Positively Influencing Compassion Fatigue

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Positively Influencing Compassion Fatigue. Dr. Jeanine Ward-Roof, Dean of Students Dr. Kathy Guthrie, Assistant Professor Kat Callahan, Graduate Student The Florida State University. What is Compassion Fatigue?. Johnson (1992) A unique form of burnout - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Positively Influencing Compassion Fatigue

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Positively Influencing Compassion FatigueDr. Jeanine Ward-Roof, Dean of StudentsDr. Kathy Guthrie, Assistant ProfessorKat Callahan, Graduate StudentThe Florida State University2012 NASPA Annual Conference s Phoenix, Arizona s March 1014, 2012

What is Compassion Fatigue?Johnson (1992) A unique form of burnoutCoined the term compassion fatigue in article discussing nurses reactions to handling constant emergencies

Figley (1995;2002) & Stamm (2010) Reduced capacity to be empathic to those we serveDue to exposure to sufferingTwo facetsSecondary traumaJob burnout

Compassion FatigueFigley (1982;2002) & Stamm (2010) Term Compassion Fatigue well-known in fields of psychology and traumatology

Hoffman, etc. al (2007) Recovery rate is faster than burnout with appropriate interventions

Kanter (2007) Treatment for compassion fatigue is non-specific

Compassion Fatigue and Student AffairsResearch focused in health fields but believe parallels can be made to Student Affairs workers.

Bender (2009), Boehman (2007) & Lorden (2009)Retention of student affairs professionals is low

QuestionsAs Student Affairs work becomes more complex, is compassion fatigue a contributing factor to the retention rates?How can one manage environments to lessen compassion fatigue?

Research MethodologyPurpose:To explore perceptions of student affairs professionals of the compassion fatigue concept.

Online study included pilot and full studyRandom sampling of 2000 NASPA members from across the Nation184 respondedCollected demographic information and initial reactions, opinions and options for further involvement in the study

Two phasesQualitative surveyInterviews

Participant DemographicsInstitutionTypePublic 63% Private 30%2-yr. 3%4-yr. 55%Rural 12%Urban 22%

SizeSmall-under 5000 19%Medium-5,001-15,000 28%Large-over 15,001 52%

GenderFemales 57%Male 42%

Career0-10 years 24%11-20 years 37%21+ years 30%

Sampling of Titles:VPSA, Dean of Students, Faculty members, Greek Life, New Student and Family Programs, Student Affairs Coordinators, Hall Directors, Activity Coordinators and Academic AdvisorsSurvey ResultsResults suggestLittle is known about the concept of compassion fatigue

52 respondents specifically stated they did not fully understand the conceptI have not heard of this concept before todayI have very little understanding of this concept

Three main themes emerged from research:Student Affairs profession is not fully aware of compassion fatigue conceptProfessional burnout is tangentially associated with compassion fatigueMethods to manage compassion fatigue vary

Survey ResultsParticipants responded:

Own awareness is highest53% responded high or very high

Institutional awareness is low85% responded low or very low

Awareness within the profession is low67% responded low or very low

Survey ResultsAnswering What is your perception of the influence of compassion fatigue in the student affairs profession?

I dont think I have every heard of this concept, but it makes sense that it exists and I certainly witness times when I believe my colleagues experience this.

I dont think there is much awareness of the concept of compassion fatigue in student affairs.

The concept makes sense, but [is] not formally talked about or discussed.

Survey ResultsAnswering What is your perception of the influence of compassion fatigue in the student affairs profession?

I think people mistake compassion fatigue for burnout and vice versa. I know I combine these concepts incorrectly all of the time

Professionals stated a clear cause-and-effect relationship between burnout and compassion fatigueBurnout is a problem for Student Affairs Professionals, which leads to compassion fatigue.I think burnout results in high compassion fatigue and leads to higher turnover rates. I think it makes professional less effective

Survey ResultsAnswering How do you MANAGE environments that may lead to compassion fatigue?

Self-management of compassion fatigue was higher than office management

83% indicated self had high to very high ability to cope with elements that potentially foster compassion fatigue

50% indicated office had high to very high and 50% indicated office had low to very low ability to cope with elements that potentially foster compassion fatigue

Survey ResultsAnswering How do you MANAGE environments that may lead to compassion fatigue?

Management of compassion fatigue is the ultimate challenge, particularly those in high level leadership positions. I am always looking for new methods

I have no idea how to manage it. It is challenging, this is for sure.

I manage through self-reflection activities. It is important to remember why we do what we do and to not lose sight of the educational moment even if it appears that we feel like a broken record.

Survey Results Phase 2Participants were asked to describe:Reason for ratings of office awareness, institutional awareness and student affairs professional awareness of compassion fatigueHow compassion fatigue manifests in Student AffairsHow we can manage and eliminate compassion fatigueSurvey Results Phase 2Framework What is compassion fatigue?Never heard of compassion fatigue

Compassion fatigue equals burnout

Compassion fatigue is: burnout is a sense of finality, fatigue is when the candle is flickering and [you wonder] how to get it out of the wind and to have healthy ways to manageSurvey Results Phase 2Answering How does compassion fatigue manifest?Impatience with student problemsquicker to judgeSelf pity and sharing it with everyoneNo communicationIncivilityJadedLight leaves your eyesAddiction to workBurnout and leaving the fieldCompassion fatigue impacts the office dynamicsSurvey Results Phase 2Major ThemesStudent Affairs is a 24/7 job and most of us feel the need to match our lifestlye spending 60-80 hours working, checking email, texting with students, going to events (especially in housing and student activities)We had to do it, so new professionals have to mind setTalk about wellness, but no follow-throughWe are losing some of the best professionals to burnoutWhen people are fatigued they cannot contribute to the team as well, affects dynamics of the staffSurvey Results Phase 2Answering How can we manage and eliminate compassion fatigue?More information about compassion fatigue

Manual for supervisors on compassion fatigueMethods to train new staff, how to prevent and eliminate compassion fatigue, provide safe environments

Encourage the field to talk about it more

Walk the talk be a role model for students and new professionals.

Encourage each other be accountable to one anotherImplicationsShould not shy away from topic, but have more conversation about how this affects our profession and professionals working in this area.

Being more aware of compassion fatigue may lead to increased work satisfaction

Developing strategies for dealing with compassion fatigue may lead to lower turnover of student affairs professionals

More research is needed on ways to raise awareness about and reduce levels of compassion fatigue

DiscussionCreate a plan for addressing compassion fatigue on a personal level and within a work environmentIrrational Beliefs and ConclusionsSelected Irrational Beliefs of Student Affairs Workers (author unknown)My job is my life.In my position, I must be totally competent, knowledgeable, and able to help everyone. I must always perform at a peak level with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.Getting any form of negative feedback indicates that there is something wrong with what I am doing.Faculty, students, and staff are by their nature difficult. They should be more involved in my program.To be able to accomplish my job for my own sense of self-worth, I must be liked and respected by everyone with whom I work.My negative feelings about my job and the work environment come from external pressures. Therefore, there is nothing I can do to relieve the feelings of depression, hostility and hopelessness that are contributing to my burnout.

ResourcesBender, B. E. (2009). Job satisfaction in student affairs (2009). NASPA Journal, 46(4), 553-565.Boehman, J. (2007). Affective commitment among student affairs professionals. NASPA Journal, 44(2), 307-325.Figley, C.R. (Ed.) (1995). Compassion Fatigue: Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorders from Treating the Traumatized. New York: Brunner/Mazel. Figley, C.R. (1995). Compassion fatigue as a secondary traumatic stress disorder: An overview. In C.R. Figley (Ed.), Compassion fatigue: Coping with secondary traumatic stress disorder in those who treat the traumatized (p. 1-20). New York: Brunner. Figley, C.R. (2002). Compassion fatigue and the psychotherapists chromic lack of self care. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(11), 1433-1441. Hoffman, S., Palladino, J.M., Barnett, J. (2007). Compassion fatigue as a theoretical framework to help understand burnout among special education teachers. Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, 2, 15-22.Kanter, J. (2007). Compassion fatigue and secondary traumatization: A second look. Clinical Social Work Journal, 35, 289-293.Lorden, L. P. (2009). Attrition in the student affairs profession (2009). NASPA Journal, 35(3), 207-216.Stamm, B. (2002). Measuring compassion satisfaction as well as fatigue: Development history of the compassion satisfaction and fatigue test. In C.R. Figley (Ed.), Treating Compassion Fatigue (pp. 107-122). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

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