Emergency Department Nursing Education Interventions for Compassion Fatigue

Student Author(s)

Taylor Krumm

Faculty Mentor(s)

Professor Donna Garrett, MSN, RN, Hope College Department of Nursing, Alison Zeerip, MSN, RN, PNP, Mercy Health Saint Mary's

Document Type


Event Date



Nurses who work in the emergency department (ED) are exposed to many complex situations. While nurses may develop compassion satisfaction from providing care that matters, they are also at risk for developing compassion fatigue that can lead to burnout and secondary trauma. The purpose of this study was to develop an educational intervention to decrease compassion fatigue in emergency department health care professionals (HCP). Based on the results of a literature review, an educational brochure was developed. This educational intervention is a component of a larger research study in a 300-bed, Midwestern hospital. The conceptual framework for the larger study is the Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction Theory Model (Stamm, 2009). HCP, consisting of medical doctors and registered nurses, using a non-randomized sampling technique, were asked to complete the PROQOL-5 scale to determine the baseline degree of compassion fatigue in the ED. An educational brochure developed by the researcher will be distributed to the HCP. The HCP will be asked to repeat the PROQOL-5 at 2-months and 6-months after the brochure has been distributed. Descriptive statistics and a one-way ANOVA, using SPSS v.22, will be conducted to analyze data. Results will be limited by the non-random sample and by empathy training provided for each employee during the larger research study. Results and conclusions are pending. Compassion fatigue can lead to secondary trauma, and eventual burnout if not properly addressed in the hospital setting, which can ultimately affect the quality of care patients receive.


This research was supported by the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

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