The experience of secondary traumatic stress upon care providers working within a children's hospital.
This study examined the impact of routine occupational exposure to traumatic aspects of child illness, injury, and medical treatment upon care providers working within a children's hospital. Three hundred fourteen providers completed a demographic data sheet and four questionnaires. Results suggested overall that the level of Compassion Fatigue in this sample was similar to a trauma worker comparison group. In addition, 39% of the sample was at moderately to extremely high risk for Compassion Fatigue, and 21% was at moderate to high risk for Burnout. Burnout and Compassion Fatigue were related to type of profession and length of employment. Various dimensions of empathy were related to both Burnout and Compassion Fatigue. Regression analyses indicated that years in direct care and greater blurring of caregiver boundaries were predictive of greater Burnout and Compassion Fatigue. There is a need to further refine the assessment of occupational exposure to potential traumatic aspects of care within pediatric hospital settings and link assessment to prevention and intervention efforts.