Helping Nurses Cope With Grief and Compassion Fatigue: An Educational Intervention

Dereen Houck

compassion fatigue, nurse's grief, self-care, end-of-life education
CJON 2014, 18(4), 454-458. DOI: 10.1188/14.CJON.454-458

Oncology nurses may experience intense physical and emotional exhaustion, identified in the literature as symptoms of cumulative grief and compassion fatigue, with significant consequences for both nurses and organizations. The first step in preventing these consequences is recognition. Organizations should provide nurses with resources including education, counseling, and opportunities to grieve. Nurses need to learn the importance of work-life balance, self-care strategies, and communication skills. Using recommendations from the literature, an educational intervention was designed with the purpose of providing nurses with knowledge, skills, and resources to practice effective self-care and recognize when assistance is needed. The program's objective was to help nurses develop the coping skills and inner resources necessary to maintain their emotional and physical health.

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