Compassion Fatigue Curriculum Infusion: A Three-Part Workshop for Social Work Students
AdvisorMessick Svare, Gloria
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This study looked at a developed and implemented compassion fatigue workshop for Bachelor’s and Master’s level social work students. Looking at an overall sample of 108 students, students reported higher than average levels of compassion satisfaction, comparable levels of burnout and higher than average levels of secondary traumatic stress compared to a national sample of human service professionals on the Professional Quality of Life Scale 5 (ProQOL 5). Results indicated that self-compassion, mindfulness and over-identification were significantly associated with scores on the ProQOL 5, suggesting that self-compassion and mindfulness may help students prevent and cope with compassion fatigue while over-identification may be a risk factor. The number of years a student had been working in the field was significantly negatively associated with scores on the ProQOL 5, signifying that the more experience a student had in the field, the lower their reported levels of secondary traumatic stress. Students reported that they used information from the workshops, implementing it in a variety of ways in their internships such as utilizing the learned coping strategies themselves, sharing them with clients and recognizing signs of compassion fatigue in field placement supervisors and colleagues. These results demonstrate the importance of continuing to educate students about compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress.