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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring compassion fatigue among members of the interdisciplinary hospice team
by Sudeck, Eileen R., M.S.W., California State University, Long Beach, 2012, 118; 1507783
Abstract (Summary)

Healthcare professionals experience a significant amount of stress in their day-to-day practice. Studies to date, however, of end-of-life care to the terminally ill have been quite limited. The intent of this study was to explore the relationship between work-related stress and the development of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction and burnout among members of the hospice interdisciplinary team.

In this qualitative study, a sample of 17 members of the ProCare Hospice interdisciplinary care team was used to identify their experience with work-related stress associated with the treatment of the terminally ill. These team members included the medical director, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, medical social workers, chaplains and certified horne health aides. Using a semi-structured interview guide, questions were designed to probe into the meaning their work held for the team members.

Major stressors that were identified included closeness to the death experience, sadness of loss, over-attachment to patients and their families, and viewing the prolonged struggle families experience with end-of-life issues. Included in the organizational stressors they experience were staffing shortages, on-call schedules, heavy patient loads, paperwork, and the need for greater support from management. Despite all these, it was found that the protective factors of self-care, informal peer support and meaningful work experiences contribute to greater compassion satisfaction. Continued research would be helpful in exploring the effectiveness of these protective factors among hospice teams in other geographical communities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tan, Philip, Glezakos, Agathi
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Social work, Nursing, Occupational psychology
Publication Number: 1507783
ISBN: 978-1-267-20449-3
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