Use a Self-Care Mantra to Boost Compassion

Deborah Christensen, MSN, APRN, AOCNS®


Oncology nurses are generally compassionate people and dedicated to helping others live the best they can while experiencing a life-changing illness. Over time, such dedication can lead to compassion fatigue (CF), especially when others suffer.

Trauma experts define CF as sustained knowledge that another person is suffering and wanting to do something to relieve their suffering. Compassion satisfaction (CS) on the other hand involves the personal gratification one receives from caregiving. Although CF and CS are not direct opposites, the two concepts have a definite relationship. Nurses have a good chance of warding off CF by nourishing CS.

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