Compassion Fatigue Awareness
- What is compassion fatigue?Compassion fatigue is a broadly defined concept that can include emotional, physical, and spiritual distress in those providing care to another. It is associated with caregiving where people or animals are experiencing significant emotional or physical pain and suffering.
- What are compassion fatigue symptoms?Compassion fatigue symptoms are elevated displays of chronic stress resulting from the caregiving work we choose to do. Leading traumatologist J. Eric Gentry suggests that people who are attracted to caregiving often enter the field already displaying symptoms of compassion fatigue. A strong identification with helpless, suffering or traumatized people or animals is possibly the motive. It is common for us to hail from a tradition of what is labeled “other-directedness.” Simply put, we were taught to care for the needs of those around us before caring for our own needs. Authentic, sustainable daily self-care practices have been absent from our lives.
If we sense we are suffering from elevated levels of compassion fatigue, chances are excellent that we are. Our path to wellness begins with one small step. Awareness. A heightened awareness can lead to insights regarding past traumas and painful situations that are being relived over and over within the confines of our symptoms and behaviors. With the appropriate information and support, we can embark on a journey of self-discovery, healing past traumas that currently serve as obstacles to a healthy, happier life.
- ResourcesMany resources are now available to help us recognize the symptoms and causes of compassion fatigue. Healing begins by employing such practices as regular exercise, healthy eating habits, highly functional relationships, enjoyable social activities, journaling and restful sleep. Hopefully, the information on this website will be of use to you and help you jump-start your healing journey.
- Animal AdoptionTo learn more about animal adoption, please contact the IACUC Committee
- Sponsor a HeroRAT
African giant pouched rats, nicknamed HeroRATs, are helping to find landmines and detecting tuberculosis as part of an integrated approach. When deployed alongside standard methods, they speed up the process, getting people’s lives back on track as fast as possible.
Each rat is considered a highly valuable asset, making animal welfare the top priority. They are extremely well cared for, receiving an excellent diet, regular exercise, stimulation and enrichment, and loving attention from their expert handlers.
A HeroRAT can search an area the size of a tennis court in 30 minutes – a human deminer with a metal detector can take up to 4 days
A HeroRAT screens 100 sputum samples in 20 minutes. A lab technician using microscopy takes up to 4 days.
Collaborate with your department or take initiative to visit the apopo website to ‘adopt’ a HeroRAT today.
Ways to show your support could include displaying a photo of your department’s sponsored rat in your lab window or breakroom cork board.
Information about HeroRAT adoption will be available at the 2023 Research Days event in February!