Understanding Compassion Fatigue in Patient Advocates


Patient advocates and social workers in health care are often the most underappreciated figures in the industry. They have limited resources and limited time, and they are often under a lot of pressure with piles of case files to go through and dozens of people to see or reach out to every day.

This high-pressure environment can cause a prevalent form of burnout known as compassion fatigue, which can negatively affect your ability to provide the right kind of help to the people relying on your services.

What Is Compassion Fatigue?

The simplest way to describe compassion fatigue is emotional exhaustion. As a patient advocate, you care deeply about the patients you meet and do your best to get them into the right treatment program or find the best services for their situation.

However, dealing with these issues on a daily basis, being confronted by cases where you can or can’t help, and often seeing your best intentions fail to get your patients better may leave you feeling like you don’t care anymore, and this is the basis of experiencing compassion fatigue.

What Causes Compassion Fatigue in Patient Advocates

Compassion fatigue may be caused by one traumatic experience or a series of traumatic events. For social workers, this means seeing people you care about repeatedly sink lower into addiction or mental illness.

The daily occurrences that contribute to compassion fatigue might leave you asking questions like “Why do they come in every other week?” or “Why do they keep cycling through year after year?”

This constant pressure to help patients while often being unable to do so by no fault of your own can cause numbness toward the problems they experience. Realizing you don’t have the energy to spend hours talking on the phone or care about your patients individually anymore can then place even more pressure on patient advocates who feel like they’re not doing their job well enough.

Are You Tired of Repeat Patients?

This negative mindset doesn’t only affect your work or the quality of care you provide your patients. It can affect your personal life. The constant frustration and exhaustion can seep into your personal life and cause you to sink even deeper into despair as you feel you have “lost” the will to care about other peoples’ problems. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

One of the leading causes of repeat patients is not receiving the right quality of care or the treatment program that’s best for them. Receiving help for co-occurring disorders, matching your patient’s personal preferences, and offering them the right level of care can help their recovery stick. One of the best ways to do this is by using RecoverWell.

The Benefits of RecoverWell

RecoverWell is a state-of-the-art matchmaking service that links potential patients to the best possible treatment center for them based on a range of factors like:

  • Substances abused
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Personal preferences
  • Budget
  • Insurance coverage

By receiving the best treatment in an environment conducive to your patients’ recovery, they have the best chance at staying sober and avoiding repeat visits to your workplace.

Additionally, such easy access to treatment options and a streamlined admissions program will simplify your patient advocacy duties and offer the support you need to relieve some of the pressure your job creates. This will allow you to offer more personalized care and services to their patients.

Sentimental conceptual image of love, commitment and support between two elderly people as they tenderly hold hands

Quote from RecoverWell Users

There’s no better endorsement than the reviews of people who use RecoverWell daily. Here is an excerpt of what patient advocates had to say about the platform:

“Finding patients treatment in the fast-paced setting of the Emergency Department can easily become an overwhelming task, especially when patients are seeking residential treatment for their substance use. RecoverWell allows me to reach out to multiple treatment centers at once, giving me more time to connect with the patient and provide answers to the numerous questions they have before becoming sober. The likelihood of getting a patient into a treatment program same day increases immensely when I use RecoverWell . RecoverWell does the required work in the background so I am able to spend more time listening.”

Sign up for a free demo of RecoverWell today to manage your patients and start reducing your compassion fatigue.

Want to see RecoverWell in action and get some great tips on how to use RecoverWell in your practice?

Sign up for a live, virtual product demo!
(Invite your whole team) 
recoverwell people with computer

Don’t have time for a demo but want to keep in touch?
Sign up here for the latest updates on RecoverWell’s Mission!

Request A Demo

We will email you some dates and times we have available to do a demo.
Please provide the information below:

Stay Informed

Don’t have time for a demo but want to keep in touch? Sign up here for the latest updates on RecoverWell’s Mission!