Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

How Nurses Fight Compassion Fatigue

Career News July 17, 2013

Compassion fatigue is a common condition among caregivers of all types. It is especially noticeable in those who work with trauma victims, but it is by no means limited to trauma caregivers. Nurses’ compassion fatigue is especially prevalent among nurses and aides in all areas. The constant giving of care and compassion can lead to a state where nurses feel burnt-out, depressed, stressed-out and hopeless. As hopeless as the condition may feel; however, there are ways to overcome it. Here are ways nurses fight compassion fatigues in today’s world.

Know the Signs

The signs of compassion fatigue are often similar to those people who have experienced emotional abuse or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). If you notice many of these signs, you owe it to yourself and your patients, to help yourself.

Signs of compassion fatigue include:

•No longer caring about the stress or pain of others
•Chronic anger or depression
•Decreased ability to feel joy or enjoyment
•Trouble sleeping
•Chronic lateness
•Low self-esteem
•Unrealistic self-expectations
•Hopelessness
•Constant feelings of being tired

If you are experiencing even one or two of these symptoms, it may be a good idea to seek help. This is true even if you have felt them since before your nursing career. Compassion fatigue often starts earlier in life than many people recognize.

Talk to Someone

Compassion fatigue is a prominent part of working in the health care industry. It’s even talked about frequently on a personal level (although not necessarily in clinical terms).

Nurses who feel like they’re suffering from this kind of burn-out should not worry about how it would affect their careers, if they choose to talk to somebody. After all, most people in the profession have been there before. It’s likely that one of your co-workers can recommend a counselor or therapist.

Of course, you don’t have to tell anyone at your work if you don’t want to. You don’t even have to see a therapist. 12-step groups like Al-Anon and Codependents Anonymous, while not everyone’s cup of tea, deal with similar issues to those you are experiencing.

There may also be other support groups in your area. Or, you may want to talk to a friend or family member. The important thing is to talk to someone. You might be amazed at how much it helps!

Take Time to be “Selfish”

One major cause of compassion fatigue among caregivers is that they spend most of their time caring for others and little to no care for themselves.

The roots of the problem often go back further than the start of their careers. It may extend into childhood, where the nurse was taught that focusing on one’s own needs was selfish or otherwise wrong.

Whatever the source of these feelings in the caregiver, it’s important to remember that nurturing one’s self is not genuinely selfish. It’s simply what any human needs to do in order to keep functioning! And if you don’t take care of yourself, there is simply no way you can do your job correctly and take care of others.

That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself. Even 20 or 30 minutes a day is good, although an hour is better! Taking a walk, reading, exercising, or just finding time alone, helps many nurses recharge and rejuvenate.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
2 Program(s) Found
South University , Virginia Beach
  • Several nursing programs are available at the bachelor's, post-graduate, master's, and doctoral levels.
  • Graduate-level specialization options include Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator, and more.
  • Nursing programs are available at many of the 11 campus locations across the United States.
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, IT, Healthcare Management, Pscyhology & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • Health Care degrees include BA in Health Care Administration, BS in Health Information Management, BS in Nursing (RN to BSN), and more.
  • Coursework focuses on relevant topics in the health care field, such as administration, planning, and policy.
  • Students can specialize in areas like Human Resource Management, Health Care Informatics Systems, and Long-Term Care Management.
  • Online degree programs that can help students pursue a degree on their own schedule.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why study nursing at Grand Canyon University?
  • Our bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing are CCNE-accredited and the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions (CONHCP) is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  • We provide many options to prepare you to begin or advance your nursing career, including bridge programs and dual degrees.
  • GCU provides a low student-to-teacher ratio and a Christian environment that provides an opportunity for you to embrace a holistic approach to caring for patients.
  • Request more information today about program offerings, CCNE accreditation, start dates, financial aid and more!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Health Care degrees include BA in Health Care Administration, BS in Health Information Management, BS in Nursing (RN to BSN), and more.
  • Coursework focuses on relevant topics in the health care field, such as administration, planning, and policy.
  • Students can specialize in areas like Human Resource Management, Health Care Informatics Systems, and Long-Term Care Management.
  • Online degree programs that can help students pursue a degree on their own schedule.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked 8th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!