Compassion Fatigue: Traumatic Stress Disorders

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Introduction/Summary Compassion fatigue is the combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion associated with caring for patients in significant emotional pain and physical distress (Anewalt, 2009; Figley, 1995). It is something that can happen to any nurse being overwhelmed in one or more areas of life and/or work. There are multiple ways a nurse can cope with compassion fatigue, and the article gives two great case studies. The first is of the reactive nurse who ultimately runs away from her issues but never truly fixes why she had the fatigue at all. The second is of a proactive nurse who used the resources provided to pull out of the fatigue and ended up in a better position because of it. Some keys points are made about…show more content…
Relevance to my education and future career: My entire nursing career, starting now in my program, is dependent on me staying true to who I am and why I want to become a nurse: simple helping others. When compassion fatigue happens to a nurse it makes caring for others much harder because the nurse loses focus of why they started this career in the first place. I can see how this could really happen to any nurse whether it be too much stress from home life, the workplace or both. It is very important to watch for the signs of becoming a numb nurse and avoid the dangers of this issue. By choosing to be proactive and seeking help through programs, supervisors, mentors and counselors the nurse is maintain safety and caring for patients. I doubt compassion fatigue will happen to a nursing student. There is a difference between it and burnout, and also a difference between it and not truly being meant to become a nurse. In the workplace, the ‘real’ deal, there is absolutely potential for this to happen to me especially since my husband is always away with his career (Marine attack helicopter pilot instructor). When he is away that leaves only myself to care for our two kids and home which can be very stressful at times. I am identifying that right now with him deployed while I am in first semester of my nursing program. I am already choosing to be proactive and have enlisted the help of my mother in law currently but
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