Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Personality and compassion fatigue

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

We all have different personalities and these seem to suit us to different jobs and to influence the way we respond in certain situations. So, how does personality affect the way nurses react to their jobs and what can we learn from this?

This was the focus of an article from Taiwan by Chen et al. (2017) titled: 'The Influence of Personality Traits and Socio-Demographic Characteristics on Paediatric Nurses’ Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue'. The article was based on a study which aimed to: 'explore the level of and the association between, compassion satisfaction and fatigue of paediatric nurses; to determine the association between personality traits and compassion satisfaction and fatigue; to identify the determinants of compassion satisfaction and fatigue'

Nearly 200 nurses completed questionnaires about themselves, their jobs and also their personality. All aspects of personality and also pursuing outdoor activities were associated with 'compassion satisfaction' (i.e. how satisfied someone is with their caregiving) but people who were conscientious, agreeable and emotionally stable were less likely to experience compassion fatigue - akin to burnout. Lower emotional stability and being single were associated with compassion fatigue. The authors concluded: 'workplace support schemes for paediatric nurses that focus on the personality trait of emotional stability and increasing social connection to realize and deal with their own experience of compassion fatigue, may help avoid the possible exacerbation of compassion fatigue at work.'

You can listen to this as a podcast

Reference

Chen, Y.-P., Tsai, J.-M., Lu, M.-H., LIN, L.-M., Lu, C.-H. and Wang, K.-W. K. (2017) The Influence of Personality Traits and Socio-Demographic Characteristics on Paediatric Nurses’ Compassion Satisfaction and Fatigue. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.13516

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