Tips for LPNs to Deal with Compassion Fatigue at Work

2 minute read

As a licensed practical nurse (LPN), your responsibilities are critical to the welfare of your patients. describes an LPNs’ responsibility as monitoring the patient’s health by checking blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. Nurses establish a close relationship with patients by treating their wounds and discussing the type of care they will receive. Whether in a hospital, residential healthcare facility, or assisted living environment, LPN jobs are for caretakers. LPNs offer empathy and respect to a variety of patients’ physical, mental, and emotional health. Frontline healthcare workers experience constant exposure to distressed patients, which can tax an LPN’s psychological and physical wellbeing. Therefore, many LPNs experience compassion fatigue.

What Is Compassion Fatigue?

The Journal for Nurse Practitioners defines compassion fatigue as “the emotional, spiritual, and physical fatigue health care professionals experience due to constant use of empathy in caring for seriously ill or traumatized patients.” Compassion fatigue leads to a reduced ability for the LPN to demonstrate compassion. Think of it as a cup: when you give out empathy, you are emptying the cup; once it is empty, you have no more empathy to give to your patients.  As an LPN, you must make sure that you are continually filling that cup by managing your compassion fatigue. The best route to conquer compassion fatigue is to prioritize self-care and learn solid coping techniques.

LPN Jobs Demand Self-Care

Self-care is a process of putting your needs before others. As an LPN, taking care of yourself might seem troubling or challenging, but LPNs need to prioritize time for themselves. As an LPN, establishing a self-care routine will lessen the impact of the highly emotional constraints of this career. Self-care can include exercise or recreational activities, eating healthy, getting extra sleep, socializing, spiritual connections, and creative outlets.  

Connect with Others

According to the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, compassion fatigue most likely takes hold of relatively new nurses who are female and under the age of 40. People who are new to LPN jobs easily fall victim to compassion fatigue. To combat your negative feelings or empathetic woes, you can reach out to a source of experience in your colleagues. Speaking with someone in the same environment as you will likely feel the same emotions and help validate your feelings and explore your feelings. Connecting with others will also give you an emotional support community and access to experienced coping strategies.

Coping Strategies

Set clear boundaries in your work environment. This could look like a professional boundary. Think about switching shifts when you have worked too many nights or changing departments when your passionate spark for care is lessening. This could also look like a patient boundary. If a patient is being unappreciated or rude, you do not have to allow yourself to be treated badly.  

Are You Suffering from Compassion Fatigue?

If you think that your cup might be empty, you can take a free compassion fatigue test now to evaluate your level of compassion fatigue. Admitting that there could be a problem is the first step in understanding and getting yourself out of this season.

LPN Jobs Are for Superheroes, Treat Yourself like One!

LPN jobs are the epitome of worthwhile care and are essential to society. As an essential worker, you are on the frontline of the healthcare industry and are exposed to traumatic experiences of sickness and death. It would be best if you made time for yourself and your own emotional needs. If you feel like you are ready to take the step in caretaking, search online at Cynamed for “LPN jobs near me” today!

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