Nurse: Emotion and Compassion Fatigue Issues

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Running head: COMBATTING COMPASSION FATIGUE

Combatting Compassion Fatigue
GCU
Holistic Nursing
HLT-310V

Combatting Compassion Fatigue

The term Compassion fatigue was first used by Joinson in 1992 to define the unique stressors that affect the caregiving professionals. Lewin (1996) explained compassion as a complex emotion that allows the caregivers to hold and sustain themselves in emotional balance while holding patient’s depression in one hand and their hopefulness in the other. The nurse may feel like as they are working two jobs, giving their attention to their patients and coming home to take care of the family. The compassion fatigue can be also considered as a stretched form of burnout, as a result the nurse becomes tired and depressed and emotional symptoms range from irritability to anger. If unattended this may escalate gradually to a form of collective stress overtime. Warning signs of compassion fatigue Compassion fatigue is considered as an occupational hazard for health care professionals. The physical symptoms include not feeling good, fatigue that does not go away with sleep, lack of motivation, apathy, nausea, allergies, digestive problems and skin problems. The psychological symptoms include bad dreams related to work, over eating or under eating, drinking excessive caffeine to produce a stimulant effect, drinking alcoholic beverages, using drugs, using prescription medications for pain, gambling and excessive shopping. The emotional issues include being hyper or angry to others, feeling anxious about the assignments, paranoia, losing compassion and empathy to clients, coworkers, family and friends, and also show difficulty to participate in team projects. The negative emotions usually starts slowly and gradually become chronic. These negative emotions will be experienced more often and may lead to emotional fatigue. The negative emotions commonly experienced are anger, irritability toward coworkers,...
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