Do you find it difficult to stop thinking about your patients when you go home after a hard day’s work? Do you find yourself frequently distraught over the current health of your favorite patients? After CNA training, you are going to come face to face with the fear, suffering, and pain of patients every day. However, as a CNA, you must keep a professional distance and avoid becoming too immersed in the lives of those you take care of. If you don’t, you could suffer from compassion fatigue.
Compassion fatigue is often thought of as a type of secondary post traumatic stress disorder. It occurs when your sympathy and empathy for a patient crosses professional boundaries, and you begin to become burned out and experience a loss of physical and mental energy.
After CNA training, you may not even realize you are crossing the line before it is too late. However, knowing the symptoms of compassion fatigue and understand how to combat it will help you regain control of your life and your career after CNA training.
Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue to Watch for After CNA Training
- Your job performance isn’t what it used to be. You often make mistakes, forget things, and find yourself needing help from your coworkers more often after CNA training.
- You don’t sleep well.
- You feel tired all the time.
- You feel like CNA training and your current career is unsatisfying.
- You have no energy, aren’t as efficient, and feel like doing absolutely nothing most days.
If you aren’t sure if you are suffering from compassion fatigue, pay attention to how you interact with not only your patients after CNA training, but your coworkers as well. Are you being too sensitive? Are others becoming frustrated with your actions? Do your patients cling to you? When you are able to recognize these issues, you can take action to improve your situation.
Fighting Compassion Fatigue After CNA Training
- You may not feel like going out, but maintaining a personal life is important when you are suffering from compassion fatigue. Stress can take away those activities you used to enjoy; by surrounding yourself with positive, supporting friends and family, you can begin to enjoy them again.
- Don’t be afraid to have a sense of humor. You will be working in a difficult job after CNA training, and a sense of humor can lighten the mood and help you deal with stressful situations.
- Take time to exercise. Exercising for just a few short minutes a day can help release hormones in your brain that will help you become more productive and give you more energy.
- Set limits for yourself. When you are at home, focus on being at home, and when you are at work, focus on work related issues.
- If you feel like you may be becoming too attached to certain patients and are typically assigned to the hall or area where they are, talk to your nursing supervisor. After CNA training, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and if you need to be reassigned for a few weeks to a different hall or area of the building, your supervisor will most likely be more than accommodating.
Suffering from compassion fatigue can be tough, but it isn’t a permanent problem. Make sure you know the symptoms of this illness and how to combat it after CNA training.