Monday, October 15, 2007

The Calculus of Burn-Out

It's time to face the facts. Burn-out and compassion fatigue are taking hold. Work is taking it's toll. The days are feeling heavy and the burdens of the day even heavier. Caring is hard work, and the burden of such caring can further weigh on one's soul. Subjected to the trauma and suffering of others on a daily basis, the emotional cost of such work is considerable. Calculate into the equation the physical effects of stress and its ramifications, and one crispy nurse results.

What to do under such circumstances? How to assuage the deep soul fatigue that plagues the earnest nurse? When no vacation time or sick time is available and the additional stress of the holidays approaches, where does one turn? When chronic pain, diminishing health, and depression bite at one's heels, what decisions can be made to turn the proverbial table?

These are the questions I ask myself today. Answers will, no doubt, be forthcoming.

1 comment:

Nancy Bea said...

Keith, I sympathize. There is a certain trapped dread that hits sometime about now...light diminishing, chill increasing, winter fast approaching. In my opinion it is a natural seasonal response and in animals triggers all kinds of appropriate response behavior such as food storage, migration or hibernation. In modern day humans we get the dread but there IS no appropriate behavioral response. I suspect lots of folks hit the bottle more about now.