Creating a culture of compassion, empathy, and care is central to the success of a healthcare business. For this reason, it must be a primary focus in delivering and providing patient treatment and care.
It follows, then, that hiring healthcare staff who are not only competent at their jobs but are also capable of treating their patients with compassion, warmth, and empathy, is essential.
Let’s explore how healthcare businesses can ensure this, while also actively fostering a culture of compassionate care amongst their staff.
Careers in Healthcare: Delivering Compassionate Care
To be a healthcare worker, you must acquire several learned skills, as well as display certain personal attributes.
Completing a tertiary degree or formal qualification in healthcare can provide you with the required skills, training, and knowledge which can take you further in terms of your career progression. For example, a registered nurse (or RN, for short), could elect to complete further studies in healthcare business administration (also known as a healthcare MBA) to take their career to the next level. Indeed, the opportunities associated with healthcare MBA careers are abundant.
As well as obtaining the requisite qualifications, however, aspiring healthcare professionals also need to cultivate very specific personal characteristics to be able to deliver compassionate care to their patients. These attributes include being able to display genuine empathy, as well as having excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and also, the ability to build positive relationships with patients. Often, healthcare workers will be natural caregivers, and these attributes will come innately to them! In other cases, these qualities must be actively developed and cultivated through on-the-job training and experience. Either way, healthcare workers must develop these personal traits to be able to deliver the best possible care to their patients.
Healthcare and Compassion: What Does Providing Compassionate Care Mean?
So, what exactly is compassionate care, and what does it mean for the healthcare industry?
First, of course, the delivery of compassionate care means treating patients with compassion, dignity, and respect – even when at their most vulnerable. It also means being able to empathize with healthcare patients, as well as acknowledging, validating, and understanding their concerns. Further to this, it means making patients feel as comfortable, cared for, and at ease during treatment as possible.
Undoubtedly, hiring staff who can show empathy and genuine care for their patients is central to this. Of course, being able to treat patients in a caring and compassionate manner is a critical component of being a healthcare worker. As such, to perform their roles effectively, healthcare workers must become caregivers to their patients and also display a degree of selflessness, generosity, and affection towards the patients in their care. This means offering reassurance, treating patients gently and with kindness, and also, interacting with patients with a pleasant, upbeat, and positive demeanor.
Needless to say, many patients – especially those who are terminal – are in an extremely vulnerable and compromised position. As such, healthcare workers who make active efforts to treat patients with warmth and kindness can go a long way in maximizing their patients’ level of comfort and sense of dignity. For this reason, caregiving traits are central elements in the effective provision of patient treatment and care.
The Benefits of Compassionate Care: The Importance of Creating a Culture of Compassion in a Healthcare Business
Importantly, research has shown that delivering healthcare treatment with compassion and empathy has a multitude of benefits – not only for patients but also for healthcare staff.
For instance, studies have shown that the health, well-being, and even recovery of a patient can be improved by experiencing positive relationships with their medical caregivers. This is, in part, because feelings of self-worth can be heightened by this type of patient-carer relationship, which in turn can assist in minimizing depression in patients.
Further, building positive patient-carer relationships can also help to foster a sense of job satisfaction and fulfillment amongst healthcare staff. This can then contribute to a lessened sense of stress and burnout among staff, and can also help to prevent healthcare staff attrition.
As such, it is essential to foster a culture of compassion and care within any healthcare business – both for the wellness and well-being of patients, but also for the staff who are caring for them.
For this to work, however, a culture of compassion needs to be actively cultivated and maintained. Of course, the success of fostering a culture of compassion is somewhat reliant on the staff who have been hired, as well as their adherence to company policies around providing compassionate care. In addition to this, healthcare staff, too, need to feel supported, respected, and cared for. As well as focusing on delivering effective patient treatment, then, fostering a culture of respect and support for the healthcare staff will also enable them to deliver the most compassionate care to their patients.
MindOwl Founder – My own struggles in life have led me to this path of understanding the human condition. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy before completing a master’s degree in psychology at Regent’s University London. I then completed a postgraduate diploma in philosophical counselling before being trained in ACT (Acceptance and commitment therapy).
I’ve spent the last eight years studying the encounter of meditative practices with modern psychology.