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Article   |    
Staff Burnout in Work With Long-Term Patients
H. Richard Lamb
Psychiatric Services 1979; doi:
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Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles, California

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The seeds of staff burnout are planted when mental health professionals who work with long-term patients do not recognize that such patients vary greatly in their potential for rehabilitation. This situation leads to unrealistic expectations and frustrations for staff. The concept of normalization, if misapplied, can lead to the same result. Contributing to the frustration is administrative pressure on staff to produce impossible results. Staff's ambivalence about gratifying dependency needs of patients and uncertainty about their own needs and motivations also can lead to burnout.

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