Profession- Health care worker- Registered Nurse
1. What is professional quality of life? Be sure to include all of the positive and negative aspects (in your own words please, cite and reference all factual info).
Part 2: Please Respond with substantial detail that provokes further discussion.
Discussion 1: Joanna
Nursing is, unquestionably, a highly stressed profession. It can be stressful enough to know that you are responsible for patient lives, yet other factors like excessive responsibilities, high expectations, long hours, and the complexity of patient needs, all further contribute to this tense filled environment. With increased stress there is decreased job satisfaction, which is a major challenge in nursing as it can result in a negative quality of professional life. Professional quality of life can simply be described as the quality one feels in relation to their profession. There are positive and negative emotions that nurses experience within their profession. As nurses dedicate themselves to patient care, it is important to acknowledge the positive and negative emotions they experience in order to enhance their professional quality of life and work towards fostering a healthier work environment. There are three components to professional quality of life known as compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout (Todaro-Franceschi, 2019). Compassion satisfaction is a positive aspect of professional quality of life where nurses can value their work as meaningful (Todaro-Franceschi, 2019). In my experience, valuing my work as meaningful has been reflective in both my confidence and self-worth. Knowing that my work makes even a small difference in a patient’s life is a huge professional motivator for me to continue to commit providing comfort, support, and treatment for each one of my patients. Compassion fatigue and burnout are negative aspects of professional quality of life. Compassion fatigue reveals itself when caring for others suffering with extreme stress or trauma. It is relational as it is “related to our connection to others and out ability to bear witness to the suffering of others” (Todaro-Franceschi, 2019, p.5). I have experienced my fair share of compassion fatigue working in the emergency department. There have been instances where I became preoccupied with the physical distress and emotional pain of my patients which ultimately increased my own stress levels, impacting my psychological state and personality. Compassion fatigue can contribute to burnout. Burnout is a state of exhaustion due to prolonged stress. It has a significant impact to the nurse-patient relationship as nurses can appear to be “heartless” or “dispassionate.” The prolonged physical and emotional exhaustion of a high workload environment can ultimately produce apathy and disinterest in work and relationships (Todaro-Franceschi, 2019). COVID-19 proved to have a large impact on burnout as nurses on the frontlines experienced higher levels of chronic stress that was not successfully managed, thus placing their quality of life at greater risk
Discussion 2: Angelica
The professional quality of life for health care workers refers to the positive and negative feelings that we experience while caring for patients. As we’ve all come to hear/know, nursing is a work of heart. We devote ourselves to our patients and perform tasks that we never in our wildest dreams thought we’d actually do. How we view and how we feel about our professional quality of life dictates the care we give to our patients, whether we are aware of it or not. As relayed by Todaro-Franceschi (2019), three components of professional quality of life include: compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout. Compassion satisfaction manifests itself as contentment in the workplace. It is the pleasure we feel about caring for others. For example, working on an oncology unit, I felt compassion satisfaction often. I was able to take away the agony and distress from some patients through medication or simply just being there to talk to. I’ve held the hand of a patient while she took her last breath and her family had not arrived yet. It’s a different kind of satisfaction than having let’s say won a relay race. It was contentment knowing that I made a difference in a life. Compassion fatigue occurs when caring for people who are suffering and is related to our connection to others and our ability to bear witness to the suffering of others (Todaro-Franceschi, 2019 p. 5). I have experienced compassion fatigue in my profession. I had two patients that had been frequent fliers on my unit from my very first day as a nurse. Over the period of two years, I watched them deteriorate and ultimately pass away as their battle with cancer was lost. These deaths hit me the hardest because I had a true relationship and bond with these patients. Burnout is a general dissatisfaction with one’s work life related to workload, environment, and organizational culture (Todaro-Franceschi, 2019). Looking back, I can honestly say the reason I left the oncology unit was because of burnout. While I felt confident in my ability to care for the oncology population, it was the lack of staffing, dangerous patient ratios, and lack of support from management that ultimately made me decide to leave. I found I was taking my unhappiness home with me and dreaded going into work. Professional quality of life is an important part of our livelihoods as nurses. We must all be aware of it and understand how it is affecting us. Often, it is not until we reflect on a situation that we can say we were feeling burnout or compassion fatigue. We must all remember to take care of ourselves and our own mental health because if we don’t, our patients will suffer and we will find ourselves unhappy.
DIscussion 3: Samantha
The nursing profession can be a blessing and strenuous work physically and emotionally. I know I wanted to be a nurse with the hopes to help people. Helping people is part of the job but there are times that it feels there are so many barriers put in place that block us from helping patients. According to Todaro-Franeschi 2019, professional quality of life has three components: compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout. The positive aspects of professional quality of life include compassion satisfaction and job satisfaction. Having the ability to help people every day can be very rewarding. I currently work with newly diagnosed diabetic patients and patients that are having difficulty controlling their diabetes. Having the ability to help patients that sometimes feel helpless and frustrated allows me to be aware that I am making a positive difference in someone’s life. I have been told many times in my life to “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” I often feel this way about nursing, I do love what I do even when times are stressful, I could not imagine doing anything else for a living. The negative aspects of professional quality of life include compassion fatigue and burnout. When your day-to-day work involves human emotions, it can sometimes be tiring (emotionally) to continue. I know a few nurses that I worked with that were amazing nurses that walked away from nursing after the stressors they experienced during the Pandemic. I also think that as nurses we get so involved with our patients and our jobs that we often put ourselves on the back burner in regard to taking care of ourselves.
Expert Solution Preview
Professional quality of life refers to the overall experience and emotions that individuals in the healthcare profession, specifically registered nurses, feel in relation to their work. It encompasses both positive and negative aspects, such as compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and burnout. In this response, we will explore the definition of professional quality of life and discuss its positive and negative components.
Professional quality of life, in the context of registered nurses, includes the emotional experiences and perceptions that individuals have regarding their profession. It encompasses positive aspects, such as compassion satisfaction, as well as negative aspects, such as compassion fatigue and burnout.
Compassion satisfaction is a positive component of professional quality of life, where nurses derive fulfillment and meaningfulness from their work. It is the satisfaction that comes from knowing they have made a difference in the lives of their patients. This aspect is often reflected in the nurse’s confidence and sense of self-worth. Additionally, valuing their work as meaningful can serve as a motivator for nurses to continue providing comfort, support, and treatment to their patients.
Compassion fatigue, on the other hand, is a negative aspect of professional quality of life. It occurs when nurses repeatedly face the suffering and distress of patients, leading to emotional exhaustion and stress. This emotional fatigue can impact the nurse’s psychological state and personality, making it more challenging to provide optimal care. Compassion fatigue is often associated with the intense and complex nature of patient needs, particularly in high-stress environments such as emergency departments.
Burnout is another negative aspect of professional quality of life. It refers to a state of physical and emotional exhaustion resulting from continuous and prolonged stress. Nurses experiencing burnout may feel overwhelmed, detached, and disinterested in their work. This exhaustion can lead to decreased job satisfaction and impact the nurse-patient relationship. Factors contributing to burnout may include excessive workload, a challenging work environment, and organizational culture. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the impact of burnout, as frontline nurses faced heightened levels of chronic stress that were not adequately managed.
In conclusion, professional quality of life in the nursing profession includes both positive and negative aspects. Compassion satisfaction reflects the fulfillment and meaning derived from nursing work, while compassion fatigue and burnout represent the emotional exhaustion and negative consequences of prolonged stress. Recognizing and addressing these components is essential for enhancing the overall well-being and quality of life for registered nurses. Additionally, fostering a healthier work environment and prioritizing self-care are crucial in promoting professional satisfaction and reducing the negative impacts of stress.