Case Management

News: Hospital develops program to combat nurse compassion fatigue

Case Management Weekly, January 4, 2012

Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis has launched a successful program aimed at reducing nurse burnout due to compassion fatigue, The Wall Street Journal recently reported.

Compassion fatigue, a combination of secondary traumatic stress from witnessing the suffering of others and burnout, can affect a nurse’s ability to manage the emotional and physical stress of caring for acutely ill patients. As a result, some nurses avoid caring for these patients, leading to substandard care.

Hospital administrators at Barnes-Jewish Hospital found that compassion fatigue contributed to higher turnover rates in their oncology unit, according to the article. They agreed to fund the program to provide assistance and educate nurses about the dangers of compassion fatigue. The program offers a range of support, including a checklist of symptoms and physical, stress-relieving exercises designed to release tension.

Read more on The Wall Street Journal website.

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