Compassion satisfaction is about the pleasure you derive from being able to do your work well. For example, you may feel like it is a pleasure to help others through your work. You may feel positively about your colleagues or your ability to contribute to the work setting or even the greater good of society.
Professional quality of life incorporates two aspects, the positive (Compassion Satisfaction) and the negative (Compassion Fatigue). Compassion fatigue breaks into two parts. The first part concerns things such as such as exhaustion, frustration, anger and depression typical of burnout. Secondary Traumatic Stress is a negative feeling driven by fear and work-related trauma. It is important to remember that some trauma at work can be direct (primary) trauma. In other cases, work-related trauma be a combination of both primary and secondary trauma.
Secondary Traumatic Stress is an element of Compassion fatigue (CF). It is related to Vicarious Trauma (VT). STS is about your work-related, secondary exposure to extremely stressful events. For example, you may repeatedly hear stories about the traumatic things that happen to other people, commonly called VT. If your work puts you directly in the path of danger, such as being a soldier or humanitarian aide worker, this is not secondary exposure; your exposure is primary. However, if you are exposed to others traumatic events as a result of your work, such as in an emergency room or working with child protective services, this is secondary exposure. The symptoms of STS are usually rapid in onset and associated with a particular event. They may include being afraid, having difficulty sleeping, having images of the upsetting event pop into your mind, or avoiding things that remind you of the event.
The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) and associated materials are provided as a service of the ProQOL.org.