Date of Graduation

Summer 8-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Dhara Meghani, PhD

Second Advisor

Brac Selph, PsyD

Third Advisor

Andrea Zorbas, PsyD


Due to the nature of their work, healthcare providers working in pediatric settings may be especially vulnerable to experiencing negative consequences of compassion fatigue and burnout. Pediatric healthcare providers often work long hours in the hospital to manage children with acute and chronic medical concerns. Within this setting, unpredictable outcomes and potential for death when caring for this fragile population may contribute to short-and long-term effects on not only caregivers but also healthcare providers. Healthcare providers typically work on an interdisciplinary team within the pediatric hospital setting which can include medical doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and child life specialists. Providers come from a variety of academic and training backgrounds which may have different approaches with regard to managing challenges that arise in response to providing care for such a medically fragile population.

The present study sought to examine healthcare providers’ experiences of compassion fatigue and burnout as factors related to working in pediatric settings. Additionally, this study sought to understand health care providers’ self-care practices as well as the barriers they encounter in attending to their mental health. Interviews with nine healthcare providers yielded six emerging themes. The themes included: (1) attitudes and awareness, (2) barriers to self-care, (3) impact on work/personal life, (4) coping strategies, (5) lack of systemic measures and resources, and (6) promotion of self-care in the workplace. The emerging themes expressed by the participants provide insight into their perceptions and experiences of compassion fatigue and burnout. Findings have clinical implications with regard to enhancing support of pediatric healthcare providers and provide justification for increased research with this population.