Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Compassion Fatigue: When Caring Takes a Toll
by Caldwell, Denise, D.N.P., McKendree University, 2019, 76; 13860748
Abstract (Summary)

Compassion fatigue is of significant concern in critical care settings. Nurses experiencing compassion fatigue suffer physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that impact them professionally and personally. When nurses suffer from compassion fatigue, patient care is negatively impacted as nurses lose their sense of caring, compassion and ability to relate to patients or meet their needs resulting in reduced patient outcomes and satisfaction scores. Compassion fatigue prevention programs must be implemented to educate nurses and nurse leaders regarding risk factors, symptoms, and interventions to prevent and treat compassion fatigue.

Development of a compassion fatigue training (CFT) module occurred to address these concerns at a local healthcare organization. Great care was taken to develop an effective training module. Partnerships were formed. The education department director, staff, and unit managers were valuable resources, assisting with the development and implementation of the CFT module. The plan consisted of:

• Administration of a Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) Scale to critical care and highrisk area nurses • Data analysis to determine specific education needs and address deficits • Creation of a CFT Module based on the ProQOL Scale results • Assignment of CFT and deployment of the module in the HealthStream system • Nurse completion of CFT • Post training evaluation of learning • Analysis of evaluation data and summary of learning

After completion of the CFT module, nurses concluded with a post quiz. Passing scores of 80% were required for successful accomplishment of CFT. All participants achieved the required score and demonstrated meaningful understanding of compassion fatigue, risk factors and interventions through successful completion of a post training quiz. A learning evaluation was available to the nurses to appraise effectiveness of the training and achievement of module objectives. Nurses reported knowledge acquisition regarding compassion fatigue, symptom recognition, coping, and resources. Nurses were able to enumerate coping mechanisms and resources for assistance. They responded that CFT provided valuable information and reported they would use the knowledge and skills gained to secure work-life balance. CFT promoted improvements in career satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress levels. CFT must become part of an ongoing measure to ensure staff are receiving instruction necessary to manage the effects of compassion fatigue.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Whittington, Kelli
Commitee: Albers, Janice, Duft, Jessica
School: McKendree University
Department: School of Nursing and Health Professions
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 80/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Nursing, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Compassion, Compassion fatigue, Nursing
Publication Number: 13860748
ISBN: 9781392075210
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