Measuring levels of burnout among care workers
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Measuring levels of burnout among care workers

Elizabeth Lernihan Person centred planning co-ordinator, Kerry Parents and Friends Association, Co Kerry, Ireland
John Sweeney Senior lecturer, Catherine McCauley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland

Elizabeth Lernihan and John Sweeney investigate the factors that affect staff coping strategies when working with people with communication difficulties

Aim To investigate whether staff caring for people with learning and communication disabilities experience feelings of emotional exhaustion or lack of achievement or need to depersonalise by distancing themselves from clients.

Method Sixty nine direct care workers at an organisation providing residential and day care services to people with communication difficulties and an intellectual disability were interviewed about their experiences.

Findings About 30 per cent of direct care workers experienced moderate to high levels of emotional exhaustion, most had not reached a high level of depersonalisation and more than two thirds felt high levels of personal achievement.

Conclusion Causes and symptoms of burnout can and should be addressed promptly for the sake of the staff, service users and the organisation.

Learning Disability Practice. 13, 8,27-33. doi: 10.7748/ldp2010.

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