Date of Conferral





Human Services


Tina Jaeckle


Compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and vicarious trauma among professionals are well-documented within clinical settings. Human service practitioners working directly with people experiencing poverty and trauma, hunger, homelessness, victimization, and depression are considered at risk of experiencing compassion fatigue. Latina low-wage-earners may suffer compassion fatigue when handling cases mirroring their personal experiences with poverty. The purpose of this descriptive single case study was to explore marginalized workers’ experiences with compassion fatigue using intersectionality to understand what Latina low-wage-earning human service practitioners’ experiences with compassion fatigue were and what coping strategies they developed while serving people experiencing poverty. An intersectional approach revealed how race, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status may influence participants’ experiences. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with five low-wage-earning Latina human service practitioners. Intersectionality guided data analysis to include the perspectives of Latinas as low-wage-earning human service practitioners. Latinas in this study expressed challenges with facing poverty-related trauma at work, balancing family and making time for self-care, self-development, and maintaining boundaries. The viewpoints of this underrepresented group were added to the literature to provide insights that may inform the development of diverse training and wellness programs. Legislators may also use this information to support policies that regulate workloads, increase wages, and enhance benefits available to help Latina low-wage-earning human service practitioners experiencing compassion fatigue.