and a feeling of injustice A feeling of being let down and is nagging and self-increasing Person may feel vengeful but helpless. Linden, Rotter, et al (2007) Copyright, D.White 2010

36 I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.
Carl Jung Copyright, D.White 2010

37 Figley’s Model of Compassion Stress and Fatigue
Prolonged Exposure Secondary Traumatic Stress Traumatic Recollections Compassion Fatigue Degree of Life Disruption Copyright, D.White 2010

38 Emotional and Spiritual Effects
Through exposure to graphic accounts of abuse experiences, and the realities of people’s intentional cruelty to one another, a caring person is vulnerable to the emotional and spiritual effects of vicarious traumatization. Copyright, D.White 2010

39 PTSD and STSD PTSD Stressor Outside of usual human experiences
Serious threat to self Sudden destruction of one’s environment Re-experience of Trauma event Avoidance/numbing of reminders Persistent arousal Copyright, D.White 2010

40 PTSD and STSD STSD Stressor Outside of usual human experiences
Serious threat to Traumatized Person Sudden destruction of TP’s environment Re-experiencing Trauma Event of TP Avoidance/numbing of reminders Persistent arousal Copyright, D.White 2010

41 Compassion Fatigue Defined
Identical to Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder (STSD) Is the equivalent of PTSD Potential for chemical use Figley, 1995 Copyright, D.White 2010

42 Clinical Practice Issues
Loss of therapeutic realism Negative or non-existent supervision Personal health changes Self-neglect Transference/Countertransference Compassion Stress and Compassion Fatigue Copyright, D.White 2010

43 Clinical Practice Issues, continued
Diminished interaction with colleagues and team discipline Black/White-all or nothing thinking Emotionalism Judgmental behavior Use of chemicals for stress reduction (use, abuse, dependence) Impaired Practice Copyright, D.White 2010

44 Culture of the Workplace
Key marker for identifying issues for employee performance and health maintenance Professional: established roles, clear policies and protocols, supervision sessions, reasonable expectations Negative and Punitive…. “the bureaucratic response” Harried and rushed…...“a ticking clock” Fragmented and productivity driven… “just get it done” Team oriented vs. discipline specific…“that’s not my job” Poor reflection of specific cultures Chronic role strain Copyright, D.White 2010

45 “You have brains in your head…You have feet in your shoes
“You have brains in your head…You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!” -Dr. Seuss Copyright, D.White 2010

46 Key points for clinical practice
Supervision* Boundary adherence Self-awareness Processing of events and emotions Horizontal violence De-obligate yourself Copyright, D.White 2010

47 More stuff to know… The way you feel or behave is never caused by others or the way they treat you. The way you behave is influenced by how you feel. The way you feel is created and controlled and maintained by interpretations in your mind. Anything that was learned can be unlearned.* You can change the way you think! Getting reasonably upset instead of overly upset can give you choice and control. Managing Emotions Under Pressure, 2006 Copyright, D.White 2010

48 Methodologies for Biopsychosocial Role Strain
Personal Philosophy Support Groups Workplace Support (lunch time meetings, gyms, spiritual areas, supervision luncheons, away days) Exercise programs Educational pursuits RTW (Return-to-Work) Contracts (when applicable, established boundaries and parameters) Copyright, D.White 2010

49 Healthy Strategies for Survival
Assertiveness Training - Learning how to present personal views without aggression Health Promotion - Learning & self - health care Adaptation - Goal surrender Learning to “Roll with the Punches” Cooperation - Affiliation “Social Glue” bonding Develop emotional resilience Copyright, D.White 2010

50 Healthy Strategies for Survival, continued
Recognition of competing—originates in primal drives…food, power, sex Supervision - New techniques/new perspective Continuous critical thinking Methodologies for role strain Copyright, D.White 2010

51 More Healthy Strategies
Therapy—individual or group Employee Assistance Program (EAP) consultation Quiet/sacred areas “Take 5 Room” Study groups Yoga/exercise/good nutrition* Stress forums Stress reduction programs Compassionate writing Copyright, D.White 2010

52 Healthy Strategies… Mental diversions—songs, movies, stories
Schedule vacations routinely Alternative Therapies Dining…not gulping food* Pursue and interest—hobbies Encourage recreation Private time on a daily basis Contact with family & friends Copyright, D.White 2010

53 Ten Worry Stopping Techniques
Set aside a special time for worrying. Concentrate only on worrying during selected times. Ask yourself: “What is the absolute worst thing that may happen?” Ask yourself: “Will that absolute worst thing really happen?” How many times? Use “self-talk” and thought-stopping to short circuit “worries.” STOP! Learn and use Scientific Conflict Resolution Techniques for family and personal decisions. Resolve internal conflict; reduce worrying. Copyright, D.White 2010

54 Ten Worry Stopping Techniques, continued
Instead of imagining and re-imagining the negative, picture what you ideally want to have happen. Imagine it and then develop an action plan to begin to move toward that ideal. Learn to disagree agreeably. To protect …use I- messages and active listening techniques, “I believe….discussion” Take a risk & ask questions…you can’t know everything! Read. Books and articles are available to teach yourself. Talk to those you trust… for their guidance Accept reality…know the limits of your control… The crisis will pass…with or without you being stressed Copyright, D.White 2010

55 Stress Hardiness The concept of “stress hardiness” or resistance to
stress was developed by Dr. Suzanne Kobasa at City University in New York. Dr. Kobasa has studied many groups of people who have very stressful occupations. Those who seem to cope with their job stress, having a hardiness to it, have three specific characteristics. How do these apply to you? Copyright, D.White 2010

56 3 Characteristics of Stress Hardiness
Commitment Control Challenge Kobasa, 1979, 1985 Copyright, D.White 2010

57 Fourth “C” The fourth “C” stands for “closeness.”
Everyone who wants to be stress hardy must have someone (one person or one hundred) with whom to share the stress, a confidante who is willing to “be there” when times are tough. -Betty Morgan RN, PhD, CS Copyright, D.White 2010

58 Positive Effects?… “…a heightened sensitivity & enhanced empathy for the suffering of victims, resulting in a deeper sense of connection with others…a deep sense of hopefulness about the capacity of human beings to endure, overcome and even transform their traumatic experience: and a more realistic view of the world, through the integration of the dark sides of humanity with healing images”. McCann & Pearlman, 1990 Copyright, D.White 2010

59 Small Stuff Choose your attitude every day
Listen with your ears…and eyes Strive for integrity…not fame Listen to your own advice Think of the “Plane analogy” Cherish tranquility Rest without guilt Learn to relax when you are “too busy” Copyright, D.White 2010

60 and finally….. “I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself. …and if you like the company you keep in the empty moments” -Oriah Mountain Dreamer Indian Elder Copyright, D.White 2010

61 References Cavaiola, A. & Colford, J. (2006) A Practical Guide to Crisis Intervention, Boston: Lahaska Press. Echterling, L.G., Presbury, H.H., & McGee, J.E. (2005). Crisis intervention: Promoting resilience and resolution in troubled times. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Ferrell B., and Coyle, Nessa. (2007). The Nature of Suffering and the Goals of Nursing. Oxford University Press. Copyright, D.White 2010

62 References Figley, C.R. Compassion Fatigue. New York, Brunner/Mazel, 1995. Garfield, Charles. (1996). Sometimes My Heart Goes Numb. Halpern, J. From Detached Concern to Empathy: Humanising Medical Practice. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001. Copyright, D.White 2010

63 References James,R.K. (2008). Crisis intervention strategies (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Reynolds, W.J. The Measurement and Development of Empathy. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2000. Copyright, D.White 2010

64 Thank you to all… To all of you here today for your interest and commitment to your colleagues To all those present for their willingness to promote this topic…discussion promotes wellness in ourselves and ultimately, those we serve. Especially to the organizers of today for their hard work & tireless efforts to make today happen for all of us. Copyright, D.White 2010

65 Donna M. White, PhD, RN, CS, CADAC
QUESTIONS and ANSWERS Donna M. White, PhD, RN, CS, CADAC Contact via Nursing Continuing Education credits are available for 30 days following the live presentation. In order to receive your evaluation form and nursing contact hour certificate please your: name, state, address to: Patti White, MAPHN at Copyright, D.White 2010

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