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Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal:
doi: 10.1097/TME.0b013e31829b726f
Cases of Note

The Effectiveness of an Educational Program on Preventing and Treating Compassion Fatigue in Emergency Nurses

Flarity, Kathleen DNP, PhD, CEN, CFRN, FAEN; Gentry, J. Eric PhD, LMHC, CAC; Mesnikoff, Nathan MA, BCCC

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The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the treatment effectiveness of a multifaceted education program to decrease compassion fatigue (CF) and burnout (BO) symptoms and increase compassion satisfaction of emergency nurses participating in the training. The goal of the CF multifaceted intervention program was to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in the 3 CF subscales: an increase on the Compassion Satisfaction (CS) subscale and a decrease on the Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) and BO subscales in the participants' pretest and posttest scores as measured by The Professional Quality of Life test (B. H. Stamm, 2010a, 2010b). The study sites were 2 emergency departments in Colorado Springs, CO. A convenience sample consisted of emergency nurses who self-selected to participate in the study. Univariate statistics were used, and data were examined for normalcy of distribution. Because these data were not distributed normally, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to evaluate the differences between the baseline and postintervention groups. The multifaceted education program resulted in a statistically significant increase in CS (p = 0.004) and a decrease in BO (p = 0.001 or less) and STS (p = 0.001) symptoms.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


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