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Interview with Prof. Dr. Sultan Kav: Compassion fatigue – a serious problem
Many nurses suffer from compassion fatigue, a seemingly unavoidable cost of caring. It is a reaction to witnessing the emotional and physical pain of patients. In a study in Turkey, Prof. Sultan Kav investigated compassion fatigue in nurses. Those nurses who had experienced a high level of compassion fatigue were interviewed to gain more insight into their feelings and coping mechanisms. They reported using a variety of measures to distance themselves from the negative emotions. For example, they took a break from work, spent time with friends and family, shared their experiences with their colleagues, and asked their senior team members for support. In a next step, Prof. Kav plans to conduct a more detailed study on how compassion fatigue arises and if it is actually a warning sign for a future burnout.
Sultan Kav is professor at the Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey.
This interview was recorded at EONS 2016 which took place in Dublin on October 17-18, 2016.