Compassion Fatigue and Nursing


from Mighty Nurse

What happens when caring for the sick and dying or repeatedly witnessing trauma leads to compassion fatigue? Compassion fatigue, first described over twenty years ago in text by a nurse, can be defined as the “loss of the ability to nurture.” It is considered a “cost of caring.” While the symptoms are similar to those of burnout, the cause and onset are different. Burn out is a result of job related dissatisfaction while compassion fatigue is more directly patient related. Burn out occurs gradually over time while compassion fatigue can be more acute in its onset. Could you be experiencing compassion fatigue?

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Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

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