Running head: COMPASSION FATIGUE Compassion Fatigue – An Educational Forum For Psychiatric Nurses A CAPSTONE PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE ………………………………………. Author: ………………………………………………………………………
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I am also privileged to have family and friends who have provided unconditional support throughout my studies. ABSTRACT The purpose of this capstone project is to create awareness about compassion fatigue among psychiatric nurses. Compassion fatigue is a marked presence of chronic stress resulting from intense empathy for others and an absence of self-care practices, which causes prevalent negative attitudes and can lead to drug use, depression, and other stress-related traumas (What is Compassion Fatigue, 2010). Compassion fatigue, common among healthcare professionals, is a stress induced disorder (unlike a normal stressed or tensed state of mind) that is difficult to treat and can be unintentionally prolonged if the afflicted individual remains unaware of the severity of their condition and neglects to incorporate self-care practices into their daily routines (Joinson, 1992). This project outlines the details concerning the triggers that cause the onset of compassion fatigue and the common causes, symptoms, and treatment strategies for psychiatric nurses who provide direct care to the mentally ill. Recommendations will be made towards the ways to best educate psychiatric nurses about compassion fatigue and provide them with the means to prevent and/or cope with it. Additionally, this project will outline the tools necessary for prevention of compassion fatigue and burnout conditions, as well as create a framework of options for self-care plans to aid psychiatric nurses in making use of their own skills to prevent the recurrence of these conditions. TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 2 ABSTRACT 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 LIST OF FIGURES 7 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 8 Background 9 Project Purpose and Description 12 Chapter summary 19 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 20 Search and Retrieval Strategies for Literature Review 20 Literature Review 21 Compassion Fatigue 24 PTSD 25 STSD 26 Burnout 27 Vicarious Trauma 27 Counter –Transference 28 Need for Self Care 29 Chapter Summary 34 CHAPTER THREE: PROJECT METHODOLOGY 35 Primary research 35 Secondary research 37 CHAPTER FOUR: SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT 39 Target audience 39 Needs addressed 39 Scheduling 40 Location 41 Purpose 41 Implementing 42 Chapter Summary 43 CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 44 Conclusions 44 Implementation Benefits of intervention forum 45 Outstanding Questions of the research 46 Further Recommendations 47 REFERENCES 50 APPENDICES 59 Appendix A - Questions/Issues 59 Appendix B - Life Stress Test 62 Appendix C – Professional Quality of Life Scale 63 Appendix D – What is My Score and What Does It Mean 64 Appendix E – Your Scores on the PROQOL 65 Appendix F – Presentation Aids 66 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: CS and CF professional quality of life scale 37 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND Many psychiatric nurses are becoming over-stressed due to caring for a growing and complex mentally ill population in increasingly unsafe environments (Canadian Nursing Association 2010). They face extreme and bizarre situations, such as patients insulting them, male patients sexually harassing the female staff, threats to kill them, having medications thrown at them, shouting at them aimlessly, and other staff members considering them as an inferior healthcare professional who does not know how to maintain a safe
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This study is being carried out to find out how nurses with working experience respond and cope to their current stressful situations and to investigate if they assist their colleagues in adjusting their roles in the ward. The emotional stress they carry watching their patients die and see grieving families oftentimes add up the physical stress of overstretching themselves to work on double shifts to cater understaffed hospitals.
There is a new term in the nursing profession that i.e. compassion fatigue. The term has been used to describe emotional changes experienced by the nurses during the discharge of their duties. During the provision of care to the patients, nurses observe their patient die, suffering of pain, and their state of helplessness which culminates to serious sense of trauma.
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