Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Compassion fatigue (CF) is defined as a sudden onset of the inability to experience feelings or compassion for others that is triggered by a nurse's inability to separate his/her feelings of stress and anxiety associated with caring for patients who have suffered from a traumatic event. The practice problem addressed in this doctoral project was the lack of knowledge of emergency department nurses (EDNs) related to CF in the work setting, resulting in a negative impact on a nurse's ability to provide quality care to patients. The purpose of the project was to present an educational program on how to recognize, prevent, and manage CF. Framed within Stamm's theoretical model of compassion satisfaction and CF, the project was guided by the steps within the Walden University Manual for Staff Education Project and the practice question addressed whether the literature would support an evidence-based educational program on CF for EDNs. The evaluation/validation for the project included an evaluation of the curriculum by the three content experts (in which learning objectives were deemed met), content validation of the pre-/post-test items by the content experts (all test items were deemed relevant to the learning objectives, with the validity index scale analysis at 1.00), and finally, a paired t test to determine knowledge gained from pre- to post-test that resulted in a significant (p < 0.0001) improvement in knowledge. A potential positive social change resulting from the project is a healthy work environment where EDNs understand and reduce their risks for CF, which may ultimately promote optimal patient care and improved health outcomes.