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Compassion Fatique

In: Other Topics

Submitted By CPennRN
Words 1590
Pages 7
Introduction The nursing profession is unique in that in it exposes the nurse to daily inaction with patients that are in need of urgent and life-threating emergencies that challenge the nurse to use complex cognitive skills to care for that patient and their family. Daily the nurse is faced with pain, trauma and suffering of the patient. These stresses along with environmental stressors can lead to compassion fatigue.

Compassion fatigue is defined as a combination of physical, emotional and spiritual depletion that is linked to caring for patients and their families. As the nurse loses control over personal interactions with patients and their families, and emotionally over steps the boundaries between the patient’s distress and the nurse’s ability not distance themselves emotionally from the patient, compassion fatigue sets in. Compassion fatigue is caused by the empathy the nurse has for patients. It is a natural consequence of stress that can result from becoming emotionally connected to a patient and their family while providing care.

Nursing is a care profession. We are drawn to become nurses because we a heart and care about others. Nurses are the only population group at risk for experiencing compassion fatigue; anyone in a “help” associated profession is at risk. All who work in healthcare need to be aware of compassion fatigue, the risks, the warning signs and coping mechanisms.

Warning Signs of Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue symptoms develop over time. These symptoms effect our cognitive abilities, emotional status, interactions with others, spirituality and physical health. There are warning signs that the nurse and other healthcare professionals needs to recognize in order to combat compassion fatigue and address this condition.

Some of the warning signs for compassion fatigue are decreased sense of personal satisfaction...

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