Compassion Fatigue : Symptoms And Treatment

2166 Words Dec 10th, 2014 9 Pages
Compassion Fatigue
Cynthia Young
University of St. Mary

Compassion Fatigue Two hours until shift change and Sally Smith, RN was looking forward to going home and putting her aching legs up on the ottoman and drinking an ice cold Coke. She was thinking to herself that the patients were so needy all the time, she felt she gave them all she had and still all she had was not enough. All Sally heard was “get me this” and “get me that”…
“I can’t get out of here soon enough, we never have enough staff and nobody listens to us” Sally told the nurse next to her in the locker room when it was finally time to go home. “I feel like I never get anytime to myself any more” she said as the elevator door opened and she and her peer made their way to the parking deck. Sally called “see you tomorrow; I must be crazy to keep coming back here!” The phrase compassion fatigue was initially identified by C. Joinson in 1992 while doing research on burnout in emergency room nurses. Joinson described situations where nurses “had either turned off their own feelings or experienced helplessness and anger in response to the stress they [felt] watching patients go through devastating illnesses or trauma” (Yoder, 2010, p. 191). Joinson’s work identified behaviors in emergency room nurses that became identified as compassion fatigue. Symptoms of compassion fatigue include “chronic fatigue, irritability, dread going to work, aggravation of physical ailments and a lack of joy in…
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