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Nurse Health: Compassion Fatigue Plagues Trauma Teams

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, September 15th, 2016

A nurse health fact: trauma care providers are at risk for compassion fatigue and burnout, but may not perceive the extent and effects.

nurse trauma teamIn a recent study, trauma team workers cited on-the-job stress triggers that included child or elder abuse, trauma involving children, cases involving multiple family members, injuries from avoidable situations, and “senseless” deaths. Other causes of stress included dealing with patients’ family members and difficulties with trauma team coordination.

Although all participants reported low or mild stress levels, three-quarters had moderate to high scores for secondary trauma stress. One-third had a combination of high burnout and low levels of positive experiences helping patients. Another one-quarter had moderate levels of burnout.

Even though participants said compassion fatigue was rare, assessments by the researchers indicated a higher presence of compassion fatigue and burnout. Trauma team members may not be as adept at managing work stressors as well as they think.

To learn how to improve nurse health, reduce stress and cope better, visit SelfCare for HealthCareContact me today to discuss implementing this powerful program at your facility.

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