Compassion fatigue?

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    Are there any good tips out there to prevent compassion fatigue? I love my nursing job but I'm finding that the field I'm in lends itself to a higher rate of burnout and compassion fatigue. I'm wanting to avoid this.
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  4. 0
    Quote from ghanchett
    Are there any good tips out there to prevent compassion fatigue? I love my nursing job but I'm finding that the field I'm in lends itself to a higher rate of burnout and compassion fatigue. I'm wanting to avoid this.
    Yes. You have to do the one thing that most of us can't, or won't do, and that is to put yourself first. That means striving continually to achieve a work-life balance that allows you to exist away from the job, fully apart from the job.

    It also means saying No to extra shifts, setting aside time for your real life and using it to have fun, learn new things, enjoy your family, volunteer for projects at your church or club.......IOW, live like a normal human being, not an automaton that functions on coffee and stale bagels.

    Now, I'm probably the last person on earth who should advise you, because I've lived, eaten, and breathed this job for the last sixteen years and I'm about tapped out myself. But if I had it to do over again.....sigh........
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    Tips to avoid compassion fatigue:

    Develop good professional boundaries and stick to them.
    Exercise routinely.
    Eat regularly.
    Get enough sleep.
    Discover what "fills your bucket" and practice that faithfully.
    Be honest with yourself.\
    Talk with your peers.
    Review your boundaries (again and again).
    Forgive yourself for not being perfect.
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    I have been an RN for 7 years now working in skilled care since day 1. I am 28 years old and have finally decreased my status to part time. I just can't do it anymore. I never used to be able to tell anyone at work NO, it finally caught up with me, and now I have reached the burnout phase. As nurses, we have this innate quality to give, give give. We tend to take care of everyone else, and often neglect ourselves without realizing we are doing so. I personally gain weight in response to stress, and tend not to notice what was happening to me the whole time until I have put on significant pounds. It took 7 years for me to realize this, and now it is time for me to focus on myself. The huge paycheck just isn't worth it to me anymore. Instead, I am taking time away. I do notice that since I went from full time to part time, I am a lot happier to be at work. It keeps me out of the daily drama, and I am actually more than happy to hang an IV, or change a wound vac dressing. Since I no longer have to do it everyday, it seems like less of a chore and more like I am helping a patient in need. I highly suggest taking some time away by decreasing your hours if you are able to do so. I don't care what anyone says, being a nurse sucks the life out of you. There is a time at first when you feel extremely fulfilled, but you end up paying for later. You have to find a balance, and I just wish that I would have known that in the beginning.


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