Hospitals Creating Programs for Nurses to Combat 'Compassion Fatigue'

  1. 18 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 typically work 12-hour shifts, shuttling between ailing patients, demanding doctors and anxious families in the waiting room. As stress builds and meals are eaten on the run or missed altogether, nurses sometimes lose the energy to conjure sympathy for those they're treating.
    Health-care workers have higher rates of substance abuse and suicide, and elevated levels of depression and anxiety relating to job stress, according to a report this year by the Department of Health and Human Services. In many cases, the caregivers simply burn out and leave the profession, creating more stress for those who remain."


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

    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.
  2. Visit  I love my cat! profile page

    About I love my cat!

    I love my cat! has '18' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ER, PACU, Med-Surg, Hospice, LTC'. From 'SoCal'; Joined Mar '06; Posts: 689; Likes: 1,162.

    28 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  herring_RN profile page
    7
    I hope in addition to creating a nurses retreat in a break room the hospital staffs so the nurses can take their breaks without neglcting their patients.

    A break relief nurse who takes report and assumes responsibility for your patients is necessary.
  4. Visit  cjmjmom profile page
    24
    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!
    d!gger, nurse grace RN, xenonaut, and 21 others like this.
  5. Visit  loricatus profile page
    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!
    Nope, they say the key is deep breathing HA HA HA
    gonzo1 and herring_RN like this.
  6. Visit  janhetherington profile page
    6
    Who has time for this? No matter how well we're staffed, the constant demands of new policies, ever-increasing documentation, constantly changing equipment, physicians who pop up at the most inopportune moments, and most of all, the hordes of telephoning, callbell-light ringing, hallway stalking, bedside-vigiling family and friends who come and stay and stay and never go away, makes it a luxury to spend two minutes in the bathroom attending to the most elemental needs. /The whole patient-care model needs a serious restructuring, starting with deciding to let the nurses nurse and not hostess. But what administration cares enough to do that? Especially if their competitors won't do it first?
    weirdRN, Valerie Salva, gonzo1, and 3 others like this.
  7. Visit  Iam46yearsold profile page
    4
    Who comes up with all these terms.

    Compassion Fatigue

    I want that the job, of the person who coins all these terms
  8. Visit  I love my cat! profile page
    0
    Quote from loricatus
    Nope, they say the key is deep breathing HA HA HA
    ....or you can do a puzzle and some push-ups like the article states...now, GET BACK TO WORK!!!
  9. Visit  I love my cat! profile page
    2
    Quote from Iam46yearsold
    Who comes up with all these terms.

    Compassion Fatigue

    I want that the job, of the person who coins all these terms

    LOL! Probably a person who has never had compassion for a patient or fatigue from a job.
    Just a wild guess...........
    herring_RN and cjmjmom like this.
  10. Visit  RN1982 profile page
    5
    What a joke. The administration can busy themselves with these "programs" yet cannot properly staff their hospitals and we're the one's having "compassion fatigue".
    ArwenEvenstar, cjmjmom, herring_RN, and 2 others like this.
  11. Visit  Iam46yearsold profile page
    0
    Quote from I love my cat!
    LOL! Probably a person who has never had compassion for a patient or fatigue from a job.
    Just a wild guess...........

    Actually I do have a lot of compassion. But I also love my work, my life. So truthfully, I have never been fatigued. So how are you.
  12. Visit  TopazLover profile page
    6
    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.
  13. Visit  janhetherington profile page
    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.
  14. Visit  country mom profile page
    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.


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