Priscilla Osei- Adu is currently a Master of Science in Nursing candidate at the Adventist University of the Philippines, majoring in Adult Health Nursing. She is a Registered Nurse and has a working experience with the Ghana Police Hospital, The BabyNest Limited, and St. Dominics Hospital Akwatia in Ghana.

Priscilla Osei-Adu and Jacqueline Demetillo Guerra-Polancos

Adventist University of the Philippines


The nature of the nursing profession is to provide compassionate care. In the cause of providing compassionate care, nurses experience compassion fatigue due to their exposure to overwhelming situations in their work environment. This study sought to find out if a relationship exists between the work environment to the nurses’ compassion fatigue. It also determined a significant difference of compassion fatigue, considering the nurses area of assignment, educational attainment, and nurse-patient ratio exists. A descriptive-correlational research design was used in this study. A modified questionnaire based on literature reviews was developed and answered by 300 purposively sampled nurses from three teaching hospitals in Ghana. Pearson correlation and ANOVA were used as statistical treatment to analyze the data. Findings revealed that there is a low negative significant relationship between the nurses’ work environment and their compassion fatigue. This means that improvement in the work environment will cause a reduction in the nurses’ compassion fatigue. There was no significant difference in the compassion fatigue of the nurses in terms of their area of assignment, educational attainment and nurse-patient ratio. The study recommends that nurse managers and hospital administrators should strengthen the work environment of nurses for compassion fatigue to reduce. A proposed intervention program was developed based on the results of the study.

Keyword: nurses, compassion fatigue, work environment