Empathy: What’s Your Answer?

Empathy: What’s Your Answer?

It may sound cliche’ or redundant, but seeing the world by walking in someone else’s shoes can certainly bring another perspective to your life and your work. As nurses we’re often in situations where we can be enlightened by what our patients are going through, but are we becoming numb to it because the environments that we practice in aren’t allowing us to support the whole patient and their families.

In most cases a terminal diagnosis, a near miss, or some catastrophic event becomes the life changing event that forces us to see the world from another perspective. Cleveland Clinic posted a video, ‘Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care’ that will certainly tug at a few heart strings. More importantly it allows you an opportunity to “walk” in another’s shoes and view the world as they see it.

Nurses are more than capable of supporting the whole patient and with new regulations taking a firm hold on reimbursement as it relates to patient satisfaction, so what’s it going to take so that we can establish the needed connection with our patients to deliver better care? A very broad question that may have answers including lower nurse to patient ratios, emotionally supportive work environments, more time off, or commensurate salaries so that we’re better equipped to be present. It’s all been said before, but what are we going to do? How can we move the needle?

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