What is burnout?
Burnout is the progressive loss of idealism, energy and purpose experienced by those in the helping professions as a result of conditions of their work.
Christina Maslach – social psychologist and specialist in occupational burnout
6 things that lead to burnout – Christina Maslach
- Excessive workload
- Perceived lack of control in work environment – asked to do things outside of skill set, not having back-up, lack of co-operation from others, unclear about responsibilities, insufficient training etc
- Insufficient sense of reward for work that is done
- Perceived sense of unfairness in systems (assignments, hours, favouritism, poor pay etc)
- Not feeling as if part of a community at work
- Sense that work is not congruent with personal or stated institutional value systems
How is burnout different from compassion fatigue?
- People with compassion fatigue generally still like their jobs
- People with compassion fatigue try to carry on providing care even though their personal reserves are depleted, while those with burnout tend to disengage from work
- Recovery from burnout usually requires making substantial changes, such as taking a break, or finding new challenges. This may involve changing work location or working with different people
- Self-care is compromised by compassion fatigue