Compassion Fatigue- An Investigation of a Hospital System
Repository Posting Date2016-03-17T11:56:33Z
Author DetailsSheryl Gerhardt, MS, RN, CTTS
Lead Author Sigma AffliationLambda Rho-at-Large
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of compassion fatigue among direct patient care nurses in a five hospital system and to evaluate the effect of the intervention, a Compassion Fatigue workshop, on the levels of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue (burnout and secondary traumatic stress). A convenience sample of direct patient care nurses who self-selected to participate in the Compassion Fatigue workshop were surveyed before and after the workshop. The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL5) (B.H. Stramm, 2010a and 2010b) was administered to the nurses to determine their level of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and burnout. The workshop was present as both didactic and participatory, and included a presentation by a nurse professional in the field of compassion fatigue, to provide information about compassion fatigue and to learn techniques to lessen compassion fatigue. The pre-workshop survey was administered at the opening of the workshop before any didactic was done. The post-workshop survey was administered by mail six weeks after the workshop. The results have been evaluated, using the Concise Manual for the Professional Quality of Life Scale (B.H.Stramm, 2010b).
The study was done in two phases. The first phase was an invitation via email to all nurses in Baptist Health to participate in the ProQOL5 Scale via an Opinio Survey tool. 468 of 2479 (19%) nurses self-selected to participate. Analysis of the data demonstrated significant differences in levels of compassion satisfaction in managers when compared to non-manager nurses in the system-wide survey. Phase 2 was designed, as described above, with ProQOL5 Scales administered pre and posts an intervention workshop. Again a self-selected sample was gathered by email invitation to all nurses working at Baptist Health to participate in a Compassion Fatigue workshop, with 158 staff members enrolling and participating in the workshop. 143 participants returned pre-workshop surveys, and 54 participants returned post workshop ProQOL5 Scales which had been mailed to them at six weeks post intervention. Data analysis and comparison of pre and post intervention scales was significant with an increase in compassion satisfaction and a decrease in compassion fatigue.
Implications for hospitals is in the effect that compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue has on nurse job satisfaction, safety, retention and turnover, and patient safety and satisfaction.