Although critical care nurses gain satisfaction from providing compassionate care to patients and patients’ families, the nurses are also at risk for fatigue. The balance between satisfaction and fatigue is considered professional quality of life.
To establish the prevalence of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in adult, pediatric, and neonatal critical care nurses and to describe potential contributing demographic, unit, and organizational characteristics.
In a cross-sectional design, nurses were surveyed by using a demographic questionnaire and the Professional Quality of Life Scale to measure levels of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction.
Nurses (n = 221) reported significant differences in compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue on the basis of sex, age, educational level, unit, acuity, change in nursing management, and major systems change.
Understanding the elements of professional quality of life can have a positive effect on work environment. The relationship between professional quality of life and the standards for a healthy work environment requires further investigation. Once this relationship is fully understood, interventions to improve this balance can be developed and tested.