0
No votes yet
Article

Helping Nurses Cope With Grief and Compassion Fatigue: An Educational Intervention

Dereen Houck
CJON 2014, 18(4), 454-458 DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.454-458

Oncology nurses may experience intense physical and emotional exhaustion, identified in the literature as symptoms of cumulative grief and compassion fatigue, with significant consequences for both nurses and organizations. The first step in preventing these consequences is recognition. Organizations should provide nurses with resources including education, counseling, and opportunities to grieve. Nurses need to learn the importance of work-life balance, self-care strategies, and communication skills. Using recommendations from the literature, an educational intervention was designed with the purpose of providing nurses with knowledge, skills, and resources to practice effective self-care and recognize when assistance is needed. The program's objective was to help nurses develop the coping skills and inner resources necessary to maintain their emotional and physical health.

References 

Austin, W., Goble, E., Leier, B., & Byrne, P. (2009). Compassion fatigue: The experience of nurses. <i>Ethics and Social Welfare, 3</i>, 195-214. doi:10.1080/17496530902951988

Aycock, N., & Boyle, D. (2009). Interventions to manage compassion fatigue in oncology nursing. <i>Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 13</i>, 183-191. doi:10.1188/09.CJON.183-191

Boyle, D. (2000). Pathos in practice: Exploring the affective domain of oncology nursing. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 27</i>, 915-919.

Boyle, D. (2006). Desperate nursewives. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 33</i>, 11.

Boyle, D.A. (2011). Countering compassion fatigue: A requisite nursing agenda. <i>Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 16</i>(1), 2.

Brathovde, A. (2006). A pilot study: Reiki for self-care of nurses and healthcare providers. <i>Holistic Nursing Practice, 20</i>, 95-101.

Britt Pipe, T., & Bortz, J.J. (2009). Mindful leadership as healing practice: Nurturing self to serve others. <i>International Journal for Human Caring, 13</i>(2), 35-39.

Brosche, T.A. (2003). Death, dying and the ICU nurse. <i>Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing, 22</i>, 173-179.

Bush, N.J. (2009). Compassion fatigue: Are you at risk? <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 36</i>, 24-28. doi:10.1188/09.ONF.24-28

Bush, N.J., & Boyle, D.A. (2012). <i>Self-healing through reflection: A workbook for nurses.</i> Pittsburgh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.

Caton, A., & Klemm, P. (2006). Introduction of novice oncology nurses to end-of-life care. <i>Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 10</i>, 604-608.

Coetzee, S.K., & Klopper, H.C. (2010). Compassion fatigue within nursing practice: A concept analysis. <i>Nursing and Health Sciences, 12</i>, 235-242.

Conte, T. (2012). Pediatric oncology nurse and grief education: A telephone survey. <i>Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, 28</i>, 93-99. doi:10.1177/1043454210377900

Dunn, K.S., Otten, C., & Stephens, E. (2005). Nursing experience and the care of dying patients. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 32</i>, 97-104.

Feldstein, M.A., & Gemma, P.B. (1995). Oncology nurses and chronic compounded grief. <i>Cancer Nursing, 18</i>, 228-236.

Fetter, K. (2012). We grieve too: One inpatient oncology unit's interventions for recognizing and combating compassion fatigue. <i>Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 16</i>, 559-561. doi:10.1188/12.CJON.559-561

Joinson, C. (1992). Coping with compassion fatigue. <i>Nursing, 22</i>, 116, 118-119, 121.

Kearney, M., Weininger, R., Vachon, M., Harrison, R., & Mount, B. (2009). Self-care of physicians caring for patients at the end of life. <i>JAMA, 301</i>, 1155-1164.

Keene, E.A., Hutton, N., Hall, B., & Rushton, C. (2010). Bereavement debriefing sessions: An intervention to support health care professionals in managing their grief after the death of a patient. <i>Pediatric Nursing, 36</i>, 185-189.

Kunikata, H., Watanabe, K., Miyoski, M., & Tanioka, T. (2012). The effects measurement of hand massage by the autonomic activity and psychological indicators. <i>Journal of Investigative Medicine, 59</i>, 206-212.

Lally, R. (2005). Oncology nurses share their experiences with bereavement and self-care. <i>ONS News, 20</i>(10), 4-11.

Luquette, J. (2005). The role of on-site counseling in nurse retention. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 32</i>, 234-236. doi:10.1188/05.ONF.234-236

Marino, P.A. (1998). The effects of cumulative grief in the nurse. <i>Journal of Intravenous Nursing, 21</i>, 101-104.

Maytum, J., Heiman, M., & Garwick, A. (2004). Compassion fatigue and burnout in nurses who work with children with chronic conditions and their families. <i>Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 18</i>, 171-179.

Meadors, P., & Lamson, A. (2008). Compassion fatigue and secondary traumatization: Provider self care on intensive care units for children. <i>Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 22</i>, 24-34. doi:10.1016/j.pedhc.2007.01.006

Medland, J., Howard-Ruben, J., & Whitaker, E. (2004). Fostering psychosocial wellness in oncology nurses: Addressing burnout and social support in the workplace. <i>Oncology Nursing Forum, 31</i>, 47-54.

Papadatou, D. (2000). A proposed model of health professionals' grieving process. <i>Omega, 41</i>, 59-77.

Radley, F., & Figley, C. (2007). The social psychology of compassion. <i>Clinical Social Work Journal, 35</i>, 207-214. doi:10.1007/s10615-007-0087-3

Radziewicz, R. (2001). Self care for the caregiver. <i>Nursing Clinics of North America, 36</i>, 855-869.

Saunders, J., & Valente, S. (1994). Nurses' grief. <i>Cancer Nursing, 17</i>, 318-325.

Shinbara, C., & Olson, L. (2010). When nurses grieve: Spirituality's role in coping. <i>Journal of Christian Nursing, 27</i>, 32-37.

Showalter, S.E. (2010). Compassion fatigue: What is it? Why does it matter? Recognizing the symptoms, acknowledging the impact, developing the tools to prevent compassion fatigue, and strengthen the professional already suffering from the effects. <i>American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 27</i>, 239-242.

Spencer, L. (1994). How do nurses deal with their own grief when a patient dies on an intensive care unit and what help can be given to enable them to overcome their grief effectively? <i>Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19</i>, 1141-1150.

Stamm, B. (2012). Professional quality of life: Compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue. Retrieved from <a target="_blank" href='http://proqol.org/CS_and_CF.html'>http://proqol.org/CS_and_CF.html</a>

Stebnicki, M.A. (2008). <i>Empathic fatigue: Healing the mind, body, and spirit of professional counselors.</i> New York, NY: Springer.

Vachon, M.L. (2001). The nurse's role: The world of palliative care nursing. In B.R. Ferrell & N. Coyle (Eds.), <i>Textbook of palliative care nursing</i> (pp. 647-662). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Wakefield, A. (2000). Nurses' responses to death and dying: A need for relentless self-care. <i>International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 6</i>, 245-251.

Worden, J.W. (1982). <i>Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner.</i> New York, NY: Springer.