(HealthDay News) — Multiple factors can impact levels of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among nurses, according to a study published in the August issue of Critical Care Nurse.

Noting that the balance between satisfaction from providing compassionate care and fatigue is considered professional quality of life, Tara L. Sacco, R.N., from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and colleagues examined the prevalence of compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue in adult, pediatric, and neonatal critical care nurses. Two hundred twenty-one nurses were surveyed to assess levels of compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction.

The researchers found that on the basis of sex, age, education level, unit, acuity, change in nursing management, and major systems change, there were significant differences reported in compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue.

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“Understanding the elements of professional quality of life can have a positive effect on work environment. The relationship between professional quality of life and the standards for a healthy work environment requires further investigation,” the authors write. “Once this relationship is fully understood, interventions to improve this balance can be developed and tested.”

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