Why exemplary oncology nurses seem to avoid compassion fatigue

Beth Perry


The goal of this phenomenological study was to explore what within the lived experiences of exemplary oncology nurses facilitates the avoidance of compassion fatigue. A purposive sample of seven oncology nurses (RNs) who were identified by their colleagues as exemplary caregivers was recruited. Data were collected through semi-structured conversations that were subsequently transcribed. Transcripts were analyzed for recurring themes using three points of reference: recurrence of ideas, repetition of ideas, and forcefulness with which ideas were expressed (Owen, 1984). Findings focus on three themes: moments of connection, making moments matter, and energizing moments. Discussion highlights practical implications for clinical nurses, nurse educators, and health care administrators.

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