Many healthcare workers feel compassion is a critical part of their job. It’s a way to show they care about patients and want to make them as comfortable as possible.
Compassion goes beyond empathy, which is understanding and sharing someone else’s feelings. It also requires the willingness to help.
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Improved Patient-Focused Communication
Research shows that patients who feel cared for tend to comply with treatment guidelines, such as taking medication or following exercise programs. One author describes compassion as the essence of nursing.
Whether it’s an empathetic look, a kind word, or an honest compliment, these small acts can help put patients at ease and reduce anxiety and stress levels. This can make a massive difference in the healing process.
Healthcare workers contact patients daily, so showing compassionate care is essential to creating a positive patient experience and improving health outcomes. It starts with training staff on how to communicate with patients more humanly. This may be accomplished via various techniques, such as in-person training that stresses patient empathy and listening skills.
Enhanced Patient-Provider Relationships
Patients who feel their healthcare provider cares about them are more likely to open up. This allows them to share more details about their symptoms and social history, which can help with diagnosis and treatment.
Patients are often in constant contact with doctors, nurses, and therapists, so they tend to take cues from these professionals regarding their emotions. A kind and sensitive approach can help them feel at ease, making relaxing during their treatment sessions easier.
It’s important to note that showing compassion isn’t a trait that’s innately ingrained in all healthcare workers. Instead, it requires practice and an active focus on empathy during patient interactions. This practice also helps to buffer against burnout. Healthcare organizations prioritizing compassion can experience positive results, including reduced emergency department readmissions and increased patient satisfaction.
Increased Patient Satisfaction
Whether patients are preparing for a lengthy recovery from surgery or fighting an illness that will eventually lead to death, they need the emotional and psychological support of caring healthcare professionals. A nurse with compassion can help them feel comfortable and confident.
A simple touch, smile, or listening ear can improve a patient’s well-being and security. Patients who receive compassionate care are more likely to comply with their providers’ instructions and take the time to rest and recover.
Your nursing staff must learn to communicate compassionately to build on these benefits. A training program, which includes in-person and online modules, has been shown to boost employee engagement and HCAHPS scores. Additionally, this training is a potent weapon against burnout and compassion fatigue.
Reduced Behavioral Problems
Studies show compassionate patients are more likely to respond well to treatment and improve their overall health outcomes. Creating a human healthcare culture begins in-house, with staff training on how to empathize, listen, apologize, and respond to patients.
Nurses who are compassionate towards their patients also feel more satisfied with their careers. However, nurses mustn’t fall victim to compassion fatigue, a typical healthcare condition characterized by emotional exhaustion, job dissatisfaction, and feelings of withdrawal.
To avoid compassion fatigue, rehabilitation nurses should seek out opportunities for self-care, such as engaging in a hobby or taking a vacation. They should also make sure they get enough sleep and eat healthy meals. These actions will help them stay emotionally and physically fit to provide the best care for their patients.
Increased Employee Engagement
It takes a team to care for patients, and if that team isn’t fully engaged, it can create problems for everyone. Whether it’s a lack of response to call bells, slow responses to patient needs, or a general discontent with work, the effects can be felt by everyone.
Fortunately, nurses can learn to practice compassion and increase their empathy, which can help to combat burnout, emotional exhaustion, and low morale. As a result, the team can function more effectively and improve clinical quality and patient outcomes.
Virtual games, group-bonding activities, and mindfulness or self-care workshops can all be good options for healthcare organizations promoting compassionate, connected care. This approach helps to reduce turnover and build a strong workforce.