Caring for others is a joy and a struggle.
Quoting from the ProQOL.org,
“Professional quality of life is the quality one feels in relation to their work as a helper. Both the positive and negative aspects of doing one’s job influence ones professional quality of life. People who work in helping professions may respond to individual, community, national, and even international crises. Helpers can be found in the health care professionals, social service workers, teachers, attorneys, police officers, firefighters, clergy, airline and other transportation staff, disaster site clean-up crews, and others who offer assistance at the time of the event or later.
Understanding the positive and negative aspects of helping those who experience trauma and suffering can improve your ability to help them and your ability to keep your own balance.“
On the positive side of caring is Compassion Satisfaction. Most of us feel good when we help (or try to help) someone in need. However, there is a negative side as well. Negative results of caring include: Compassion Fatigue, Burnout,
Secondary Traumatic Stress. Primary Traumatic Stress, and Vicarious Traumatization. Understanding these issues can be helpful in a caregiver. Early recognition of burnout or traumatic stress can lead to useful treatment in refreshment, renewal, and transformation.
A simple test that is freely made available by ProQOL can be used for compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary traumatic stress. It is available in many languages.
Click on http://www.proqol.org/ProQol_Test.html to get the test, and manual, and guidance on use.