The Ringmaster and Compassion Fatigue
We had an interesting conference call last week with a chief medical officer of a health care system. While discussing the "elephants" they were juggling, he mentioned compassion fatigue. While the term has been around since the 1950's, it was new to our vocabulary. The CMO described it as a condition that occurs in certain health care workers. It's different from burnout because people enjoy what they do and find meaning in it-they are just so drained from the compassion required in these unique positions.
Wikipedia gives this description of the symptoms: