Compassion Fatigue Among Nurses
Compassion, which is a universal concept, is the occurrence of feelings of sadness and pity in the person who realizes the bad / painful situation that happens to a living thing. Compassion fatigue, which was mentioned towards the end of the 20th century, has been the subject of research as “secondary traumatic stres disorder” as a result of examining the burnout experienced by emergency service nurses. As a result of long exposure to the pain of others, internalization, intense empathy; emotional fatigue, reduced ability to help, and a spiritual decline is expressed as compassion fatigue. Factors such as working in a risky unit, long-term clinical experience, excessive monthly working hours, being female, being married and having children increase the incidence of compassion fatigue in nurses. Compassion is a complex process with psychological and social aspects. Therefore, the symptoms of compassion fatigue have many physical, mental and work-related symptoms. The nursing profession, by its nature, includes the ability of empathy. Long-term interactions with individuals who have intense affections such as losing a relative, losing a limb, ineffectiveness in maintaining their health, experiencing depression, and doing the profession for a lifetime may cause patients to internalize their situation more than it should be. All this takes up space in nurses’ minds and most of their day. This may result in empathy giving way to sympathy. Therefore, the emotional boundary is exceeded and causes nurses to feel guilt, powerlessness, not being valued and ignored. All these negatively affect the quality of patient care and nursing services of nurses. Therefore, the treatment process is negatively affected, hospital infections are increasing and more medical intervention is required. These also increase the cost. Thus, compassion fatigue affects the institution and the country as much as it affects nurses and patients.