Is Compassion Fatigue Weighing on Your Team?

With the shortage of healthcare staff across the U.S. now more than ever, there’s no denying that medical workers are overburdened and stressed. Compassion fatigue – the physical, mental, and emotional toll of helping others – has become extremely prevalent at all types of facilities, resulting in many workers quitting unexpectedly, retiring early, or resorting to other types of employment. Recently, it’s been reported that as many as 30 percent of healthcare workers have decided to leave the healthcare profession in 2024. Among many factors, compassion fatigue is arguably a major driver of poor retention. Recognizing the signs of compassion fatigue is instrumental in reversing poor management practices and retaining quality staff. 

Here are some of the most effective ways in which employers can proactively reduce the effects of compassion fatigue:

Promote wellness and self-care.

Often, healthcare professionals are so busy caring for patients that they disregard the importance of their own self-care. Employers can help employees reset their focus on health by offering wellness initiatives that provide access to nutritional counseling and fitness programs. This can encourage staff to invest in their wellness and take advantage of opportunities to improve their health, no matter how busy or stressed out they may be at work. Providing an environment in which all employees are given resources and support in their health journeys is the first step to addressing compassion fatigue. 

Establish an open-door policy.

When employees feel overwhelmed or anxious, it’s important they feel comfortable sharing their feelings and concerns with management. An open-door policy allows staff to freely discuss their hardships with managers so changes can be made to better support them in their roles. By making sure employees know their feelings are validated, you can work with them on fixing the root causes of their issues – such as setting more boundaries at work, readjusting their work schedules, or placing them in a different unit. Transparency and trust are the hallmarks of strong management that result in greater job satisfaction and success for all workers. 

Offer mental health support.

It’s safe to say that healthcare professionals are caring for patients facing life-altering challenges on a regular basisThis can be very emotionally draining over time, often leading workers to experience their own anxiety and depression. It’s critical that managers understand their employees’ mental health needs and provide adequate support to their teams. This involves conducting frequent check-ins with employees, becoming educated on how to spot signs of mental health disorders, and encouraging employees to take paid time off. This will ultimately foster a culture that empowers your staff to overcome mental health challenges without their work performance becoming negatively impacted.   

With these practices, your organization can combat compassion fatigue in your workplace while demonstrating a commitment to the long-term health and well-being of your entire team. 

Is your healthcare facility experiencing a talent shortage? Build your dream team with our help! Get in touch and let Marquee Staffing assist with your hiring needs.