The nurse would have to be compassionate and tailor the care given in a manner that suits the patient. In addition, the nurse ought to establish a relationship with the patient as such would fasten the recovery process. If the nurse fails to get emotional advice from her peers, she would soon be a victim of compassion fatigue from excessive exposure to such patients.
Compassion fatigue is prevalent among inexperienced professionals. Nurses are prone to compassion fatigue due to their care giving roles in health institutions. However, this should not discourage nursing students from pursuing their careers because the condition is treatable. Nurses may seek professional advice from peers in the case of mild compassion fatigue. If the condition is severe, the nurse can seek medical help to mitigate the likelihood of depression.
Hospice nurses are vulnerable to compassion fatigue due to their job description. They are responsible for offering palliative care to patients who are terminally ill, and likely to succumb to the illness. However, hospice nurses may engage in professional and social organizations where they interact with like-minded people and brainstorm. In addition, they may exercise to build on their physical and mental strength. It is prudent that hospice nurses create boundaries between work and home responsibilities to ensure that external parties are not affected.
Showalter, S. (n.d.). Compassion Fatigue: What Is It? Why Does It Matter? Recognizing the Symptoms, Acknowledging the Impact, Developing the Tools to Prevent Compassion Fatigue, and Strengthen the Professional Already Suffering From the Effects. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 239-242. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from ...
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They affect the workplace in terms of absenteeism, apathy, low morale, and decreased motivation. However, it is important to note that individuals suffering from compassion fatigue usually love their jobs. Compassion fatigue and burnout symptoms are divided into five major categories and they include cognitive, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, and somatic.
Nurses and other caregivers often find themselves in a dilemma concerning the care they need to give to patients and their own welfare. Although health workers have a good understanding on the nature of human body its needs for rest and healthy lifestyles, they are bound by social and professional responsibilities (Joinson, 2007).
This is usually accompanied by emotional pain where the caregiver becomes less empathetic (Figley, 2002). Some physical signs include muscle tension, digestive problems, headaches and chest pain. Emotional symptoms of compassion fatigue include mood swings, irritability, anxiety, oversensitivity, depression, anger, restlessness and poor concentration (Thomas & Wilson, 85).
Compassion serves as a caregiver’s core value with its essence giving nursing its expected soulfulness and healing resources. In the course of executing their duties, the emotional shifts and giving experienced by care-giving professionals could drain them focusing on their care for others and sacrifice taking care for themselves leading to compassion fatigue would.
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