Shining a Light: Compassion Fatigue in Psychiatric Nursing and Nursing Students
Chachula, Kathryn M.
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Background: Low levels of compassion satisfaction (CS) and high levels of compassion fatigue (CF), comprised of burnout (BO) and secondary traumatic stress (STS), have been identified as a serious concern among students within health science disciplines. Purpose: To conduct a cross-sectional survey to determine what factors are related to the development of BO and STS within a pre-licensure health studies student population of undergraduate nursing and psychiatric nursing disciplines, groups that have seldom been studied. Methods: Data was collected through an anonymous online survey to determine the presence of compassion satisfaction and fatigue among participants. The survey was comprised of demographic questions and four validated measures that included the Professional Quality of Life Scale (version 5), the Core Self-Evaluations Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Life Events Checklist (version 5). Results: Findings revealed 31% of students reported low levels of CS, 27% had high levels of BO, and 28% had high levels of STS. Students in long-term care/palliative care rotations reported significantly higher levels of BO in comparison to students placed on in-patient units such as medical-surgical areas and episodic care areas that include out-patient and emergency departments. Regression analysis revealed that students with low self-efficacy and high perceived stress were predictive of BO. Students with increased exposures to prior traumatizing life events were predictive of STS. Despite having less sleep, students with high levels of self-efficacy and commitment to their program with less intent-to-leave were predictive of having CS. Significance: To date, this is the only study that has explored compassion fatigue within undergraduate nursing and psychiatric nursing students in Canada. Findings of the study assist educators, clinicians, and policy makers to better understand at-risk clinical settings and predictors of compassion satisfaction and fatigue in undergraduate nursing and psychiatric nursing students prior to entering the workforce as newly-licensed professionals.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
SupervisorRohatinsky , Noelle; Lasiuk, Gerri
CommitteeHoltslander, Lorraine; Goernert , Phil; MacDonald-Dickinson , Valerie; Bullin , Carol; Leidl , Don
Copyright DateJuly 2020
Psychiatric nursing students
Professional quality of life
Prior traumatic experience