Hospitals Creating Programs for Nurses to Combat 'Compassion Fatigue' - page 2

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Programs for Nurses to Combat "Compassion Fatigue "Bruises and pulled muscles, hope and heartbreak emotional and physical fatigue have contributed to a profound nurse shortage in hospitals across the country." "Nurses... Read More


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    I really believe some of the "fatigue" is related to being treated like slaves. If we are whipped hard enough and fast enough we will be able to accomplish all that management expects, but never has to do.

    Breathing is nice, I do it once in a while, myself. In my old job there were few times when I could avail myself of the "stress relief" offered. Emergencies, MD visits, people crashing, falling, staffing issues, etc. kept me from these wonders that might have helped. Coverage is the answer. Enough staff at the right time and the same coverage during meal times and breaks, even if it is management that has to do the covering. If they cannot do it, how can they lead?

    I now work where the boss can do the job and expects nurses to take breaks, relax, and in spite of getting hounded by the top provides enough staffing to keep both patients and staff safe.

    It takes more than puzzles, exercises and breathing to keep healthy. You need support. That seems to be lacking in many areas.

    I wonder what the budget was for this break room? Was it equivalent to the cost of the Administrator's office? If not, why not? Administrator is one person, nursing is _______ (fill in the blank) strong.

    Seems like just another bone thrown to the skinny dogs who are supposed to be thankful they got any.
    cjmjmom, herring_RN, StNeotser, and 3 others like this.
  2. 4
    Yes, aknottedyarn: Another bone for the skinny dogs. You hit the nail right on the head. Just like all the baskets of candy, etc. management will trot out when we have been whipped beyond endurance during a particularly bad period. Then it's back to lift that barge, tote that bail.
    sleepdeprived1, cjmjmom, herring_RN, and 1 other like this.
  3. 8
    Quote from I love my cat!
    Programs for Nurses to Combat "Compassion Fatigue


    ----------------------------------

    Well, I've always believed that if a person cannot care for themselves, how in the heck can they be expected to care for others!
    I am guilty of this.
    When I first started Nursing many years ago, I always worked through my breaks and lunches, stayed OT and picked up shifts because the facility was desperate. "Hey everyone, look at me, Martyr Mary! Look how hard I work. Look how dedicated I am! I will even let my health and personal life suffer for YOU"
    I was naive.
    I thought my co-workers and employers would have more respect for me. Pretty much the opposite happened and I soon realized I was a door-mat. I quickly learned that few people respect a person that cannot take care of and stand up for themselves.
    I now take care of ME first! No, it is not selfish. It is my life and I only get one crack at it.
    I am so much healthier and happier.
    I've always said, someday when I die and they're all standing over my casket, nobody from my place of work is going to show up and say, "She was great, she always picked up overtime, gave up her breaks, came in on her day off, etc.- wasn't she a great employee?"
    NOPE- Hopefully, what they will say about me is, "She was a great mom, sister, friend". Nobody is going to remember you for sacrificing yourself on the staffing altar, 'cause when your gone, they're just going to find another body to take your place. Rather, live so that you will be remembered for your kindness, your thoughfulness, your friendship- and you can't do that if you don't put yourself and your family/friends first.
    d!gger, weirdRN, cjmjmom, and 5 others like this.
  4. 2
    Quote from snappy01
    Interesting...hospitals creating programs for nurses to help them combat compassion fatigue...How about lets get ENOUGH staffing so the nurses can do the kind of job they were educated to do and ENOUGH staffing so breaks and lunches can be taken routinely; and lets get enough supplies stocked so the nurses do not have to run around finding what they need to do their job; and lets get enough secretaries to do the phone answering and clerical duties;and let's not forget to give compassion classes to managers, doctors and administrators so they will treat the BEDSIDE NURSES WITH THE RESPECT AND COMPASSION THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH!
    :yeahthat: HEAR HEAR
    cjmjmom and herring_RN like this.
  5. 0
    I still have compassion but I am definitely fatigued. Does compassion fatigue lead to caregiver burnout. Susanne Gordman discusses this in her book, " Nursing Against the Odds ".
  6. 3
    We just had another lovely "survey" at work, which I refused to send in, since the "anonymous" survey askes such a specific set of questions they can figure out who's who--like, how long have you been a nurse, what special certifications do you have and when did you get them, what floor/shift do you work, what degrees do you have, and -- here's the kicker -- what was your start date. Barney Fife could figure out who was who with that much data....I'm waiting to get fussed at for not submitting my NUMBERED form, and then I'm going to ask how they could tell if I submitted an "anonymous" survey...

    I'm in a rotten mood, we've got 36 beds that are full, 6 waiting on the books for a bed, and only 1 other nurse and myself are scheduled for tonight (ICU stepdown/tele unit). Our morale is so bad, they can't get anyone to come in, and they aren't hiring travelers/temps to save money. We all got a tongue lashing over the number of falls we had this month, and I'm sure if our NM sees something bout this, we'll get B'd out about our "Compassion deficit"

    The beatings will continue until morale improves....
    Last edit by nerdtonurse? on Oct 7, '08 : Reason: spelling
    cjmjmom, StNeotser, and Valerie Salva like this.
  7. 2
    I once had a nurse manger who put up a "how to combat stress and burn-out" pamphlet in the break room. One of the suggestions was "Give of yourself, and do for others."
    We just all cracked up at that- what did she think we were doing at work?

    Some of my smart ***** co-workers crossed out the suggestions in the article and penciled in their own, such as "Drink to the point of passing out" and "Sleep with multiple strangers." My favorite was "Homicide: The Great Stress Reliever."
    Last edit by sirI on Oct 7, '08 : Reason: typo
    ArwenEvenstar and StNeotser like this.
  8. 0
    I get depressed just reading this stuff! I am an LPN dragging my rear back to school for my RN after about 7yrs. Nursing is all I know! I have been in nursing for 16 years and today is my birthday!Wahoo 35! I feel as if I am worse off than some of my patients. I have taken almost 2 year break except for a few classes now and then. It is crunch time and I am trying to decide what I should do with the rest of my life. I have a chance to study culinary arts but do I dare???? I am not sure if I am ready to wade into the murky abiss quite yet.... I do miss my patients but somewhere along the way I forgot who I was.
    David LPN
  9. 4
    IMHO, maybe what they really mean by 'compassion fatique' is that the management is sick of caring about (having any compassion for) the nursing and ancillary staff.
    weirdRN, nerdtonurse?, herring_RN, and 1 other like this.
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    I sometimes wonder if my hospital isn't happy to have the senior staff burn out and leave. They are the ones with chronic health problems driving up the sick leave cost and insurance rates, they get top pay scale and have the most vacation hours. Senior nurses also have a better chance of recalling when the health care system was in better shape and gripe about the lack of resources available now- that brings everyones expectations up. I honestly don't feel in todays market, many hospitals see QUIALITY nursing care as an asset they can't live without. Adequate or minimal to meet JCAHO standards of care is all they can strive for. More nursing care than that, including experienced staff, is something they can't afford.
    weirdRN, janhetherington, and cjmjmom like this.


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