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Nurse Education on Compassion Fatigue

Capstone Project for GRU CNL program

Carmen Reed

on 2 December 2014

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Transcript of Nurse Education on Compassion Fatigue

Emotional disturbance
work-related stress/job dissatisfaction
aggravation of physical ailments
lack of joy in life
exhaustion/chronic fatigue
Reason for plan:
that nurses and staff would be willing and motivated to participate in the pre and post-tests and educational session
the time for the presentation will be convenient for the nurses and staff and not time consuming
easy for the nurses and staff to understand and apply
Literature Synthesis
concept of empathy in oncology where nurses give deeply of themselves
overly conscientious, perfectionistic, and self-giving personalities are susceptible
can result in inability to balance empathy and objectivity
double-edged sword: honorable personality trait and point of vulnerability
Compassion Fatigue
"an emotional state with negative psychological consequences that emanate from acute or prolonged caregiving of people stricken by intense trauma, suffering, or misfortune. Compassion fatigue occurs when emotional boundaries become blurred and the caregiver unconsciously absorbs the distress, anxiety, fears, and trauma of the patient."
(Oncology Nursing Forum, 2009)

Identification of the problem
observed frustrations of the nurses and staff when dealing with difficult or very sick patients
listening to nurses and staff verbalize emotional stress
Nurse Education on Compassion Fatigue
the Cost of Caring
Leads to lack of compassion
alteration in ability to care/emotional numbness
higher number of sick days
increased risk for errors
decreased productivity
more staff turnover/burnout
Target population and clinical microsystem
oncology nurses and healthcare staff on 8E at Emory University Hospital
Literature Synthesis
phenomena is important to providers and organizations, because it affects productivity, nurse retention, communication between team members and patient, patient satisfaction and patient safety
emotional exhaustion is significantly lower in Magnet-designated hospitals
benefits of interventions in nursing
fostering psychosocial wellness in the workplace to improve oncology nurse retention and improve practice environments
IOM category effected
Healthcare must be safe
alleviate the alteration in ability to care
to decrease risk for errors
PICO question
For nurses and staff, does education versus no education aid in the prevention and/or management of compassion fatigue?
to educate 8E nurses and staff on what compassion fatigue is
to inform 8E nurses and staff on how to manage compassion fatigue
reduce the risk for compassion fatigue to occur in 8E nurses and staff
Plan developed:
administration of pre-test to determine knowledge level prior to educational teaching
educational "Lunch and Learn" session and Q&A
administration of post-test to determine if educational teaching was successful
pre and post-tests: paper, printer, communication with staff, designated are to pick-up tests
available time and space for "Lunch and Learn" session; including table and chairs
refreshments to ensure participation
presentation hand-out: paper and printer
8E nursing staff, techs, nursing management, attending/mid-levels
easy plan to implement
does not require a lot of nurse/staff's time
no new protocols or policies introduced
does not include how much time is required to overcome
assumes nurses and staff are motivated to be educated
assumes there are not any unforeseen emergency situations (i.e. code situation) during educational session
10 nurses and techs participated
buy in was obtained with refreshments and ease of participation
Barriers to implementation:
determining date of educational session
gaining staff attention
Factors to promote success:
educational material was easy to understand
education was relevant to staff
gave staff permission to acknowledge their stress/feelings and how to manage
expected that 75% would have heard of and experienced compassion fatigue
expected that 50% would be unaware of how to manage/prevent compassion fatigue
reality: 90% had heard of it, 100% had experienced, and 40% were unaware of how to manage/ prevent
Expected outcomes related to patient care:
due to timing, was not able to evaluate, but expected:
8E staff to find a healthy balance between empathy and objectivity
increased productivity
increased communication between team members and patient
decreased risk for errors
CNL roles and importance:
risk anticipation - critical evaluation and anticipation to patient safety
educator - help 8E staff acquire, interpret, and use education for health promotion
advocate - for improvement in the institution/healthcare system and the nursing profession
Project Charter
aided in planning the educational session
easy way to review plan with others prior to educational session
justifies need for educational session
would have been helpful to have for literature synthesis
does not lend itself to discuss EBP or current research
By understanding compassion fatigue, trigger situations, and coping strategies, nurses and management can help prevent the negative effects on the nurse's personal life and on the ability to perform their job.
In traditional Native American teaching, it is said that each time you heal someone you give away a piece of yourself until, at some point, you will require healing.
Search Criteria:
compassion fatigue
oncology nursing
articles within 5 years
English language only
increased patient safety & satisfaction
reduction in errors
increase staff job satisfaction/retention
(Bush, 2009)
(Bush, 2009; Najjar, Davis, Beck-Coon, & Doebbeling, 2009)
(Potter, et al., 2010; Najjar, Davis, Beck-Coon, & Doebbeling, 2009)
(Yoder, 2010)
(Aycock & Boyle, 2009)
(Contributor, 2013; Downey, 2014; Fletcher, 2012; Ward, 2013)
( Ward, 2013)
(Writer, 2007)
Full transcript