Compassion fatigue occurs in response to repeated exposure to emotional and interpersonal stressors. Nurses who experience compassion fatigue have symptoms of depression and anxiety, and they are at higher risk for suicide than other health care workers. Critical incident debriefing is effective at reducing distress; however, the focus has been on clinical feedback and management after a critical situation.

Arbios and colleagues examined the effectiveness of cumulative stress debriefings (CSDs)—debriefings offered on a regular basis and not just after a critical event—on reducing compassion fatigue and improving job satisfaction among pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurses. They found that those who attended CSDs:

The use of CSDs in the PICU was successful in reducing symptoms of compassion fatigue. Most participants stated they would attend a future CSD session.

See Article, pp 111-118.

Proactive, interprofessional family meetings are held to inform and support patients’ families even when no immediate decisions...

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