Submitted by Anonymous

Feeling run down, overworked and – it goes without saying – underpaid.

Now I’m not complaining because I really love my job.

I am a nurse. I have worked passionately as a nurse for years now. My passion has always been for caring for the elderly and aged care.

But I can’t help but say it. I struggle on a daily basis with the stress of the job, I struggle with the lack of time to spend quality time with residents and most of all it eats inside of me that I feel sometimes I can’t do everything that I know ideally should be done due to not enough time.

I can promise you that I’m not the only person who has felt like this. And if you find that you can relate to some of the things I’m saying, then know that you are not alone.

Even the most resilient people will eventually hit a wall. And I hit mine.

Compassion fatigue is when a caregiver, aged worker, nurse, or other helper becomes extremely burned out after many months or years of being selfless and giving.

Compassion fatigue can also be described as a feeling of complete emotional and physical exhaustion, leading to feelings of despair and hopelessness.

It does get me down and overtime I’ve learnt to deal with it. While compassion fatigue can be quite scary and for some lead to feelings of depression, it’s important to keep in mind that with appropriate self care it is temporary.

The main way to combat compassion fatigue is to take better care of yourself and make yourself a priority.

Take a break, allow yourself to recharge.

Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish. In fact, doing so will help refill your well of empathy so you can be an even more effective caregiver.

When you give yourself some time and space, hopefully you will come back and see the smiling faces on the residents. And really see how much of a difference you make to their day – everything else will be well worth it.

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