The Experience of Professional Compassion Fatigue Among Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/308557
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
The Experience of Professional Compassion Fatigue Among Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses
Author(s):
Melvin, Christina S.
Lead Author STTI Affiliation:
Kappa Tau
Author Details:
Christina S. Melvin, MS, Christina.Melvin@uvm.edu
Abstract:

Session presented on: Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hospice and palliative care are a nursing specialty. However, nurses providing this type of care over extended periods are experiencing negative physical and emotional consequences. 

Figley (1983) identified negative physical and psychological manifestations as Professional Compassion Fatigue (PCF), reasoning that nurses were at a particular risk because empathy and compassion are nursing’s core values.  Nurses experience negative effects (nightmares, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, etc.) vicariously through their interactions with the suffering, traumatized, wounded and the dying. LaRowe (2005, p.21) described PCF as a “heavy heart, a debilitating weariness brought on by repetitive, empathic responses to {the} pain and suffering of others”.

Implications of these effects are twofold. First, the world’s population is aging. In many developed countries (US, New Zealand, Canada and United Kingdom), it is estimated that by 2020, the number of older adults will increase dramatically. Second, in these same countries, there is a projection of a shortage of nurses. Therefore, keeping nurses healthy and in the workforce becomes critical.

This descriptive qualitative research study examined six hospice and palliative care nurses with a minimum of ten years of experience in this field. The study received IRB approval. Three themes emerged: risk for PCF with exposure to repeated deaths over extended periods of time; negative physical and emotional consequences of providing hospice and palliative care; and the need to develop healthy coping strategies (including boundary setting).  

Strategies for identifying PCF as well as interventions to support nurses struggling with symptoms of PCF are discussed. One strategy identified was the need to develop safe emotional support for these nurses. Measures to prevent PCF as well as treat it should it develop are imperative in preserving nursing’s workforce in the area of hospice and palliative care.

Keywords:
Fatigue; Nurses; Compassion
Repository Posting Date:
19-Dec-2013
Date of Publication:
19-Dec-2013
Conference Date:
2013
Conference Name:
42nd Biennial Convention
Conference Host:
Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing
Conference Location:
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Description:
42nd Biennial Convention 2013 Theme: Give Back to Move Forward. Held at the JW Marriott

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_GB
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_GB
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleThe Experience of Professional Compassion Fatigue Among Hospice and Palliative Care Nursesen_GB
dc.contributor.authorMelvin, Christina S.en_GB
dc.contributor.departmentKappa Tauen_GB
dc.author.detailsChristina S. Melvin, MS, Christina.Melvin@uvm.eduen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/308557-
dc.description.abstract<p>Session presented on: Saturday, November 16, 2013</p>Hospice and palliative care are a nursing specialty. However, nurses providing this type of care over extended periods are experiencing negative physical and emotional consequences.  <p>Figley (1983) identified negative physical and psychological manifestations as Professional Compassion Fatigue (PCF), reasoning that nurses were at a particular risk because empathy and compassion are nursing’s core values.  Nurses experience negative effects (nightmares, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, etc.) vicariously through their interactions with the suffering, traumatized, wounded and the dying. LaRowe (2005, p.21) described PCF as a “heavy heart, a debilitating weariness brought on by repetitive, empathic responses to {the} pain and suffering of others”. <p>Implications of these effects are twofold. First, the world’s population is aging. In many developed countries (US, New Zealand, Canada and United Kingdom), it is estimated that by 2020, the number of older adults will increase dramatically. Second, in these same countries, there is a projection of a shortage of nurses. Therefore, keeping nurses healthy and in the workforce becomes critical. <p>This descriptive qualitative research study examined six hospice and palliative care nurses with a minimum of ten years of experience in this field. The study received IRB approval. Three themes emerged: risk for PCF with exposure to repeated deaths over extended periods of time; negative physical and emotional consequences of providing hospice and palliative care; and the need to develop healthy coping strategies (including boundary setting).   <p>Strategies for identifying PCF as well as interventions to support nurses struggling with symptoms of PCF are discussed. One strategy identified was the need to develop safe emotional support for these nurses. Measures to prevent PCF as well as treat it should it develop are imperative in preserving nursing’s workforce in the area of hospice and palliative care.en_GB
dc.subjectFatigueen_GB
dc.subjectNursesen_GB
dc.subjectCompassionen_GB
dc.date.available2013-12-19T17:32:53Z-
dc.date.issued2013-12-19-
dc.date.accessioned2013-12-19T17:32:53Z-
dc.conference.date2013en_GB
dc.conference.name42nd Biennial Conventionen_GB
dc.conference.hostSigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursingen_GB
dc.conference.locationIndianapolis, Indiana, USAen_GB
dc.description42nd Biennial Convention 2013 Theme: Give Back to Move Forward. Held at the JW Marriotten_GB
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