To understand compassionate care better, it is important to ponder upon its definition as per the National Center for Biotechnology, "Compassion originates as an empathic response to suffering, as a rational process which pursues patients' wellbeing, through specific, ethical actions directed at finding a solution to their suffering. We therefore define the term compassion to mean the sensitivity shown in order to understand another person's suffering, combined with a willingness to help and to promote the wellbeing of that person, in order to find a solution to their situation." Thereby, compassion is an integral part of patient care and nursing. As a nurse, it is your duty to display compassion towards a nurse. Those nurses who do not show compassion often make patients feel emotional or devalued.
How Can a Nurse Be Compassionate?
As a nurse, your small response or act of empathy can help in conveying compassions. For instance, greeting a patient with a positive attitude or smile can make them feel comfortable. Therefore every positive action aids in offering a more patient centric experience that improves patient outcomes. Often the power of a kind word, touch, smile, compliments, and care can make a substantial difference in the life of others. By taking out the time to share experiences and anecdotes with patients to respecting their personal space, there are a variety of ways through which one can show compassion.
5 Integral Skills for Nurses Who Wish To Be Compassionate Caregivers
1. Emotional intelligence: a nurse should strive to attain high level of emotional intelligence so that they can foster better relationships with patients and coworkers. By understanding and being aware of the emotions of others, nurses can deliver compassionate care to those around them.
2. Resilience: in order to understand the values and perspectives of others, nurses can engage in reflective activities that foster resilience within them. When such activities are practiced, individuals tend to become hopeful with reduced stress and anxiety. With an environment that is positive and optimistic, nurses get the zeal and enthusiasm to offer quality and compassionate care.
3. Critical Thinking: A nurse needs to have the innate ability to think critically and also solve complex problems that yields better results ensuring patient care and satisfaction. Those nurses who are able to come up with solutions deliver adequate care to patients and their families.
4. Cultural Awareness: It is important to maintain an environment that promotes cultural awareness as it helps in offering better care to patients. The cultural aspect has an impact and influence on the way patients perceive about the treatment, death, health and wellbeing. If the nurse is aware of the cultural views of the patient, it is likely that he/she will have better terms with the patient.
5. Confidence: A compassionate nurse is one who can communicate any incident of abatement in terms of quality of patient care. It helps in nurturing a culture of care within the healthcare sector. As a nurse, you should be able to effectively discuss issues and adapt a visionary approach within the organization for all your mentors and colleagues.
How Does Compassionate Care Improve Patient Wellbeing?
As per the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM), "The delivery of high quality compassionate care is also a significant patient reported outcome, which positively affects a patient's perception of care and quality of life, while mitigating against patient complaints and malpractice suits."
It needs to be understood that adequate patient care spans beyond the scope of the patient's physical problem. Patients are likely to experience different issues that may lead to stress such as financial vulnerability, family problems or the trauma of being hospitalized. By showing respect to your patients, you give them the reassurance of being valued which ultimately leads to improved recovery and satisfaction.
According to the Journal for Compassionate Health Care, "There is extraordinary potential for blending the best of evidence-based medicine with real patient centeredness, performing medicine with patients rather than doing it to them, to the benefit of all."
When you show compassion, you can make a difference in the life of others. When you are mindful, you become the catalyst of change and foster a promising environment of growth. Nurses get the opportunity to be empathetic with their patients making them feel valued, comfortable and respected. It is observed that compassionate care results in better patient satisfaction.