Nurses' experience of compassion impacts delivery of care

January 4, 2018

(HealthDay)—Critical care nurses' experiences of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue influence their ability to deliver patient-centered care, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Samantha Jakimowicz, R.N., from the University of Technology in Sydney, and colleagues conducted in-depth interviews with 21 critical care nurses from two intensive care units in Australia to explore patient-centered nursing, compassion , and compassion fatigue. Grounded theory processes were used to analyze interview data.

The researchers observed positive and negative impacts on the ability of critical care nurses to deal compassionately with their patients. The findings revealed effects on patient-centered nursing and critical care nurses' own well-being. There was a core category of "Expectations," which explained the tension between critical care nurses' biomedical, clinical skills, and knowledge relative to compassionate, patient-centered nursing care. In subcategories of "Life in the Balance," "Passion and Pressure," "Understanding and Advocacy," and "Tenacity and Fragility," the tension was clarified and expanded.

"Providing patient-centered nursing may enhance critical care nurses' experience of compassion satisfaction, in turn impacting delivery of compassionate patient-centered nursing to generate a virtuous circle," the authors write. "Critical care nurses who feel respected and supported by their management team and colleagues experience feelings of compassion satisfaction, leading to greater engagement and care toward their patient."

Explore further: Nurses can apply science of caring to combat compassion fatigue

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