Importance of empathy in patient care

Address correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. Abstract Patients seek empathy from their physicians. Medical educators increasingly recognize this need. Yet in seeking to make empathy a reliable professional skill, doctors change the meaning of the term.

Importance of empathy in patient care

Stories can also be expressed in song, poetry, film, theater, or artwork. Account Making is used by Harvey synonymously with Storytelling. Accounts involve interpretive comments, descriptions and other components found in most stories. Many cope with a major loss by forming accounts or telling stories about the loss to aid in grieving and adapting to the loss.

Meaning Making is the process by which people construct the meaning of a death or loss and set the tone for the grieving process. Storytelling is the most common strategy utilized in meaning making.

Acknowledged or unacknowledged, telling the story is central to the practice of medicine. Patients tell their illness story to the physician who translates their story into a disease story. Writing allowed me to turn intense experiences or disturbing topics into educational articles as a way of making sense of difficult training situations.

The articles are on areas generally not considered part of traditional medical education--death, loss, and the grief response, etc.

The Importance of Empathy in Healthcare – MedicalGPS Healthcare Industry Blog

Physicians are often the bearers of painful news to patients--telling of death, illnesses, or tragic events. Sharing stories of loss can help those grieving overcome the existential crisis that frequently occurs after experiencing illness or loss, by under-standing the new identity and accommodating to the life change.

Swiss writer Walter Diggelmann regarded stories as his weapon against cancer. Importance of Listening Experts consider sharing the story of loss and finding someone to attentively and empathetically listen to be integral in the recovery process.

However, if physicians do not ask, the patients may never tell their stories and unknowingly withhold information that could help in finding a proper diagnosis. Researchers have discovered that if the sharing experience is difficult for the storyteller, it may impede the healing process of adapting to the stressor or the loss.

It is also important to listen for what is not being said--the subtle clues that the patient may want to say something more--perhaps a slight pause in the conversation, a cough, shifting nervously.

Victoria Maizes provides a poignant narrative that underscores the importance of listening to patients. She shares a real case example of an exchange with a patient and then re-writes the story in three different scenarios in which the physician listens empathetically and engages the patient.

The Healing Effect of Telling the Story In the last decade of the 20th century, the traditional views of grief have changed. The current idea is that people do not "get over" major losses, rather those losses become incorporated into who they are as part of their life; the story is rewritten to assimilate the loss.

Account making helps the grieving understand their new role in a world forever changed. Many find solace in sharing their experiences with others, knowing they are not alone in their feelings of grief. For those who have experienced a loss it is critical that the loss become real.

Importance of empathy in patient care

This can be difficult when a loved one is presumed dead, the body is never recovered from an accident or in a variety of other situations in which hope remains for finding survivors.The Importance of Active Listening. Active listening builds strong relationships and, while it may not come naturally to many of us, it’s an invaluable communication skill.

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA. In my recent post on KevinMD, “Deeply connect and engage your patients with empathy,” I write about how empathy is essential to help empower our patients. “It is with empathy that we can engage and empower our patients.” Doctors and nurses are leaders in health care.

Jan 11,  · A roundup of what actually increases patient satisfaction and improves the patient experience in healthcare institutions (from primary care providers to hospitals to ambulatory care . Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values to the practice of clinical medicine and in scientific research.

Medical ethics is based on a set of values that professionals can refer to in the case of any confusion or conflict. These values include the respect for autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice.

Such tenets may allow doctors, care providers, and families. Building Empathy in Healthcare As a review by Health Affairs notes, “the quality of physician-patient interactions in primary care has been declining.” which is an approach to psychotherapy developed by Heinz Kohut that emphasizes the importance of feeling understood and feeling that your experience in the world is human and.

Feb 27,  · Patient care is more than just healing -- it's building a connection that encompasses mind, body and soul. Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care Cleveland Clinic. titled "Empathy.

Importance of empathy in patient care
The Importance of Telling (and Listening) to the Story