Child Abuse DV/IPV Elder Abuse/Neglect Sexual Assault

Clinical Guide: Compassion Fatigue, Burnout & Vicarious Trauma

April is both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month: two issues central to many of our practices, both of which can take a serious toll on clinicians. It seems like compassion fatigue (and its sisters, vicarious trauma and burnout) don’t get nearly enough attention in our professional circles. But really, they should–a recent study found that 85% of emergency department nurses surveyed reported moderate to high levels of compassion fatigue. I’d be interested in what the results would look like if they surveyed a group of forensic clinicians.

Many people have read and liked Trauma Stewardship; I personally enjoyed parts, could leave other parts entirely. But it’s a worthwhile read (and I think if you ever wanted to have a book discussion with your team, this would be a good selection). In the process of doing some sustainability work I compiled several online resources on the topic. If you’re not talking about it with your colleagues (and not just clinician colleagues), it’s time. Chances are good someone you know is struggling with this. And it might be one of the top 3 issues impacting retention in our programs right now:

Burnout, vicarious traumatization and its prevention

Professional Quality of Life Scale: Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue

Secondary Traumatic Stress: A Fact Sheet for Child-Serving Professionals

Vicarious Traumatization, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Burnout in Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Agency Staff (ABSTRACT)

Why Emotions Matter: Age, Agitation, and Burnout Among Registered Nurses

Countering Compassion Fatigue: A Requisite Nursing Agenda

A Manager’s Guide: Seven Visible Signs That Your Nurses May Be Suffering from Burnout and How to Prevent It at Your Hospital

Work Stress and Burnout Among Nurses: Role of the Work Environment and Working Conditions

Vicarious traumatization: Concept analysis (ABSTRACT)

Compassion Fatigue: A Nurse’s Primer

Nurse Fatigue (ENA Position Paper)

{I know there’s more out there–feel free to leave recommendations in the comments…}