Working as a professional in the helping and caring fields can be exhausting. However, it can be equally rewarding. If you already work in the helping fields as a therapist, social worker, nurse, advocate, or other human services professional, it’s likely that you’ve experienced signs of burnout and have even struggled with ways to balance your own needs with those of the clients you serve.

The great news is that you aren’t alone when it comes to the challenges many helping field workers face. To learn more on ways to do your work well in the helping fields, read on for ways to provide a more caring environment for the people you work so hard for.

Advocacy and Empathy

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One of the best ways to remain professional in a helping career is to use your empathy when things get difficult. For some people who work as caregivers or advocates, whether in the medical industry or in human services, one great way to remember how to be empathetic when work gets challenging is to look to role models.

Maybe you work in the legal industry as an advocate. Finding a hero like Malliha Wilson, who’s devoted her entire career working in Canada’s supreme court to get and maintain rights for workers in Canada’s public sector is a great start. Specifically, Wilson is a Tamil Canadian lawyer and the first visible minority who served as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario from 2008 to 2016. In looking at someone like Wilson’s overall career, her distinguished career award, and the great work she’s done in conjunction with the government of Ontario, you’ll be reminded that your work in the helping fields matters. The granddaughter of a member of Parliament and leader of the Ceylon Tamil community, politics, complex litigation, human rights, and justice are in Malliha Wilson’s blood. However, she never thought she would become a lawyer. If you study her career-long enough, you will learn she used empathy and passion for human rights to drive her to fight against human rights violators to defend the public sector for better working conditions through the Supreme Court.

Nursing and Compassion

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Your passion doesn’t need to be human rights and Canada’s leadership to use your empathy and compassion to stay on track in the caring professions. Maybe you hope to become a nurse practitioner and have extensive experience with Google searches like “nurse practitioner programs near me” because you want to make a difference in the health industry. By using your compassion for patients and people suffering, you’ll increase your odds of an impressive career in public service you can be proud of.

When considering becoming an applicant to an NP program, it’s a good idea to take a close look at your capacity to work compassionately for the long run. You’ll need to add compassion to your clinical skills on long days when the odds of patient success are low. It’s not enough to rely on clinical experience alone if you hope to become a health care provider people trust and depend on. In short, bedside manner matters.

Therapy and Boundaries

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Any good therapist will tell you that one of the best things they can do for their clients is to model healthy boundaries. Success will come for you and your clients of diverse populations if you put your clinical skills toward teaching boundary-setting as a tool as well.

In summary, you can increase your chances of serving your clients best in the helping fields if you work with compassion and empathy while exhibiting healthy boundaries. In applying those same tricks to your own self, you’ll be in a great position to succeed. That is, in making sure you take breaks, engaging in acts of self-care, and use your own boundaries in healthy ways, you’ll be more rested and refreshed to help your clients.

Co-Founder & Senior Director

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