Compassion Fatigue In Nursing

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Nursing is a calling that is professionally satisfying and rewarding as nurses set out to give care to other people. However, the hard work can become emotionally and physically challenging due to the tension and turmoil that comes within the profession. Nurses may start feeling frustrated due to common nursing stress or something more serious, such as compassion fatigue and burnout. It is thus important to watch out for the warning signs for burnout and compassion fatigue, which put both the healthcare workers and their patients at risk. Compassion fatigue affects job satisfaction, emotional and physical health of nurses as well as productivity and turnover in the nursing profession. It is a combination of emotional, physical and spiritual…show more content…
Additionally, compassion fatigue differs from burnout in the sense of hopelessness and confusion, isolation from supporters and symptoms that are disconnected from the real causes. In the early stages, burnout is symptomatic of frequent colds, fatigue, headaches, reduced sense of accomplishment, moodiness and increased interpersonal conflicts. If not treated, it may gradually advance to compassion fatigue, with symptoms of somatic complaints depersonalization, irritability, disillusionment and low…show more content…
It is often triggered by patient care situations where healthcare workers believe that their actions may not make a difference in a patient, or they are experiencing problems with the system, such as heavy patient assignments, extra workdays, or high acuity. Healthcare workers may also overlook serious patient symptoms or identify with the patients.
The symptoms involved with compassion fatigue are cognitive, emotional, behavioral, spiritual and somatic. Cognitive symptoms include; apathy, rigidity, lowered concentration, preoccupation with trauma, disorientation, and minimization. Emotionally the healthcare giver becomes anxious, angry, numb, fearful, depleted, depressed, powerless and helpless. Further, they experience troubling dreams similar to patients’ dream and may involuntarily start recalling frightening experiences with family members or
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