Commentary - Journal of Intensive and Critical Care Nursing (2023) Volume 6, Issue 5
The importance of compassion in nursing care.Russell Durkin*
Department of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- *Corresponding Author:
- Russell Durkin
Department of Nursing
University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Received: 05-Oct-2023-2023, Manuscript No. AAICCN-23-118671; Editor assigned: 07-Oct-2023-2023, PreQC No. AAICCN-23-118671 (PQ); Reviewed: 21-Oct-2023, QC No. AAICCN-23-118671; Revised: 24-Oct -2023, Manuscript No. AAICCN-23-118671(R); Published: 30-Oct-2023, DOI:10.35841/aaiccn-6.5.168
Citation: Durkin R. The importance of compassion in nursing care. J Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2023;6(5):168
Nursing is a profession that requires a unique blend of technical skills, scientific knowledge, and a deep well of compassion. While the technical aspects of nursing care are crucial for the well-being of patients, it is the compassionate aspect that truly defines the heart of nursing. Compassion in nursing care is not just a soft and fuzzy concept; it is an essential component that can have a profound impact on patient outcomes, satisfaction, and the overall healthcare experience. Nursing care is often a patient's first point of contact in the healthcare system. Nurses are there to provide support, comfort, and care during some of the most vulnerable moments in a person's life. In these moments, compassion is not just a nice-to-have quality; it is the foundation upon which the entire healthcare system is built .
Building trust and rapport
Compassion is the cornerstone of building trust and rapport with patients. When patients feel that their healthcare providers genuinely care about their well-being, they are more likely to trust their nurses and follow their recommendations. Trust is a critical factor in patient compliance, which can significantly impact the effectiveness of treatment and recovery. Hospitalization and medical procedures can be incredibly stressful and anxiety-inducing experiences. Compassionate nurses can alleviate some of this fear and anxiety by providing emotional support and reassurance. A compassionate presence can make the hospital environment feel less intimidating and more comforting. Studies have shown that patients who receive compassionate care tend to heal faster and experience better health outcomes. Compassion can boost a patient's mood, reduce stress, and even improve the immune response. It is a powerful tool for enhancing the overall healing process. Compassionate nursing care can also play a crucial role in pain management. Nurses who take the time to listen to their patients and provide emotional support can better assess and address pain. They can also help patients cope with pain more effectively, which can lead to a decrease in the need for pain medication .
Increased patient satisfaction
When patients receive compassionate care, they are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their healthcare experience. High patient satisfaction is not only a measure of quality care but also positively impacts a healthcare facility's reputation and can contribute to patient loyalty. Compassionate nurses are more likely to engage in effective communication with their patients. They take the time to listen, ask questions, and explain procedures and treatment plans in a way that patients can understand. This leads to improved patient education and involvement in their own care, ultimately resulting in better outcomes. Compassion is not limited to patients alone; it also extends to their families. Nurses play a vital role in supporting the emotional needs of patients' loved ones. A compassionate nurse can help ease the stress and anxiety that family members often experience when a loved one is ill. Compassion is intertwined with the principles of dignity and respect. Treating patients with compassion means recognizing their individuality and unique needs .
It also involves acknowledging their right to be treated with respect and maintaining their dignity, even in the face of illness or vulnerability. Nursing is a demanding profession, and nurses often face emotional and physical challenges. Compassion in nursing care is not just about showing empathy to patients but also to fellow healthcare providers. Compassionate work environments can reduce burnout and improve job satisfaction among nurses, leading to a more sustainable and effective healthcare workforce. Compassion is not just a desirable quality but an ethical requirement in nursing. The American Nurses Association's Code of Ethics emphasizes the importance of compassion, stating that nurses must practice with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person .
Incorporating compassion into nursing practice
While compassion is an intrinsic quality in many individuals who choose nursing as a profession, it can also be cultivated and nurtured. Here are some ways to incorporate compassion into nursing practice. Take the time to actively listen to patients and their concerns. Make them feel heard and understood. Put yourself in the patient's shoes, and try to understand their feelings and perspectives. When caring for a patient, be fully present in the moment. Minimize distractions and show that you are there to provide your undivided attention. Body language and facial expressions play a significant role in conveying compassion. Maintain eye contact, offer a reassuring touch, and use comforting gestures. Always respect a patient's privacy and maintain their dignity, especially during intimate procedures or sensitive conversations. Provide emotional support by offering words of encouragement and reassurance to patients and their families. Stay up-to-date with the latest knowledge and techniques in nursing to provide the best care possible. This, in turn, allows you to feel more confident and compassionate in your practice .
In conclusion, compassion is not just a desirable quality in nursing care; it is an indispensable part of the profession. Compassionate nursing care can make a significant difference in patient outcomes, satisfaction, and the overall healthcare experience. It is the foundation upon which trust, healing, and effective communication are built. Nurses who embrace and practice compassion are not only fulfilling their ethical obligations but also making a profound impact on the lives of the patients they care for. As Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, aptly said, "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse." In nursing, there should be no excuses for a lack of compassion.
- Bramley L, Matiti M. How does it really feel to be in my shoes? Patients' experiences of compassion within nursing care and their perceptions of developing compassionate nurses. J Clin Nurs. 2014;23(19-20):2790-9.
- Straughair C. Exploring compassion: implications for contemporary nursing. Part 2. Br J Nurs. 2012;21(4):239-44.
- Straughair C. Cultivating compassion in nursing: A grounded theory study to explore the perceptions of individuals who have experienced nursing care as patients. Nurse Educ Pract. 2019;35:98-103.
- Durkin M, Gurbutt R, Carson J. Qualities, teaching, and measurement of compassion in nursing: A systematic review. Nurse Educ Today. 2018;63:50-8.
- Jakimowicz S, Perry L, Lewis J. Insights on compassion and patient-centred nursing in intensive care: A constructivist grounded theory. J Clin Nurs. 2018;27(7-8):1599-611.