Compassion Fatigue in the Long-term Care/ Call off and Sick Calls
According to Sinclair et al., (2017) compassion fatigue also referred to as secondary stress reaction or second-hand shock describes a form of stress resulting from assisting or wanting to assist people who are either under significant emotional distress or that are traumatized. This condition is characterized by physical and emotional exhaustion that causes a diminished ability to feel compassion or empathize with others and is often described as the negative cost of caring. As this text will explain, when nurses develop compassion fatigue, they become more likely to complain at work, call in sick and fail to contribute to the work load. Compassion Fatigue in the Long-term Care/ Call off and Sick Calls
Nurses, being in the frontline of patient care, are the most susceptible group to compassion fatigue placing them in a state of mental exhaustion due to caring for patients and their loved ones through instances of distress. This makes it important for nurse leaders and managers to identify signs of compassion fatigue in their staff and give guidance to nurses that require it.
Compassion fatigue has been found to negatively affect nurse retention. The potential trauma and increased stress associated not only drives nurses to call off work more often but in extreme cases it has been seen to drive them away from the field (Peters, 2018). Where call ins/offs are concerned, nurses have reported calling off work severally to cope with the effects. This is due to the fact that many of the coping mechanisms of compassion fatigue involve taking time off from work for personal refection.
Furthermore, nurses that are aware of the effects of compassion fatigue such as decreased quality of care and increases in errors choose to call off work due so as to remove themselves from the equation. If the effects of this condition are not mediated, nurses affected stand the risk of being among the 37% of nurses that are willing to change careers due to on-going emotional stress resulting in work dissatisfaction (Peters, 2018).Compassion Fatigue in the Long-term Care/ Call off and Sick Calls
Peters, E. (2018). Compassion fatigue in nursing: A concept analysis. In Nursing forum (Vol. 53, No. 4, pp. 466-480).
Sinclair, S., Raffin-Bouchal, S., Venturato, L., Mijovic-Kondejewski, J., & Smith-MacDonald, L. (2017). Compassion fatigue: A meta-narrative review of the healthcare literature. International journal of nursing studies, 69, 9-24. Compassion Fatigue in the Long-term Care/ Call off and Sick Calls