The intent of this thesis was to examine compassion fatigue in nurses through analysis of research studies conducted within the past five years in an effort to identify predisposing factors to the experience of compassion fatigue. Individual and institutional factors were identified as well as current strategies to assist with management of compassion fatigue. Findings indicated that being new to practice, having a trait negative affect, being younger in age, having a history of exposure to trauma and working in high emotionally stressful units predisposed individuals to the experience of compassion fatigue. Institutional factors included a lack of managerial support, organizational commitment, group cohesion, work engagement and conflicting expectations of the nurse. Institutional interventions to assist in mitigating compassion fatigue include improving managerial support, developing group cohesion and communication and providing continuing education opportunities. Institutions can also assist by offering training in resiliency techniques such as negative thought pattern identification, meditation, peer-to-peer discussions, journaling about traumatic experiences, identification and maintenance of personal/professional boundaries and physical wellness through exercise and yoga. These proposed interventions address institutional accountability in health care worker wellness as defined by the quadruple aim. Such interventions also address use of Watson’s Caring Theory to emphasize the importance of nurse wellness as essential to creating caring nurse-patient relationships.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
College of Nursing
Length of Campus-only Access
Johnston, Ellen, "Defining A Person: The Nurse At Risk For Compassion Fatigue" (2017). Honors in the Major Theses. 222.