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Authors

  1. Walden, Marlene PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, CCNS, FAAN
  2. Adams, Greg LCSW, ACSW, FT
  3. Annesley-Dewinter, Elissa RN, CCRN
  4. Bai, Shasha PhD, MS
  5. Belknap, Nici BSN, RNC-NIC
  6. Eichenlaub, Amy BSN, RN, CPON
  7. Green, Angela PhD, RN, CPHQ, FAAN
  8. Huett, Amy PhD, RN-BC
  9. Lea, Katie MSN, MHA, NE-BC
  10. Lovenstein, Austin MA, BS
  11. Ramick, Amy DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, NPD-BC
  12. Salassi-Scotter, Mary MNSc, NE-BC
  13. Webb, Tammy MSN, RN, NE-BC
  14. Wessel, Valerie MNSc, APRN, CPNP-AC

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the prevalence of compassion fatigue and life stress of pediatric nurses.

 

BACKGROUND: Distressing patient situations over time may affect nurses' professional quality of life and result in compassion fatigue. If not addressed, compassion fatigue may have personal and organizational consequences.

 

METHODS: Using a descriptive, correlational design, a convenience sample of 268 nurses completed a web-based survey.

 

RESULTS: High compassion satisfaction and moderate to low burnout and secondary traumatic stress were described by 49% of participants. Education was statistically associated with burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Life stress scores were significantly associated with age, experience, organizational tenure, and professional engagement. Narrative commentary yielded 5 themes: staffing, recognition, boundaries, expectations, and hopelessness. Organizational initiatives to prevent or mitigate compassion fatigue focused on awareness, balance, and connections.

 

CONCLUSIONS: Nurses are negatively impacted by the emotional cost of caring. Future studies need to identify interventions to minimize compassion fatigue.