Burnout in Human Services

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Submitted By shanahmcgee
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Causes and Prevention of Burnout in Human Services
Shanah Magee BSHS 461 4/8/2013 Dr. Edward Armstrong

People working in the helping field are subject to conditions that can lead to depletion or even impairment, such as the emotionally intense nature of the helping relationship and increasingly heavy caseloads. Burnout is a serious issue in human services. According to Johnson and Stone (1987), burnout “refers to a state of physical, in emotionally demanding situations” (p. 67). Factors that contribute to burnout and methods used to prevent burnout will be discussed in this paper. Individual, cultural, organizational, supervisory, and social support factors can lead to burnout. Some factors that correlate with burnout within an individual include overload, insufficient compensation, and lack of recognition. A heavy workload can be tiring and often causes an individual to work longer hours than he or she would like. This can lead to an individual feeling “out of control” because most time is being spent working instead of resting or doing things that give life value. Cultural factors can lead to burnout as well. Lewis, Packard, and Lewis (2007) stated, “Aspects of the culture at large, including a declining feeling of community, frustrated expectations for the self-actualizing potential of work, and pervasive competition, create a climate conducive to burnout” (p. 134). An organizations leadership can play a factor in contributing or preventing burnout. If a person is…...

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