Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma

Ruth Lourens

Compassion Fatigue (CF) in healthcare workers was first coined by Carla Joinson in 1992, in almost three decades following copious amounts of research have been done on this subject. Findings of the research indicate an astronomical growing problem, yet very little has been done to curb this problem. Today researchers agree that one of the major causes of compassion fatigue in nursing is a lack of education. Nurse’s education doesn’t include subjects dealing with self-care, burnout, vicarious trauma, and CF. Francoise Mathieu, an expert on CF, notes that after completing her degree and several courses in three different countries, she had not once heard the words self-care, burnout, and CF, and nor did I until it happened to me.