Professional Fulfillment: What Inspires Your Work? by iqbiU0h7


									Exemplary Nurses Avoid Compassion
Fatigue – Beth Perry RN, PhD Athabasca University
    Definition of Compassion Fatigue

“A heavy heart, a
debilitating weariness
brought about by
repetitive, empathetic
responses to pain and
suffering in others”
(LaRowe, 2005, p. 21).
         Purpose of the Study

To explore what within the lived
experience of exemplary nurses facilitates
the avoidance of compassion fatigue?

Sample – 7 exemplary nurses (RNs)
Data – semi-structured conversations
Analysis – thematic analysis using three
points of reference
 Theme 1- Moments of Connection

“Connecting with a
patient through
something is my
greatest reward” (Julie).
“It keeps me
functioning effectively
when I remember that
we are all essentially
the same” (Sophie).
               I Care For You
I care for you.       I care for you.
I ease your pain.     I feed you meals.
I bathe your skin.    I give you rest.
I make your bed.      I tend your wounds.
I meet your needs.    I sense your suffering.
                      I answer your
You heal me.          questions.

                      You teach me.
     Theme 2 – Making Moments Matter

“I don’t have to look
far every day to see
my purpose in life. It
is right in front of me”

“What other
professional daily
confronts the real
essence of living –
relating to another
person” (Jackie)?
Theme 3 – Energizing Moments
“I put on my shield of
up-beatness and I
never, ever, let it
down” (Julie).

“When I am able to
laugh with my makes the
terrible things I see
less of a weight on
me” (Justine).
        Discussion Questions
1. Is the avoidance of
   compassion fatigue
   rooted in the attitude
   or outlook held by
   exemplary nurses?

2. Is there a link
   between values and
3. What strategies
encourage a positive
attitude toward
nursing and care

4. How can we
meaningful patient-
nurse moments of
It seems there is            Positive
something within the      Attitude/Values
lived experience of                ↓
exemplary nurses that   Exemplary care giving
facilitates the                    ↓
avoidance of               Connections?
compassion fatigue.                ↓
More research is                   ↓
needed.                 Compassion fatigue
Cycle of Connection?
               The Miracle Circle
When I think about the vastness and complexity of the world,
I am overwhelmed.
I feel so unimportant - so insignificant.

Then, I meet you,
And with a small gesture, lovingly given
I make you feel valued.

The result is a miracle.
When you feel important, so do I .
It’s so simple – it’s so profound.
            References and Contact
LaRowe, K. (2005). Compassion fatigue: The heavy heart. Retrieved March 22, 2207, from
Perry, B. (2008). Why exemplary oncology nurses seem to avoid compassion fatigue. Canadian
    Oncology Nursing Journal, 18(2), 87-92.

For more information contact Beth through

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