Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Dana D. Leach
Compassion fatigue is viewed as a disconcerting issue facing healthcare professionals in the clinical care milieu, and nurses are identified as the most susceptible population among healthcare professionals. The purpose of this project was to create positive social change by helping oncology nurses find ways to enhance self-care and self-awareness, thereby reducing the risk of compassion fatigue and burnout among healthcare professionals. This project investigated an educational module on compassion fatigue that focused on (a) identifying the occurrence rates of compassion fatigue among oncology nurses, (b) evaluating the demographic features that were associated with the most frequent rates of compassion fatigue, and (c) educating nurses about ways to decrease or alleviate this problem. The 5 participants for this project included oncology nurses working at a healthcare facility in east Texas. The project was conducted using a quantitative methodology with a descriptive design. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire consisting of 5 Likert-type items. The analysis of the information received shows the high levels of compassion fatigue among nurses include (a) staff shortages that require working for long hours under unusual strenuous conditions, such as shifts lasting more than 12 hours without allotted breaks; (b) wearing heavy protective gear that results in a number of adverse reactions; and (c) the fear of contracting the potentially fatal diseases and/or bringing such illnesses back to the families of staff members. The outcome of the project consisted of an education module for oncology nurses that provide information about issues related to compassion fatigue, and compassion satisfaction. Positive social change may occur by improving the quality of patient care and self-transcendence for healthcare professionals.