Nursing on Empty: Compassion Fatigue Signs, Symptoms, and System Interventions

Harris, Chelsia; Griffin, Mary T. Quinn

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000155
Feature: CE Connection

ABSTRACT: Few healthcare organizations acknowledge, discuss, or provide interventions for assisting with compassion fatigue. Yet, it is an important concept due to its individual, professional, and financial costs. This article defines compassion fatigue, differentiates it from burnout, and offers system interventions for supporting nurses and reducing compassion fatigue.

Much has been written about compassion fatigue but few healthcare organizations acknowledge, discuss, or offer help for it. Understand compassion fatigue and identify unit and organizational interventions.

Chelsia Harris, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at a private Christian college in southern Missouri. She enjoys glorifying God through serving, teaching, and writing. Her first book will be published Fall 2015 (New Leaf Publishing).

Mary T. Quinn Griffin, PhD, RN, FAAN, is an Associate Professor at the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Accepted by peer-review 4/11/2014.

© 2015 by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship