March 28, 2011
Response by Catherine Kraus to the topic “Compassion Fatigue: Caregivers at Risk” (January 31, 2011).
Thank you for the outstanding issue and articles on the topic of Compassion Fatigue. While the systems within which nurses work are continually being assessed for their contribution to the attrition rate of nurses or the "wounding of our healers," the existential relationship of nurse to patient is thought to be 'healthy given" and part of the academic preparation for the profession of nursing. I would advise every nursing student to read these articles. The one ingredient that I did not see mentioned was that of self compassion. The premise for me is that one cannot give what we don't have (as valiantly as we try) without exacting a very large price. This concept, too, needs to be taught to students so that self care becomes a preventive measure and not a therapeutic intervention. Thank you again for this outstanding issue. My brief article on self compassion can be found www.traumatologyinstitute.net.
Catherine Kraus, MSN, MA, RN
Certified Compassion Fatigue Training Specialist