Examining the Relationship between Empathy and Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction in Pediatric Nurses
Pink de Champlain, Rebecca Anne
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Secondary traumatic stress (STS) and burnout (BO) are natural consequences of exposure to the suffering of others. Nurses have frequent exposure to such suffering. Empathy is thought to play a role in the development of STS and BO. There may be other factors that contribute to or protect against their development as well. A descriptive correlational study was conducted with a convenience sample of 108 pediatric nurses. Participants completed a questionnaire that included the Professional Quality of Life Scale Version 5, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index and questions about factors related to STS and BO. Results demonstrated that 81.5% of the sample was at moderate to high-risk for STS, 72.2% were at moderate to high-risk for BO, and 73.1% had moderate to high levels of compassion satisfaction (CS). The blurring of professional boundaries was associated with higher STS. Empathy demonstrated a stronger association with CS than STS or BO.