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Definition of Terms

Compassion satisfaction: Compassion satisfaction is the
Burnout: According to Maslach (as cited in Potter et al., 2010) enjoyment a person gains
burnout is a from performing his or her role as a caregiver and is a positive
“cumulative stress from the demands of daily life, a state of “balancing out” of the unconstructive aspects in caring for
physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion which is caused by the terminally ill or distressed individuals (Hooper, et. al., 2010).
depletion of the ability to cope with the work environment”.
Self-transcendence: A coping resource that a person develops
Burnout is more progressive in its onset as opposed to compassion over time with connection to the past, present, and future. This
fatigue, which has more of an acute onset (Lombardo, 2011). process is gradual and allows for a new understanding that
Nurses who experience develops over time in the search and meaning between life and
burnout symptoms are disengaged or feel indifferent about their death (Reed, 1991). Frankl (2000) posited that self-transcendence
work, leading to a withdrawal from patients and their work is an innate understanding of a person’s own existence. The
environment. It is the inclusive prolonged effects of burnout that characteristics of self-transcendence include a spiritual awareness
leads to the development of compassion fatigue over time. of self, relationship with a individual’s surroundings and others, a
relationship with a higher being, and a “purpose greater than
Compassion fatigue: A natural behavior or emotion in response oneself” (Hunnibel et al., 2008). In the theory of self-
traumatization. Coetzee and Klopper (2010) defined compassion transcendence, Reed (1991) described self-transcendence as an
fatigue as “the end result of a progressive and cumulative process expansion of a person’s own imitations within interpersonal,
that is caused by prolonged and intense contact with patients, the intrapersonal, transpersonal, and temporal domains. Self-
use of self, and exposure to stress” (p. 237). The phenomenon of transcendence becomes evident through a greater self acceptance;
compassion fatigue is considered to be the limit of compassionate reaching out to others; openness to new meanings in life; and a
energy expenditure where nurses continue to care despite these greater appreciation or acceptance of the past, present, and the
limits resulting in social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and future (McCarthy, Ling, & Carinoi, 2013). A person’s well-being is
intellectual changes that progress and limit the ability of one to positively correlated to self-transcendence (Coward, 2006).
provide compassionate and empathetic care. Nurses who
experience compassion fatigue are at risk for making mistakes, Self-transcendence is experienced when an individual feels
demonstrate changes in job performance, experience health defenseless or vulnerable (Hunnibel et al., 2008). The essence of
problems, and are more likely to leave the profession (Hooper et self-transcendence is the capacity rise above a person’s own needs
al., 2010). Stamm (2013) suggested compassion satisfaction as a and self-sacrifice in order to meet the needs of another.
factor which builds “resiliency of the human spirit” (p. 110) in
preventing compassion fatigue.