Nursing: Compassion Fatigue In Nursing

Compassion Fatigue
Cecily S. Gleason
University of North Florida

Compassion Fatigue
When compassion is lost, you are left with a drained nurse that no longer has compassion for her patients, their families, their illnesses, their suffering. These same nurses very well may be the best in their field, but once they lose their compassion, they have lost their profession. This is a growing problem in the field of medicine. The loss of compassion is seen significantly more in emotional areas of nursing such as critical care units and oncology. Further I will discuss what the literature has to say about compassion fatigue and how it affects the nursing profession along with the individual nurse.
Review of the Literature
Compassion fatigue
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Acknowledgement and acceptance of compassion fatigue is the first step in the healing process. Admitting there is a problem personally and seeking out help in whichever way the nurse feels most comfortable must be the number one priority. This crucial step is done by being able to recognize the signs and symptoms and then starting the process to correct the problems. Grieving, for starters, is going to be a crucial step to handle the emotional and spiritual aspects of compassion fatigue to then be followed by handling the physical symptoms.. Some nurses have stated in surveys that they prefer to participate in group therapy while others may wish to grieve alone privately or with a close family member or friend. It does not matter how a person heals, as long as they heal through whatever traumatic experience or experiences has brought them to this place of mental turmoil. Teaching nurses stress-coping skill to use individually or as a unit, regularly talking about coping instead of just in times of crisis, being proactive, and emphasizing positive aspects of the job are crucial to correcting compassion fatigue. Another important aspect of reducing compassion fatigue is a strong and supportive leadership team on the unit level. Having strong social support from our managers along with low …show more content…
J. (2017). When compassion is lost. MEDSURG nursing, 26(2), 139-142.
Houck, D. (2014). Helping nurses cope with grief and compassion fatigue: An educational intervention. Clinical journal of oncology nursing, 18(4), 454-458. doi:10.1188/14.CJON.454-458
Lachman, V. D. (2016). Ethics, law, and policy. Compassion fatigue as a threat to ethical practice: Identification, personal and workplace prevention/management strategies. MEDSURG Nursing, 25(4), 275-27.
Mooney, C., Fetter, K., Gross, B. W., Rinehart, C., Lynch, C., & Rogers, F. B. (2017). A preliminary analysis of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue with considerations for nursing unit specialization and demographic factors. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 24(3), 158-163. doi:10.1097/JTN.0000000000000284
Sacco, T. L., Ciurzynski, S. M., Harvey, M. E., & Ingersoll, G. L. (2015). Compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue among critical care nurses. Critical Care Nurse, 35(4), 32-44.

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