Compassion Fatigue in Healthcare Workers

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Compassion Fatigue
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Lewin (1996) described compassion as a complex emotion that enables health care providers to sustain themselves in emotional balance while holding their patients’ despair in one hand and their hopefulness in the other hand. (Bush, 2009) Compassion fatigue is caused by empathy. It is a natural consequence from stress resulting from caring for and helping traumatized or suffering people. All health care providers are at major risk for compassion fatigue, and registered nurses are especially at risk because nurses are at the forefront of patient care. Nurses are compassionate and empathetic, it’s the nature of the job description. Nurses are experts at multitasking and putting the needs of others above and beyond their own needs each and every day. It is of the utmost importance that registered nurses understand compassion fatigue and familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms for themselves and their coworkers so that they can take necessary steps to combat compassion fatigue at the first sign. The core of nursing and being a nurse is compassion. Nurses pride themselves on the extraordinary gift of being compassionate and caring for patients. Nurses see people at their worst and most vulnerable times and assist their patients back to optimal health. Nurses pick you up when you are down and clean you up when you cannot do it for yourself. Nurses provide a caring touch, a smile, and hope where hope is lost. It is not difficult to see that with the world on the shoulders of nurses that they may become fatigued. Health care providers are regular people too. Healthcare providers have families, and issues just like everyone else. Nurses put these things aside when they punch that time clock and assist their patients and patient families to get past their dark times. Healthcare providers must be careful with compassion fatigue and…...

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