Concept Analysis: Compassion Fatigue

2591 words 11 pages
Running head: COMPASSION FATIGUE

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Compassion Fatigue: A Concept Analysis

A Paper Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for NU 506 Theoretical Foundations of

The practice of nursing is synonymous with the concepts of empathy, compassion, nurturing, and caring. In the last two decades, a global nursing shortage has developed, leading to a phenomenon in nursing never seen before; the delivery of nursing care without nurturing. Increased workloads, higher patient acuity, deficient resources, and inadequate support systems, have all contributed to the decreased job satisfaction that has left nurses unable to display the compassion that was once a unique quality of nurses (Hooper, Craig, Janvrin, Wetsel, &

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Dr. Charles Figley, one of the pioneering researchers to study and define CF, states that CF, is

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common among Psychotherapist secondary to the intimate information they are privy to through patient therapy (2002). Dr. Figley defines CF as the natural behaviors and emotions experienced as a result of helping someone through trauma, and the awareness of the causative traumatic events (2002). Antecedents and Consequences Compassion fatigue only develops in the presence of three antecedents (1) Patient contact, (2). Use of Self, (3). Stress, in conjunction with prolonged, continuous, intensity. The presence of the risk factors does not always lead to compassion fatigue, however, CF does not occur in the absence of the risk factors. CF is the result of a progressive and cumulative course that includes increasing stress with decreased endurance. The indicators of CF are lethargy, accident proneness, emotional breakdowns, apathy, and the desire to quit (2010). Deep emotional and physical exhaustion, with a decrease in optimism and hope regarding the future, and doubts regarding the value of a nurse’s work also characterize CF (Blackburn & Mayer, 2008). The consequences of CF are inadequate resources to meet energy requirements and the loss of power to recover (Knobloch-Coetzee & Klopper, 2010). The opportunity to help others during periods of high stress can be a rewarding aspect of direct patient care, there are emotional consequences characterized by depression,

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