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Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, APRN, BC, AOCN®, FAAN, associate chief nursing officer, Emory University Hospital Midtown, president, Oncology Nursing Society, discusses compassion fatigue, a unique affliction affecting oncology nurses that used to be thought of as part of burnout.
Compassion fatigue in oncology nurses is directly connected to the level of energy and concern that is expended over the long term as they care for patients who may or may not recover from their illness.
Nurses can address compassion fatigue by finding ways to renew and reenergize themselves. Gullatte suggests participation in conferences, a local chapter, or through associations with other nurses that work in the same field and can offer support.