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burnout, CF, compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, secondary traumatic stress, self-care



  1. Fleming, Kathryn PhD, RN, CPHQ, NEA-BC, FACHE
  2. Mazzatta, Grace Reilly MSN, APN, ACHPN
  3. Matarese, Kathryn MSW, LSW
  4. Eberle, Jennifer MSPT


Purpose: To understand perceptions of compassion fatigue (CF), including compassion satisfaction, burnout, and work-related secondary traumatic stress in a random sampling of nurses from the authors' healthcare facility.


Methods: The Professional Quality-of-Life (ProQOL) nurse survey was used to measure the positive and negative aspects of caring and to identify elements of CF. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and statistical software, as well as a thematic analysis to identify themes in the interview transcripts.


Results: The level of compassion satisfaction was considered "average" by 76% of participants, suggesting that they were likely to derive pleasure from their work. Conversely, burnout and secondary traumatic stress were reported as average-to-low in more than 90% of the nurses. ProQOL scores reflected positive participant feelings about their ability to be effective in their work and indicated that they do not consider their work environment frightening.


Conclusion: Providing nurses the tools, education, and support to implement self-care practices on the unit can help reduce CF.