Impact of Exposure to Patient Death or Near Death on Compassion Fatigue in Pediatric Intensive Care Nurses

Kyle S. Richardson, BSc, RN; Meredith MacKenzie Greenle, PhD, RN, CRNP, CNE


Am J Crit Care. 2020;29(4):285-291. 

In This Article


In this study, we explored the impact of experiencing patient death and near death on compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress among nurses working in pediatric intensive care. We found no relationship between exposure to these traumatic events and these key nurse outcomes in this sample. Further research is needed to clarify factors that influence how nurses cope with such traumatic events and how exposure to patient death influences nurses' compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. A key incidental finding from this study was that age and experience interact to influence a nurse's compassion satisfaction and burnout scores. Although further research is required, health care organizations should consider how to tailor orientation and ongoing education, and how to support to nurses of various ages who have different experiences and roles.