Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Bernadette Sobczak


Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, Compassion Satisfaction, Self-Care and Mindfulness, Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL)


Compassion fatigue (CF), burnout (BO), lack of compassion satisfaction, and impaired mental health have had catastrophic effects on nurses, providers, and support staff in the past few years due to COVID-19, labor shortage, an influx of critically ill patients, and long hours. Compassion fatigue was coined by Figley as a state of exhaustion and dysfunction biologically, psychologically, and socially because of prolonged exposure to compassion stress. Related concepts identified as burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS) play an inclusive role in one’s ability to cope with daily environmental stressors causing physical, emotional, and mental breakdown. The link between volunteering and improved mental wellness and positive health benefits have been well documented. Participating in volunteer medical or nonmedical service can lower depression symptoms, improve mental and physical health, increase happiness, and improve life satisfaction. The setting of this project was both online and in person on the ground in Guatemala with members of a short-term medial mission trip team of health care and non-health care team members. This project utilized focused group interaction while in Guatemala with all eleven participants, there were pre and post self-administered self-care questionnaires, Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) Survey, handouts, PowerPoint presentation, mindfulness and selfcare intervention tools, and Q&A discussions. The purpose of the project was to have participants assess their level of CF and BO, pre-Guatemala as well as identify their selfcare routines. The goal was to identify pre and post burnout, CF, and compassion satisfaction as well as promote daily self-care interventions to achieve a reduction in CF and BO over thirty days post Guatemala Mission Trip. Results indicated poor feedback rate with only a 37% response rate of that one participant had an increased ProQOL score after returning from Guatemala. Limitations found included an initial small sample size, participants span across several states, inefficient post-feedback data collection, and lack of participation during the intervention phase to evaluate if self-care plays a role in decreasing or eliminating risk of CF or BO.

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Conceptual Framework

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Included in

Nursing Commons



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