“Understanding Compassion Fatigue”

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Date(s) - 11/02/2020
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Monday, November 2, 2020 1:00 PM. – 2:30 PM

In the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, professional and family “caregivers” are facing an increasing number of stressors.  Driven by vast uncertainty, there is a desire to help but an ongoing struggle to protect oneself and one’s family, as well as one’s clients. This  overwhelming “angst” can produce physical and emotional responses that, at times, seem inescapable.

This webinar will address the differences between “compassion fatigue,” secondary or “vicarious” trauma and burnout.  We will define the components of “compassion fatigue”  and the striking differences between compassion and empathy. Most importantly, we will discuss why some of us suffer from compassion fatigue more “personally” and how we can learn to “protect” ourselves.  Finally, we will present “tools” that allow us to stay healthy, not only physically, but emotionally as well. We will discuss what we can do to protect ourselves while engaging with our clients and how management can support staff and enable us all to keep our friends, families, and clients safe as well.


  1. Identify the effects that long-term stress has on our bodies.
  2. Explain the differences between “Compassion Fatigue”, “Vicarious trauma” and “Burnout”.
  3. Discuss how Empathy “fatigues” and Compassion “rejuvenates”.
  4. List four strategies in cultivating “compassion” in oneself.
  5. Critique work place interventions in supporting staff and addressing issues of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.


This 1 ½ hour webinar is directed to  both professional and “family caregivers” during this unprecedented time of community “angst”. “Compassion Fatigue” is presented at an intermediate level but due to the importance of the subject matter questions will be addressed and answered to include all levels of community participation.

Cost is $25 an additional $25 if Contact Hours are requested


1:00 PM – 1:15 PM     The uncertainty of today

  1. Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL)
  2. American Medical Association’s Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire
  3. Mother Teresa had her nuns take an entire year off after every 4 -5 years to allow them to “heal” from their work.


1:15 PM – 1:30 PM     The mind-body connection

  1. “Our” bodies response
  2. What happens when the stress becomes chronic?


1:30 PM – 2:00 PM   The differences: “Compassion fatigue”, “Vicarious trauma” and “Burnout”

  1. “Compassion fatigue” – (1982, Dr. Charles Figley)
  2. “Vicarious trauma” – (1995, Dr. Laurie Pearlman and Dr. Karen Saakvitne)
  3. Burnout – (1970’s, Dr. Herbert Freudenberger)


2:00 PM – 2:20 PM Strategies in Prevention

  1. Cultivating Compassion
  2. Wellness Programs at workplaces


2:20 PM – 2:30 PM  “Self-Care Assessment Worksheet,” APA’s Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire; General Evaluation


Continuing Education Credit  has been approved for 1 ½ hours from Commonwealth Educational Seminars for the following professions:

Social Workers:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


As an American Psychological Association (APA) approved provider, CES programs are accepted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). These courses can be utilized by nurses to renew their certification and will be accepted by the ANCC. Every state Board of Nursing accepts ANCC approved programs except California and Iowa, however CES is also an approved Continuing Education provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider # CEP15567) which is also accepted by the Iowa Board of Nursing.


National Academy of Certified Care Managers: 

This program for has been approved by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) for 1.5 continuing education contact hour.


Pennsylvania Personal Care Home Administrators:

1.5 Contact hours have been approved by  the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services for Personal Care Home / AHR Administrators.


ALL educational programs will be taught by Linda Shumaker, RN-BC, M.A.

Ms. Shumaker is a gerontological certified registered nurse who is a private consultant as well as currently in clinical practice in Harrisburg Pennsylvania.  She has previous served as Outreach Coordinator of the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition.  In 2005, as founding Executive Director of the Coalition, she advocated for funding and received over $325,000 to outreach and educate older adults regarding behavioral health issues.  She introduced policies to encourage the Mental Health and Aging’s “systems” of care to work cooperatively to serve older adults with behavioral health issues.  Ms. Shumaker also served as the Executive Director of Prevent Suicide PA, a statewide nonprofit to support those affected by suicide, provide education, awareness and understanding by collaborating the community to prevent suicide and reduce the stigma associated with suicide. Ms. Shumaker spearheaded Pennsylvania’s Older Adult Suicide Prevention Plan, one of the first in the country, as well as advocating and obtaining a Mental Health Bulletin ensuring that adults with dementia and secondary psychiatric symptoms have access to mental health treatment.  Ms. Shumaker also has worked at the Central Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA.  Ms. Shumaker has extensive clinical experience working in community mental health, geriatric assessment teams and in long-term care.   In addition, she has been an instructor of psychiatry at the Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, co-chair and founding member of the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Aging Coalition.  She has served as a member of the Older Adult Committee of Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Planning Council and a member of the Long-Term Care Subcommittee of the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee. Ms. Shumaker has also served on the Ethics Committee of Temple University’s Protective Service Institute. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania State Alzheimer’s Association and the Advisory Board for the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Ms. Shumaker’s “special interests” include ethical and social policy issues in relation to the care of the elderly with behavioral health problems.

Grievance Policy

Optimize Aging, LLC seeks to ensure equitable treatment of very person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner.  Please submit a written grievance to:  Linda Shumaker, optimizeaging@gmail.com. Grievance would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.

For need of any special accommodations please contact Linda Shumaker at  optimizeaging@gmail.com.