AuthorSharp, Tamara D.
Secondary Traumatic Stress
AdvisorSheppard, Kate G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPurpose: To conduct an educational intervention to reduce compassion fatigue among Arizona transplant nurses. Background: Burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and loss of compassion satisfaction raise the risk of compassion fatigue. Transplant nurses support the patient continuum of life and death, and often experience emotional and physical exhaustion and grief when dealing with poor outcomes or patient loss. When patients disregard the value of their new organ or are non-compliant with medications, nurses may feel conflicted. There is a paucity of research as to how those situations are experienced among transplant nurses. Method: Two workshops were conducted to reduce the risk of compassion fatigue among transplant nurses (n=7) through the delivery of educational and skills training. Education included symptoms, perceptions, triggers and outcomes of compassion fatigue. Skills to reduce compassion fatigue were outlined, such as self-reflection, mindfulness, healthy boundaries, and reaching out. Discussion content was analyzed for commonalities. Findings: Participants reported an overall high level of personal satisfaction within their specialty, relating this to the improved quality of life for patients who otherwise faced terminal illness or imminent death. Burnout and secondary traumatic stress experiences were deemed as inherent within this nursing practice. Symptoms of headaches, nausea, joint pain, and extreme fatigue were described as occurring in times of increased stress. Triggers reported for these symptoms included poor teamwork, lack of management support, and high nurse-to-patient care ratios. Ethical and moral dilemmas were unanimously reported as causing the highest levels of stress and professional dissatisfaction. Implications: Burnout among transplant nurses is perceived as inherent to this specialty due to associated challenges with a life and death continuum of patient care. Participants asserted that the nurse-to-patient relationship remains rewarding, which helps to prevent the onset of compassion fatigue. Participants conveyed that the term compassion fatigue is viewed as negative and does not accurately represent compassion levels when feeling fatigued from providing patient care.
Degree ProgramGraduate College