It is well reported that care professionals choose their roles, due to an innate desire to care for others. Nonetheless, it is this desire to care for others that often finds the care professional putting the needs of other before their own, leaving them vulnerable to stressors that may lead to anxiety, depression, compassion fatigue and burnout.
Traumatologist Charles Figley (1995) emphasised that Compassion Fatigue (CF) is the physical cost of caring for those who have experienced trauma.
Figley and others position, the effective support of clients that have experienced trauma, centres on empathy as a primary resource. Yet, it is this sharing of empathy that may result in an experience of trauma likened to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) noting, the symptoms found in those experiencing Compassion Fatigue align with the DSM-V criteria for PTSD.
Compassion Fatigue among Community Care Professionals has been reported as twice that of the general population’s lifetime prevalence for PTSD, 7.8% making the prevalence of Compassion Fatigue among Community Care Professionals 15.6% (Bride, 2007).
Existing data presents, care professionals exposed to trauma have the highest stress claims of any industry, with the annual cost of compensation claims in Australia alone at $20 Million, and the average time off work for individual claims is 11 weeks. Staff turnover is reported to range from 24-28%, annually, significantly disrupting care, the workplace and costing upward of $22,000 per person departing an organisation.
The cost of caring, physically, financially, socially and emotionally, has been shown to significantly compromise quality of care, organisation productivity and increase the risk of escalating ill health among care professionals.
You can combat Compassion Fatigue among your Community Care Professionals. The Care Professional Resilience Program, launched by Elegrow, is Australia’s first evidence based program that targets risk managing and alleviating the effects of Compassion Fatigue among Community Care Professionals, fostering resilience for wellbeing, sustainable care and sustainable careers.
Talk to us about our scalable, measurable, cost effective evidence based solutions for your workplace today.