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Compassion Fatigue and Coping Strategy of Student Nurses of Ateneo de Davao University

Background of the study

Compassion fatigue is commonly experienced by health care workers. According to Figley

(1995), it is also called as “vicarious traumatization” or secondary traumatization. Also, it is less

severe than burnout especially when it is recognized and managed quickly. Exposure to health care

giving begins even one is still a student. In fact, here in Ateneo, hospital exposures start in the

sophomore year.

In the Philippines, according to the World Health Organization, there were approximately

488,000 nurses in the country in 2013. This number increases as time pass by since demand for

nurses also increases.

Compassion fatigue may be experienced by these nursing students as they become

indifferent to their suffering patients. They see having compassion towards their patients as

distractive to their academic responsibilities. Accumulated compassion fatigue may cause burnout

when not recognized and managed immediately and effectively.


This study aimed at producing a structured collation of information on the coping strategies that

may be most helpful in different specialities of the nursing profession, which could be utilized by

nurses as well as healthcare policy decision makers.

The following research objectives were developed to help achieve these goals.

1. To identify the compassion fatigue experienced among student nurses of Ateneo de

Davao University.
2. To determine the strategies that are being employed in coping with compassion fatigue

among student nurses of Ateneo de Davao University.

3. To analyze which of these coping strategies have been reported as the most helpful

among student nurses of Ateneo de Davao University.

Research Design

The present study will utilize both quantitative and descriptive research method.

This allows the researchers to gather data by using a standard questionnaire which served as the

primary instrument to determine the compassion fatigue and coping strategy of student nurses of

Ateneo de Davao University. The standard questionnaire was designed to accumulate enough

information pertaining to the objectives of the study.


Compassion Fatigue, Burnout and Compassion Satisfaction: Prevalence among Nursing


Henry Mason (2012)

The study shows the professional quality of life of a sample of participants who were enrolled for

an academic programme in Nursing Science (n = 80, females = 91.25%). Data were collected

utilizing the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL R-IV) Scale. Findings point to high potentiality

for compassion satisfaction, high risk for the development of compassion fatigue and moderate to

high risk for burnout among the respondents. Understanding professional quality of life offers

direction regarding the development of psychosocial support services for student nurses.
Stress, Stressors, and Stress Responses of Student Nurses in a Government Nursing School

Leodoro Jabien Labrague (2013)

The present study explored the level of stress, stressors, and physio-psycho-social

responses to stress among Filipino student nurses in a government nursing school. A descriptive

design was adopted in this study. A total of 61 students who were enrolled in the nursing program

were taken as study respondents. Research data were collected utilizing the Perceived Stress Scale

(PSS) and Physio-psycho-social Response Scale (PPSRS). Data analysis was performed with the

statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 16. Findings indicated that student nurses

experienced moderate level of stress [mean (SD) = 2.18 (0.43)] and were in good physio-psycho-

social health [mean (SD) =1.49 (0.45)]. Stress from assignments and workload [mean (SD) =2.68

(0.58)] was the most common stressor identified, while emotional symptoms [mean (SD) =1.82

(0.67)] were the most common response to stress. In addition, students who reported higher level

of stress were significantly more likely to experience poor physio-psycho-social health (r=0.3463,

p=0.0063). Result also revealed that perceived stress level decrease according to the year of

attendance. Results indicated that stress is very common in nursing education and it may have an

impact on the physio-psycho-social health of the students. Knowledge on student nurses’ stress

levels, its sources, and stress responses would serve as an important input in identifying and

planning effective interventions and strategies to reduce or prevent stress in nursing education and

training thus, facilitating their learning both in the academe and clinical setting.

Nurses’ Coping Strategies With Compassion Fatigue

Joseph Solomon (2014)

The purpose of the study was to find helpful strategies that are being employed in coping

with compassion fatigue among nurses of different areas of speciality. A predefined review plan

guided the implementation of the study. Seven articles were selected based on predefined inclusion

and exclusion criteria from electronic articles publish within the last decade. Data was extracted,

analysed and synthesised using a narrative approach. A total of twenty distinct coping strategies

were identified: Seven personal coping strategies (e.g. self-care and introspection) and thirteen

work-related coping strategies (e.g. debriefing and developing supportive professional

relationships). The coping strategies were being employed by nurses in paediatric, adult, and

geriatric settings. There is an overall insufficiency of research investigating the ways nurses can

cope with the insidious phenomenon of compassion fatigue. The key to combating compassion

fatigue lies in the incorporation of the most helpful strategies into a single easy-to-do interventional

programme that can fit into nurses’ already busy schedules. More understanding of compassion

fatigue coping strategies must be sought after in order to help nurses acquire the resilience they

need in their job, and to flourish in compassionate care.

Compassion Fatigue, Secondary Trauma Stress, and Burnout Among Licensed Mental

Health Professionals

Kyle Lee Thompson (2017)

The quantitative research sought to find the presence of compassion fatigue (CF),

secondary trauma stress (STS), and burnout (BO) with descriptive analyses, and risk factors that

appear predictive of these phenomena using regression analyses, and Pearson Product Moment

Correlations to determine relationships between career-sustaining behaviors, the three phenomena,

and the working lives of 37 licensed mental health professionals. The instruments used were the
Professional Quality of Life Scale, the Burnout Measure, the Career-sustaining Behaviors

Questionnaire, and a demographic questionnaire. Of the predictors investigated, both using more

consultation (β = .77, t(14) = 2.48, p < .05) and developing new interests in work (β = -.59, t(14)

= -2.42, p < .05) were statistically significant. There is a significant positive relationship between

not being responsible to solve client problems and burnout, r(35) = .462, p < .01. Burnout appeared

the most prevalent of the phenomena for the participants of the study. Feeling pressure to serve

can overwhelm helping professionals and inhibit their competent help.

Descriptive Study of Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction in

Undergraduate Nursing Students at A Tertiary Education Institution In Kwazulu-Natal

Christina T. Mathias, Dorien L. Wentzel (2017)

A quantitative descriptive study was conducted to describe compassion satisfaction,

compassion fatigue and burnout among undergraduate nursing students at a tertiary nursing

institution in KwaZulu-Natal. Convenience sampling was used. There were sixty-seven

undergraduate students (26 third-year and 41 fourth-year nursing students) took the self-test

Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL). The study results indicate that undergraduate

students experienced average levels of compassion fatigue, burnout and compassion satisfaction.

As shown in the study, some of the undergraduate students are experiencing compassion fatigue

and burnout, associated with relieving suffering of others. Therefore, knowledge of compassion

fatigue and burnout and the coping strategies should be part of nursing training.