Health-care workers are dealing with ‘compassion fatigue’

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Health-care providers treating patients on the front lines are susceptible to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Getty Images
(Zahra Hasan Healthing) — As vaccination rates increase and restrictions relax, the opening of public services suggests that we will see a rebound in the mental health of the general population. Many longitudinal studies are currently underway to study the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of different demographics, including children and post-secondary students affected by online education and seniors residing in long-term-care.
However, the data and literature surrounding pandemic-related “compassion fatigue,” “burnout,” and the mental health of health-care providers are minimal and underreported, posing risks not only for the providers themselves but for their patients as well.

Numerous studies indicate that a clinician’s judgment can be impaired by prolonged compassion fatigue and symptoms of burnout, which have been linked to decreased quality of patient care and satisfaction. For instance,  studies in clinical nursing settings  show that increased rates of burnout are correlated to increased rates of self-reported medical errors. (…)

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