Compassion Fatigue In Nursing

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A Compassion Fatigue Among ED Nurses Problem
When one thinks about nursing, caring, empathy, and compassion come to mind. There is a link, an unbreakable union, for nurses that "compassion fatigue is the cost of caring for others in pain" (Boyle, 2015, p. 49). Compassion fatigue (CF) and its impact on nurses are predominant problems in many Emergency Departments (ED). Nurses perform a number of procedures throughout the day, but primarily the thing that they deliver the most is themselves (Harris & Quinn-Griffin, 2015). Nurses give care, succor, kindness, and tenderness to patients, families, other nurses; support to doctors and advanced practitioners, and give directions to medical technicians, nursing assistants, and other staff every
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CF affects the physical, behavioral, emotional and spiritual aspects of a nurse 's life (Aycock & Boyle, 2009). The nurse experiencing CF may complain of physical symptoms such as frequent headaches or generalized aches and pains. The nurse may also show behavioral symptoms such as detachment, frequent call outs, and transfers to other departments or other hospitals; emotional symptoms may include irritability, moodiness, and anger, and show spiritual self-doubt and doubt in beliefs (Bush, 2009). Other symptoms may include medication errors, or performing skills incorrectly, which can harm the patient and/or themselves (Braunschneider,…show more content…
Because of the nature of healthcare, it has been suggested that the type of person that has entered nursing is already in a state of CF due to their care-giving nature (Lanier, 2012). Having CF is like running on empty; it is as if your personal, internal well is empty and needs filling. In the fundamental text of Taoism, Tao Te Ching, in one translation Lao-tzu states, "The Tao is like a well: used but never used up. It is like the eternal void: filled with infinite possibilities" (Lao-tzu, 1995, p 8). Our internal wells are never completely used up, but they do need constant attending to. The first step in healing CF is to acknowledge that it is in the workplace. The next is to establish interventions that can help in alleviating this disorder. Peer reinforcement and self-care just might be the things that fill the well so that there is a reduction in CF and continuation of what nurses do best,
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