This Nurse Residency Program has helped us to mentor and precept new nurses and to assist them with a successful transition into their staff nurse role. Are your colleagues getting frustrated with you? Compassion Fatigue: Coping with Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder in Those Who Treat the Traumatized. Nursing is a caring profession, but it's also a scientific one. Manifestation of compassion fatigue differs in different persons based on the stated domains. Compassion fatigue historically has been studied in professional populations other than nursing. Research on Social Work Practice, 18 3 , 238-250.
First applied in 1992, compassion fatigue is a term used to describe a syndrome that occurs in nurses when they're caring for a patient facing life-altering or life-threatening changes as a result of an illness. Yet, compassion is an emotion that requires inner conviction and resiliency Bush, 2009. Physicians, social workers, and counselors have been identified as health professionals at risk for compassion fatigue ; ; ; ;. The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. We need to identify what specific characteristics and experiences precipitate this phenomenon among individuals employed in caring work and to investigate what personal qualities and traits might provide protection. Combating Compassion Fatigue Compassion fatigue is a combination of emotional, physical and spiritual depletion related with caring for patients in passionate physical distress and emotional pain.
Make this a regular practice. Allocation of Physician Time in Ambulatory Practice: A Time and Motion Study in 4 Specialties. Lack of support from managers and administrators, as well as nurse colleagues, was also noted as a factor in compassion fatigue. Signs you May be Developing Compassion Fatigue One of the best things nurses can do is recognize the signs of compassion fatigue before it leads to complete burnout. Central themes which emerged included i physical symptoms and ii emotional symptoms of compassion fatigue, iii factors triggering compassion fatigue and iv measures to overcome or prevent compassion fatigue.
Many times healthcare workers suffer from grief when a patient they have cared for a long time dies. Two years ago our hospital system initiated a Nurse Residency Program. This is when compassion fatigue starts. For example, the Center for Nursing Renewal started at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to give various renewal opportunities for medical attendants. Nurses that are exposed to a range of traumatic situations may start to take on some of these negative emotions they witness second-hand in patients and their family members. Are your patients becoming too clingy? This will be followed by delineating symptoms of, and describing interventions for addressing compassion fatigue. A Contemporary of Compassion Fatigue If compassion fatigue is not addressed in its earliest phases, it can permanently alter the ability of a caregiver to provide compassionate care.
Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge Paige M. Recognizing the signs of compassion fatigue and taking steps to prevent and treat it can provide you with the resiliency to make nursing a rewarding profession. Utilizing adversity as an opportunity for personal growth as opposed to a barrier is a way to guarantee personal and professional advancement Espeland, 206. Most participants responded that they felt better overall and less stressed after leaving the group. Studies have shown work-life balance is becoming more important to workers, and making time for leisure activities and personal hobbies outside of work can help lower stress levels and improve overall life satisfaction. Many oncology nurses may find themselves unprepared for the emotional challenges that arise in caring for these patients and their families.
Two people wearing the same pair of shoes is not a comfortable or helpful situation. Counsel and support are necessary when this occurs. In Perry, Toffner, Merrick, and Dalton , p. In everyday life, caregivers play an important role in supporting the health of patients in a challenging environment that offers heart wrenching and emotional related problems. . These symptoms can include work-related symptoms, physical symptoms, and emotional symptoms. One 2016 study noted that nurses experiencing compassion fatigue may dread going to work; have difficulty concentrating; feel nervous, anxious, or pessimistic; have low self-esteem; or lash out at coworkers.
We have helped nurses overcome compassion fatigue by strengthening their interpersonal and communication skills, by guiding nurses in the process of self-assessment so as to gain insight into stressors that contribute to their compassion fatigue, and to help them develop their own recovery plans. She is a very dedicated, driven, and compassionate person who placed others before herself. Exercise regularly outside of work. Relationship-based care: A model for transforming practice. Stichler stated that the literature is replete with the positive effects of workplace interventions on reducing job conflict and turnover and increasing interdisciplinary collaboration and satisfaction. Nurses with sick loved ones may also be at a greater risk for compassion fatigue.
Self-awareness is a powerful tool for detecting when we might need to pay more attention to ourselves. In any given shift and setting, nurses are exposed to the complexities of care. Do not be afraid to say no to that extra shift you are being asked to do. An attempt would later be made to redefine it as secondary traumatic stress disorder. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment: Special Issue on Measurement and Assessment, 11 3 , 177-194.
The author of nearly 200 publications, Deborah recently published her third book, Nurturance for Nurses: Reflections for Compassionate Healers. Combating Compassion fatigue Combating Compassion fatigue Introduction Compassion fatigue is a burnout which is evidenced by physical, spiritual and emotional exhaustion. The intentionality of compassion energy. Since then, various authors and many other professional groups outside nursing, such as physicians, social workers, government organization and police, and firefighters have adopted the concepts of combating compassion fatigue. Teams can head off compassion fatigue in daily unit huddles by discussing difficult patients and exploring ways to work together instead of facing these situations alone.
Several patients on this unit experienced multiple admissions to the unit. Conclusion In conclusion, compassion fatigue can take its toll on care givers and cause dissatisfaction for the care giver and their patients. Drury, Craigie, Francis, Aoun, and Hegney , p. Compassion fatigue has been variably interchanged with secondary traumatic stress, secondary traumatic stress disorder, vicarious stress and burnout, creating conceptual confusion. There is ways one can to overcome and combat compassion fatigue.