Compassion Fatigue Nursing

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Exploring the Experience of Compassion Fatigue Among Nurses Nurses pride themselves on being able to bring compassionate care to patients and their families. During their care for ill and injured patients, nurses witness intense levels of tragedy. When nurses are unable to relieve the stresses brought on by their accumulating suppressed grief, they can reach a breaking point which is referred to as compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is defined as a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion associated with caring for patients in significant emotional pain and physical distress (Houck, 2013; Schroeter, 2014). This paper focuses on analyzing compassion fatigue, providing information to recognize symptoms, and offering intervention …show more content…
The term compassion fatigue was first introduced in 1992 by Joinson, a nurse, to describe her work environment with emergency room personnel (Sacco, Ciurzynski, Harvey & Ingersoll, 2015). Unknowingly, nurses and other health care workers experience secondary effects related to the tragic events and emotions that their patients endure. The most compelling debate in the reviewed literature was the similarity and distinct differences between burnout and compassion fatigue. The key similarity of burnout and compassion fatigue is that both issues chronically force nurses into demanding coping and adaptation measures (Boyle, 2011). In contrast to compassion fatigue, burnout is defined by workplace stressors such as staffing shortages, conflict among staff members, and intense workloads that with prolonged exposure can cause a nurse to withdraw and neglect responsibilities that can negatively affect patient outcomes (Boyle, 2015). Compassion fatigue arises solely from the experiences between nurses, patients, and their families. With both burnout and compassion fatigue nurses are at risk for feelings of immense failure, guilt, and …show more content…
Compassion fatigue can be alarming and nurses are struggling to find a place in the health care system to receive help and recognize what this type of nurse stress means while practicing in this profession. The consequences of nurses with prolonged, untreated compassion fatigue have yet to be researched or recognized. Because of this, nurses play a vital role in contributing to the prevention of compassion fatigue within their profession. While the role of a nurse is to put feelings aside to provide urgent care

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