Patients frequently have physical and emotional problems. The COVID-19 pandemic personifies these struggles, with healthcare professionals describing the difficulties of patients facing a life-threatening condition whose loved ones are not allowed to visit and provide comfort.
Nurses are frequently the reassuring presence that helps patients tolerate medical treatment. A person-centered approach can improve outcomes whether patients are dealing with a serious condition like the coronavirus or undergoing routine tests. Empathy is a key component of that approach.
ORDER WITH US AND GET FULL ASSIGNMENT HELP FOR THIS QUESTION AND ANY OTHER ASSIGNMENTS (PLAGIARISM FREE)
Empathy’s role in providing excellent patient care makes it essential to the nurse-patient relationship. Empathy positively impacts nursing in various settings, from pediatricians’ offices to intensive care units (ICUs). Nurses who want to be leaders in health care should consider pursuing advanced education, such as a Master of Science in Nursing degree, to improve empathy and other necessary skills for providing high-quality care.
What Exactly Is Nurse Empathy?
Empathy is the ability to see, understand, and share the perspectives of others without passing judgment. Nurse empathy necessitates nurses putting themselves in their patient’s shoes, demonstrating that connection, and acting on that understanding to improve care.
Empathy affects us emotionally, cognitively, and behaviorally. Nurses with this trait evaluate social cues and vital signs to determine treatment options. According to a study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, empathy helps patients achieve better outcomes.
Compassionate nursing care may include the following modes of communication:
Verbal cues—paying attention to what patients say and don’t say.
Facial expressions, such as whether patients make eye contact.
Body language—recognizing when patients appear tense.
Why Nurse Empathy Is Important in Patient Care
Empathy improves nurses’ performance in the following areas: relationships with patients and quality of care.
I am creating a sense of respect.
Positive behavior and attitudes are encouraged.
They are making ethical choices.
We are obtaining medical history data.
We are administering medication correctly.
According to a study published in the journal Healthcare, nurses who demonstrate empathy have higher job satisfaction and experience less stress and burnout.
Patients who receive empathetic care report less anxiety, a better self-concept, and lower levels of depression and hostility. Empathetic nurses better understand their patient’s needs, allowing them to discuss their problems and concerns easily. Patients with health issues ranging from diabetes to cancer have benefited from compassionate nursing care.
Nurses’ lack of empathy harms patient care. Empathy makes patient treatment more effective and can leave patients feeling frustrated, neglected, and confused about their treatment.
Nurse Empathy in a Variety of Care Settings
Nurses frequently spend more time with patients than other medical professionals. Nurses who practice empathy in settings ranging from psychiatric wards to outpatient facilities use that time to provide comfort and connect with patients.
Nurses who shared their experiences as ICU and postpartum patients with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses described empathy in nursing as frequent check-ins, comforting touches, and soothing words.
Tips for Including Empathy in Nursing
Nurses can use empathy to improve patient care, job performance, and advocacy for good patient care. These five key suggestions can assist nurses in incorporating empathy into their work to benefit patients and themselves.
1. Pay Attention to Patients and Show Interest in Their Lives
Recognize patients’ comments with nods and responses that show comprehension. Inquire about how a patient’s health concerns affect their life, engage in active listening, ask follow-up questions, and demonstrate an interest in their lives beyond their role as patients. Respond to patient concerns and devote full attention to that patient, avoiding multitasking. Patients who believe nurses are listening are more open about their symptoms, questions, and concerns, resulting in more effective care and higher satisfaction.
2. Be courteous and respectful
Be considerate, offering high-quality assistance that helps a patient’s condition. Ignore your biases and prejudices and work to ensure that everyone has equal access to high-quality care.
Remember that many patients are apprehensive about discussing sensitive health issues. Develop a level of comfort and trust that allows for open communication. When assisting a difficult patient, take a moment to remember the value of caring at the nursing profession’s highest levels.
3. Increase Cultural Awareness and Competence
Understanding and respecting a patient’s ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, geographic background, and social group can improve care in various ways, from acknowledging religious beliefs related to treatment to using preferred pronouns for transgender and gender-diverse patients. Nurses can provide the most empathetic and effective care by acknowledging patients’ beliefs, needs, and individuality.
Develop cultural competence by learning about different patient populations, being exposed to new cultures and experiences, and cultivating interactions with people from various backgrounds. Nurses who are eager to learn can help bridge gaps and personalize care.
4. Use Self-Care Techniques to Avoid Compassion Fatigue
Caring for others necessitates caring for oneself through conversation with a friend, exercise, or spending time outside. The American Nurses Association recommends the following self-care strategies in its tips for nurses dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:
Take a deep breath.
Practice remaining present.
Use positive self-talk to focus on the positive aspects of a situation.
Before starting work, read for a few minutes from books that promote positive thinking.
Continue to be active.
Speak with someone.
5. Set a good example
Empathy in nursing encourages others to adopt similar practices, and this positive behavior extends beyond the confines of healthcare settings. Nurses can encourage positive behavior by displaying empathy when treating patients or interacting with community members. Use emotional intelligence to demonstrate leadership that promotes positive behavior.
How to Improve Your Empathy Knowledge and Skills
Nursing education can help to improve empathy skills. This training is provided by Norwich University’s online Master of Science in Nursing program, which assists nurses in becoming more compassionate healthcare leaders. The core courses listed below provide solid foundations for practicing empathy in nursing:
Advanced Physical Assessment—Examines the fundamental components of constructing a comprehensive assessment of patient health, such as patient histories and screening tools, emphasizing the significance of physical exams and health history data analysis.
Health Care Systems, Nursing Leadership, and Advanced Nursing Role—Explains the concept of health care system analysis and how it relates to effective patient care strategies.
Health Policy, Advocacy, and Economics in Health Care—Discuss American healthcare delivery from the standpoints of public policy, advocacy, and industry relations, focusing on how current issues and future trends may shape this process.
Quality Improvement and Patient Safety—Examines the relationship between quality improvement science and creating a safe healthcare environment for patients, emphasizing various approaches to addressing and overcoming quality impr
Module 06 Discussion – Empathetic Care
Choose one of the infectious respiratory disorders from this module to discuss the multidimensional care strategies for this disorder. List these interventions based on priority and include rationale as to why you prioritized in this manner.