I work in veterinary medicine. Compassion fatigue is a serious problem that can lead to burnout and people leaving the field. I have to assume it must be a problem in human medicine as well. I've taken continuing education classes on it and how to deal with the effects, how to hopefully prevent it in yourself and your coworkers if you see the symptoms.
I feel that we, as a nation, are in the throws of compassion fatigue. More and more people are telling me they can't watch or read the news anymore. When it feels like there are near daily heartbreaking tragedies that need out donations, support, or other emotional energy, and we just don't feel like we have anything more to give on any of those fronts. I'm there for sure. I was trying so hard to be a better citizen, staying better informed and writing or calling my representative more often, but like so many others I'm hitting the limit of what I can take.
How can we go on like this? Just responding to tragedy after tragedy. Doing nothing to prevent, or to overcome. I feel small and helpless and sad. I'm going to cuddle kitties and kids now.