Burnout on Human Service and Social Service Professionals Discussion

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Human service and social service professionals are individuals who provide daily services to those individuals in need of assistance. Both professionals may be known in their community for their dedication, enthusiasm, motivation, and accountability while working with those individuals who are in need. Individuals who work in these professions may not understand how to delegate their work to avoid burnout. Burnout is defined as a syndrome that individuals acquires when overly worked and becomes mentally and physically exhausted, depersonalized, and develops feelings ineffectiveness due to being overly worked in one’s job or career. (Friedman, 2017, p.322). Individuals who experience burnout may display signs and symptoms of headaches, backaches, stress, muscle tension, exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety, lashing out at others, excessive sleeping, lack of good judgement, irrational thinking, reporting to work late, not completing assigned tasks, isolation from others, and excessive nervousness (Spicuzza & De Voe, 1982, p.96). However, human service and social service professionals may succumb to burnout due to an increase in their caseloads, over dedication to work, and external pressure of meeting client and program goals (Spicuzza & De Voe, 1982, p.96) . Individuals who work in these professions have goals in which they are to provide community resources, be accountable for providing essential services, and complete business tasks related to client’s needs. In addition, an organization will need to provide support for their employees to avoid employees feeling frustrated, alone, physically and mentally burned-out related to their career.

One person’s burnout factor may not register as being a burnout phase for someone else based on how it is perceived. Sometimes burnout can be avoided if an individual chooses not to act hastily in a certain situation. The negative effects of an individual enduring burnout can result in a triggering down effect starting with the individual that caused the problems with his or her family, employment, job performance, religious perspective, social status, social life, finances, and cultural beliefs. Burnout can have a negative effect on a person’s mood, behavior, and physical body. However, burnout can cause a person to experience depression, anxiety, headaches, high blood pressure, muscle tension, upset stomach, weight loss, loss of appetite, angry outburst, and drug abuse. With the factors mentioned above, burnout should always be avoided whenever possible. However, avoiding burnout is not always possible, but there are times in which it can be avoided such as finding a less stressful job, removing yourself from stressful situations, and recognize stressful triggers and avoid them when possible.

When individuals display burnout signs and symptoms they will need to find ways to help them cope with what is causing their burnout to occur. The self-care plan I chose consists of effective tools that include healthy checkups, conducive work environments, reduction in case workload while discussing it with my supervisor and colleagues, incorporating an exercise routine, and engaging in positive interpersonal family dynamics. Participating in physical activities such as walking, swimming, running, weight lifting, and cycling can be considered helpful management tools that will help to alleviate burnout and/or stress. Developing relaxation techniques such as performing yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, listening to music, hydration of the body, and getting adequate sleep are also ways to help manage stress and/or burnout (Nosaka, M., & Okamura, H., 2015, p.445). By utilizing the self-care plan identified above will help human service and social service professionals to alleviate and limit or ward off the effects of burnout while working in the field of human services.


Friedman, Kaylee. 2017. “Counselor Self-Care and Mindfulness.” Contemporary Buddhism 18 (2): 321. doi:10.1080/14639947.2017.1373437.

Nosaka, M., & Okamura, H. (2015). A Single Session of an Integrated Yoga Program as a Stress Management Tool for School Employees: Comparison of Daily Practice and Nondaily Practice of a Yoga Therapy Program. Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.), 21(7), 444–449. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1089/…

Puterbaugh, D., (2015). Self-care in the world of empirically supported treatments. Retrieved on December 10, 2015, from http://ct.counseling.org/2015/05/self-care-in-the-world-of- empirically-supported-treatments/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.