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Burnout In The Human Services Field

1046 words - 5 pages

Burnout is frequently found in the Human Services field due to its emotionally and mentally demanding nature. “According to experts, the causes of Burnout include heavy caseloads, unrealistic timeframes, low pay, and adverse working conditions.” In 1996, Burnout had become so prevalent that the National Association of Social Work felt the need to address it and added it to the NASW Code of Ethics. So what do we, as newcomers, need to be prepared for?
According to research done by psychologist Christina Maslach, Ph.D. Burnout effects a person’s mental, emotional, physical and behavioral functioning. Maslach’s research provided the following list of typical symptoms one would experience. ...view middle of the document...

As individuals we take in the problems of the world and it's why we chose this field. We want to help ease the daily suffering of our fellow man. The problem is the weight of the world is pretty heavy. We are trusted with some of our clients’ deepest, darkest secrets. Each day, we are subjected to the heart-wrenching stories and the immensely difficult life situations of the individuals who come to us seeking change and relief. Because of this we are especially prone to many stress-related health problems. We must remember that we are not superhuman. We can and will falter if we don't take care of ourselves first.
The first thing we must learn is mindfulness. There are several warning signs that can be recognized if we are mindful of ourselves and how we are feeling. The way we do this is to have a self-care plan for avoiding Burnout. This plan should include a weekly or even a daily self-check, inventorying any unusual emotions, feelings and attitudes you have experiences. Symptoms and signs to look for include feeling abnormally anxious and irritable, or have trouble concentrating. You might also notice mood swings or changes in appetite and sleep. These can vary in severity so it is important you act quickly at the first sign of them. So if you notice you’re getting overwhelmed or stress, maybe you've started to dread coming to work, this is a sign of trouble. These are all signs that you are reaching your threshold and need to implement your self-care techniques.
There are things we can do to alleviate some of our distress and even prevent it altogether. This is what we call our self-care plan. A self-care plan is not just intended to cope with the already tense situations. It can also help prevent them in the first place. To do this we must manage and balance the time we spent on our work and personal lives. Place realistic boundaries on what you can handle at work and avoid taking that extra client or project that you know will overwhelm you in the end.
Finding some simple and quick relaxation techniques...

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