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When nurses catch compassion fatigue, patients suffer

The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2012
Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis is one of a growing number of hospitals and nursing groups that help combat the constant assault on nurse's psyches. In addition to meditation and stress-reduction workshops, such programs include discussions about difficult patient situations, support groups, and staff retreats focused on the emotional aspects of care giving. Compassion fatigue is a combination of secondary traumatic stress from witnessing the suffering of others and burnout. It can lead nurses to feel sadness and despair that impair their health and well-being.