What Careers are at Risk for Compassion Fatigue?

Compassion fatigue refers to the condition individuals experience when stress causes them experience less and less compassion over time.  This commonly occurs in professions where the individual is asked to care for the sick or the elderly in high-stress environment or in great numbers.    Individuals with compassion fatigue will develop an almost constant negative attitude about their job.  They will experience stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue during work hours – and even when they return home, where it can impact their personal lives negatively.

Although individuals from all walks of life can experience compassion fatigue, some are at greater risk than others.

What Careers at Risk for Compassion Fatigue?

The following list refers to those jobs that have the highest incidence of compassion fatigue.

  • Nursing.  Nurses, especially those who work in emergency rooms or in battle during wartime are at a very high risk for compassion fatigue.  Providing care and comfort those for sick or injured individual in a high-stress environment can lead to stress in the nurses themselves
  • Retirement Home Workers.  Those who deal with the elderly are among the most likely to experience symptoms related to compassion fatigue.
  • Teachers.  Many teachers working in tough, urban areas will experience compassion fatigue as they attempt to educate their high-risk students.    Many public schools have become too big in recent years to provide much individualized attention for students – and as a result, teachers are placed under more strain than ever to help grow young minds.
  • Lawyers.   Compassion fatigue rates among attorneys are almost five times higher than other professions.  Attorneys who work long hours and maintain large caseloads (especially in the area of personal injury cases) are at a high risk for CF symptoms such as depression and suicide.


What is the Result of Compassion Fatigue?


When an individual experiences compassion fatigue, they begin to experience a variety of symptoms, including: 


  • Depression and feelings of hopelessness
  • Resentment towards the very people for whom they are caring
  • Career burnout – many people who enroll in career burnout treatment do so as a result of experiencing compassion fatigue.
  • Poor job performance – many individuals who once received high ratings at work will begin to their job performance suffer as a result of compassion fatigue.


Getting Treatment for Compassion Fatigue


Once an individual begins to experience any of the symptoms above, it is important that they seek treatment for compassion fatigue immediately.  Allowing the condition to go unchecked can lead to a variety of problems including depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and obviously, potential loss of one’s job and the financial instability that comes with it.   Counseling programs and therapists who specialize in compassion fatigue are adept at helping the individual come to terms with the problem and develop a plan that will provide a new outlook on their careers and their lives.


Moonview Sanctuary offers treatment and coping strategies for those individuals suffering from compassion fatigue.  Through the renowned Overcoming Personal Crisis programs at Moonview, individuals are able restore their enthusiasm for their jobs – and become the effective caregivers they were before experiencing CF.  Contact Moonview Sanctuary today for more information.




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