What Are Essential Qualities For Caregivers?

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Illness, disease, and trauma constantly and continuously affect people all over the world. Everyday, people are placed in hospitals, diagnosed with cancer, injured in war, devastated by a natural disaster, involved in a car wreck, and lose loved ones. People in these circumstances require help. They have to have someone caring for them in this difficult and stressful time in their lives. Those who are involved in patient care include doctors, nurses, therapists, rescue workers, and family members. Providing care for people is by no means an easy job. It requires mental and physical strength, intelligence, compassion, empathy, and organizational and time management skills. These are necessary qualities for caregivers to have in order to cope with caring for people who are suffering. Caregivers are confronted with anguish, negativity, depression, and defiance on a daily basis. This places copious amounts of physical and emotional stress on them, and caregivers also have the added stress of their personal life and family (Portnoy 2011). Those who are involved in patient care suffer as much as the patients do. The “cost of caring” is that these caregivers end up experiencing burnout. In medical terms, burnout is defined as the “emotional and physical exhaustion resulting from a combination of exposure to environmental and internal stressors and inadequate coping and adaptive skills” (Burnout). Along with exhaustion, “the person with burnout exhibits an increasingly
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