Burnout, compassion fatigue and suicidal ideation in oncology healthcare professionals
Keywords:Burnout, Compassion fatigue, Oncology, Psychology, Suicidal ideation
Central to the practice of oncology is the mental and physical resilience of the oncology clinician and the associated care providers. Healthcare professionals working with cancer patients have considerable risk for burnout; however, the mental health of oncology healthcare professionals has received little attention in the literature. The increasingly high rates of burnout and suicide in the field of medical and specifically oncological practice have rendered this area of research in psycho-oncology critical. Oncology presents the practitioner with unique and challenging issues that contribute to burnout, depression and, in some cases, suicide. Working with patients at or nearing the end of life and the administrative and insurance demands they often face in order to obtain needed oncotherapeutic medications, onerous workloads and long working hours, administrative record demands and staying abreast with expanding oncologic knowledge for practice may at times be overwhelming. This work reviews recent research in the field of burnout and compassion fatigue in oncology healthcare workers and posits recommendations for interventions to ameliorate the status quo.
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