Compassion Satisfaction or Compassion Fatigue

Angie SzumlinskiHealth, Studies

Patients and families desire compassionate care from healthcare providers. In today’s healthcare environment, challenges exist for all providers, including nurses, with balancing the delivery of consistent, compassionate care and maintaining a professional quality of life (QOL) that incorporates overall wellness and a healthy work environment. Professional QOL incorporates positive and negative aspects. An important positive aspect is compassion satisfaction (CS) and a negative aspect is compassion fatigue (CF).

CS is the pleasure a nurse derives from performing his/her work well, such as the pleasure of helping others with their work. Nurses may experience positive feelings toward colleagues about their ability to contribute to the work setting or even the greater good of society. CF addresses two parts, with the first being exhaustion, frustration, anger, and depression typical of burnout and the second being secondary traumatic stress (STS), a negative feeling driven by fear and work-related trauma.

It is refreshing to see a study focused on front-line nurses and the impact day-to-day care can have on their overall well-being. Are you paying attention? Really? Take a few minutes every day to cruise around your center, talk to your staff, observe interactions between team members, give positive feedback, and maybe someday we can even give a hug. We are all important pieces to the puzzle and at the end of the day, each resident will be better for what we do! Stay the course, stay well, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!