ompassion fatigue is a real problem that many people face: doctors, nurses, and child welfare workers, to name a few. For this paper, I will be focusing on compassion fatigue as it pertains to child welfare workers. Compassion fatigue is also called secondary stress trauma, or STS. When a child welfare worker works with children who have experienced trauma, it sometimes transfers onto themselves, that is- they can begin to show symptoms of trauma or experience a lot of stress. This can affect the worker physically, emotionally, & even spiritually. Physical symptoms that can happen are: headaches, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and even cardiac symptoms like chest pain. Some of the emotional problems that happen are: mood
Nurses should be empathetic and compassionate caregivers. However, what happens when nurses are constantly giving their energy to compassionate care, without seeing the positive outcomes nor being able to regain energy through self-care? This eventually would lead to compassion fatigue, which often results in impairment of concentration and diminished performance ultimately leading to poor quality of care. Preventing compassion fatigue can be achieved through a strong foundation with a comprehensive education consisting of critical thinking skills, evidence-based practice, leadership, management, and delegation, which are only taught in baccalaureate nursing programs. Nurses and nursing students must be reminded or taught that in order to prevent compassion fatigue, they should not only be taking good care of their patients but also themselves.
Health Leaders Media lists seven strategies to reduce nurse burnout, including “stress reduction classes, create a space for relaxation, mentor and buddy programs, recognition and reward, manager involvement, training and education and counseling” (Hendren, 2010, para.8). Individual hospitals have taken actions to help combat burnout among nursing staff. At the St. Boniface Hospital in Manitoba, there is a research project being conducted called the Compassion Project, which includes “compassion and mindfulness meditation training and how it can affect brain anatomy and physiology, personal well-being, employee engagement and reduced burnout” (Miller et al, 2016,
According to Taylor (2008) the definition of nurse is from the meaning of the Latin word nutrix, which means “to nourish”. Nursing has a focus of caring for every patient physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. To meet the needs of every patient, nurses must take on many roles, but the main role being care giver (Taylor, 2008, p.14). Caring for another person requires many traits, and the most common is compassion. The definition of compassion is “sympathetic consciousness of another’s distress with a desire to alleviate it” (Merriam-Webster dictionary, 2011). Compassion and the desire to nourish may have been deciding factors that would lead one to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses over the span of their career will have extensive exposure to trauma, pain and unfortunate situations. Workplace stressors such as scheduling and increasing workload along with repeated exposure to the hardships of others predisposes caregivers, especially nurses, to develop a unique type of burn out labeled compassion fatigue (Joinson 1992). Compassion fatigue develops when a nurse unintentionally takes on the misfortune, anxiety, pain and trauma of the patients they care for. It is a negative emotional and physical response to the unfortunate situations that can arise in the profession of care giving. The “detrimental effects can include exhaustion, an inability to focus and a decrease in productivity, as well as unhappiness, self-doubt and loss of passion and enthusiasm” (Lester, 2010, p. 11). Compassion fatigue will develop suddenly versus burnout which develops gradually (Boyle, 2011, p. 9). This abrupt onset of symptoms will hinder the nurse’s ability develop a trusting and therapeutic relationship with...
Nursing focus is patient-centered, thereby setting itself apart from other disciplines through a positive caring approach. Majority of nurses join the profession motivated by the idea of caring for others. Nurses are at the forefront of care and serve as a support system for patients and their families. They provide endless compassionate attention to patients with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. Often, attending to overwhelming needs of patients and their families, nurses experience compassion fatigue. The aim of this paper is to focus on the prevalence along with the signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue, the effects on the care provided by nurses experiencing compassion fatigue, and to define a systematic approach to
The nursing profession is one of the most physically, emotionally, and mentally taxing career fields. Working long shifts, placing other’s needs before your own, dealing with sickness and death on a regular basis, and working in a high stress environment are all precursors to developing occupational burnout in the nursing profession. Burnout refers to physical, emotional and mental exhaustion, which can lead to an emotionally detached nurse, who feels hopeless, apathetic, and unmotivated. Burnout extends beyond the affected nurse and begins to affect the care patients receive. Researchers have found that hospitals with high burnout rates have lower patient satisfaction scores (Aiken et al 2013). There are various measures that nurses can take
I have seen how challenging and demanding the nursing profession can be; nurses often are required to work long hours that are physically and emotionally demanding. Nurses usually attend to multiple patients, while simultaneously complying with the constant requests from attending physicians, as well as responding to emergency situations and engaging all the urgent matters that demand their attention. The majority of this
Nurse fatigue is a serious topic not only in the nursing profession circles but in the health sector as a whole. The effects of nurse fatigue are serious in a way that the issue can no longer be ignored. As discussed in this paper, it is important for nurses to be aware of the signs of fatigue and take adequate action when it happens. It is also possible for nurses to develop a work ethic that ensures nurses do not reach the point of fatigue
One of the most serious issues in nursing, that can affect a nurses career is nursing burn- out. According to the article “Where have all the nurses gone”, current nurses that are practicing, report high rates of job dissatisfaction (which is part of burn out) and 1 of 5 nurses may quit nursing in the next 5 years (Dworkin, 2002). Burnout is associated with nurses not coming in to work, not feeling satisfied when doing their job, high turnover rates and a lack of commitment to the work (Katisfaraki, 2013). If a nurse becomes burned- out, they may not take care of their patients as well and could make mistakes with medication administration. A study performed in the United States by Dr. Jeannie Cimiottti, shows that hospitals with high burn-out rates among nurses have higher levels UTI’s, and surgical infections (World, 2012). Nursing burnout not only affects the nurse, but it also affects the patient, the nurses’ colleagues, and the nurses’ family; nursing burn out often leads to emotional exhaustion and depression, that can effect relations and communication between the nurse effected and the person they are communicating with. This paper will cover what burn-out is, who is susceptible to burn out, and treatment and prevent nursing burn out.