Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Lance A. Peterson


Social Work


Disenfranchised grief, often experienced by nurses, can then lead to compassion fatigue if left unattended. The prevalence of this concern is rising and the literature shows that this issue clearly needs to become more centralized in the hospitals in which these nurses work. Social workers hold an important role in recognizing the needs of hospital staff and helping to address the issues of grief and loss with those who care for patients. In order to address these concerns a quantitative survey was conducted in one area pediatric hospital to address the effects of this phenomenon. The sample consisted of . . . The correlation between years of experience and the level of compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary trauma showed no statistical significance; however, the rate of burnout in nurses who have the most years of experience showed that the statistical significance is approaching relevance, and with a larger sample size may demonstrate a correlation. Following the survey a qualitative face-to-face interview took place with a random selection of volunteer participants, the results of which were analyzed and coded for themes. The findings suggested that grief supports and managing the grief symptoms helped to eliminate some of the immediate symptoms of grief. The nurses’ concerns over what services were offered and what services were useful were also major themes in the research. What was found suggested that many of the nurses have alternate ideas of which bereavement services would be more beneficial to their disenfranchised grief to help eliminate the risk of compassion fatigue. Further research is needed to determine the best ways to alleviate the bereavement that nurses feel following the death of a patient, while still following policy andagency protocol in a hospital setting.

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