What Are the Risks of Compassion Fatigue in Nursing?

Compassion fatigue is an ailment that can result in job dissatisfaction and decreased productivity. Studies prove that medical communities plagued with this condition have diminished patient care. Unfortunately, compassion fatigue in nursing is very common. Patients are affected because their caregivers are distracted by their own mental and physical health. To avoid compassion fatigue, it’s imperative to know and understand your risk as a nurse.

What is compassion fatigue?

Compassion fatigue results from overextending compassion in traumatic experiences. When you experience this condition, you lose the ability to offer sympathy. 

How is showing too much compassion a bad thing?

Showing others compassion is never a bad thing. However, you leave yourself open to compassion fatigue when you constantly show compassion to others and none to yourself. Maintaining a self-care routine can help your mental health as a healthcare worker.

Am I more likely to suffer compassion fatigue in nursing?

Yes, careers in caregiver positions are more at risk for developing compassion fatigue. This makes nursing a high-risk category. You are also exposed to a high-stress trauma filled environment. 

How do I know if I am vulnerable to compassion fatigue?

Nurses that carry heavy workloads, stressful work environments, the risk of experiencing abuse (from patients), and are underpaid might be more vulnerable to compassion fatigue. 

How is compassion fatigue in nurses different from nurse burnout?

Compassion fatigue differs from nurse burnout because it changes how you view the world. In other words, with compassion fatigue you become unable to process trauma and to offer empathy to others. In contrast, burnout tends to resonate more with job satisfaction. 

If you are struggling in your nursing position, it’s essential to reach out to your support system or a trained professional. CynaMed has compiled nursing resources to help you along your career journey through good and evil. Start taking control of your wellbeing today.

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