Crit Care Nurs Q Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 388–395 Copyright c© 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Concept Analysis Compassion Fatigue and Effects Upon Critical Care Nurses
Belinda Jenkins, BSN, RN, CEN; Nancy A. Warren, PhD, RN
Walker and Avant’s method of concept analysis was used to delve into the initial understanding of compassion fatigue, a relatively new concept being explored with critical care nurses and other health care professionals. The term was originally used in 1992 involving research exploring burnout experienced by critical care nurses when a trend emerged where nurses appeared to have lost their “ability to nurture.” The term has since been used synonymously with secondary traumatic stress disorder. Two important goals exist for this article: First, theoretically to conduct a concept analysis of compassion fatigue, thereby providing information for critical care nurses to understand the concept as a universal human experience. Second, from a caring perspective, identifying the effects related to critical care nurses provides an opportunity to address physical and somatic consequences of compassion fatigue that will ultimately become important to nursing practice, education, and research. Key words: burnout, compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress
T HE PROCESS that will be followed withinthis article is the model developed and implemented by Walker and Avant.1 Eight stages are outlined within the model, and a brief explanation is provided of each. The first stage of the model is to select a concept. Con- cept selection is very important and should be one of interest to the authors or related to the actual work of the authors. This concept should be manageable yet not too broad. Sec- ond, the authors should determine the aims or purposes of the analysis. This section should answer the question why is this concept im- portant to the authors. Third, identification of the uses of the concept that you can discover
Author Affiliations: Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee (Ms Jenkins); and Department of Nursing, University of Tennessee, Martin (Dr Warren).
The authors have disclosed that they have no signif- icant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Correspondence: Nancy A. Warren, PhD, RN, De- partment of Nursing, University of Tennessee, 136 H Gooch Hall, Martin, TN 38238 (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org).
in the literature supports the definition of the concept. During this stage, through available literature, dictionaries, thesauruses, and col- leagues, the authors will identify possible uses of the concept. The review of literature will provide the evidence-based foundation for the analysis. During the fourth stage, the defin- ing attributes will be determined. Through the literature reviews regarding the concept, all the similar characteristics emerge. Fifth, a model case is identified. The model case pro- vides the reader an example of the defining at- tributes of the concept; this can be provided in a borderline, related, contrary, invented, or illegitimate case. These are provided in the sixth stage. The seventh stage includes identification of the antecedents and conse- quences. Antecedents are defined by Walker and Avant as those events or incidents that must occur or take place prior to the occur- rence of the concept, and consequences are defined as those events or incidents that occur as a result of the occurrence of the concept. The last stage defines the empirical referents, which are defined as classes or categories of actual phenomena that by their existence or presence demonstrate the occurrence of the concept itself. The goal of this article was