Factors That Influence the Development of Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, and Compassion Satisfaction in Emergency Department Nurses

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2015 Mar;47(2):186-94. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12122. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to determine the prevalence of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout in emergency department nurses throughout the United States and (b) to examine which demographic and work-related components affect the development of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout in this nursing specialty.

Design and methods: This was a nonexperimental, descriptive, and predictive study using a self-administered survey. Survey packets including a demographic questionnaire and the Professional Quality of Life Scale version 5 (ProQOL 5) were mailed to 1,000 selected emergency nurses throughout the United States. The ProQOL 5 scale was used to measure the prevalence of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout among emergency department nurses. Multiple regression using stepwise solution was employed to determine which variables of demographics and work-related characteristics predicted the prevalence of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout. The α level was set at .05 for statistical significance.

Findings: The results revealed overall low to average levels of compassion fatigue and burnout and generally average to high levels of compassion satisfaction among this group of emergency department nurses. The low level of manager support was a significant predictor of higher levels of burnout and compassion fatigue among emergency department nurses, while a high level of manager support contributed to a higher level of compassion satisfaction.

Conclusions: The results may serve to help distinguish elements in emergency department nurses' work and life that are related to compassion satisfaction and may identify factors associated with higher levels of compassion fatigue and burnout.

Clinical relevance: Improving recognition and awareness of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout among emergency department nurses may prevent emotional exhaustion and help identify interventions that will help nurses remain empathetic and compassionate professionals.

Keywords: Compassion fatigue; burnout; compassion satisfaction; emergency nurses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology*
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Nursing*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Empathy*
  • Fatigue*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult