Social Work in the Department of Defense Hospital: Impact of the Work

Joan C. Beder


Social workers in the Department of Defense Hospital are faced with numerous challenges to best address the needs of the nation’s wounded. Social workers serve diverse roles on the multidisciplinary team and are integral to the hospital work environment. Sometimes, however, the work extracts a toll on the social worker that may be expressed in terms of burnout and compassion fatigue. The converse is also true, that social workers may have a strong sense of compassion satisfaction about what they do. This article details the experience of social workers in Department of Defense hospitals. It describes the impact of the work on the social workers noting levels of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout.
Findings suggest that generally the social workers find satisfaction in their work and degrees of compassion fatigue and burnout.


military social workers, compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, burnout

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Copyright (c) 2012 Joan C. Beder


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