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Compasion Fatigue

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Submitted By chiomachichi
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Compassion is a principal element of nursing. It’s an innate response to react with compassion when observing the emotional and physical turmoil of another human being. It is an imperative characteristic of a successful and effectual nurse. Compassion fatigue is a peculiar condition with healthcare givers and those in the healthcare. People or health care providers who are taking care of others, trying to handle stressful situations are especially susceptible to compassion fatigue. While compassion fatigue has been observed in professional caregivers and discussed in the literature over the past two decades, a specific definition of its characteristics and corollaries has not been uniformly embraced (Coetzee & Klopper, 2010; Najjar, Davis, Beck-Coon, & Doebbeling, 2009).
Compassion fatigue characterizes a progressive state of emotional unease. It evolves from compassion discomfort, to compassion stress, and finally to compassion fatigue, a state where the compassion energy that is expended by nurses (and others) surpasses their ability to recover from this energy expenditure, resulting in significant negative psychological and physical consequences (ANA,2011)
Nurses are particularly vulnerable to compassion fatigue. They often enter the lives of others at very critical junctures and become partners, rather than observers, in patients’ healthcare journeys. Acute care nurses in particular often develop empathic engagement with patients and families. This coupled with their experience of cumulative grief, positions them at the epicenter of an environment often characterized by sadness and loss (Boyle, 2006).
Compassion fatigue can cause consequences that impact the workplace and may lead nurses to psychological and physiological signs and symptoms. Multiple exposures to traumatic events during a shift, results in increased sympathetic nervous system...

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